at No. 1 Garner (6-0), 7:00
Garner’s rolling along as normal with big play backs Raevon Smith and Nyheim Hines. Defensively, the Trojans seem to play better as games progress. Smithfield-Selma is making progress in their first season under head coach David Lawhon, but the Spartans are overmatched.
No. 2 Wakefield (6-0)
at No. 3 Leesville Road (5-0), 7:00
Wakefield put together a commanding second half to defeat Millbrook 54-21 last week. Leesville Road’s defense, which has held opponents to just 13.4 points this season, may have an answer for Wakefield’s high-powered offense, but the Wolverines have topped 50 points in the past three games. Leesville Road won 67-58 when the two teams met last year.
at No. 4 WF-Rolesville (6-0), 7:00
Broughton will face an undefeated team for the second straight week. Wake Forest-Rolesville has dominated opponents on both ends of the field this year.
Southern Wayne (1-4)
at No. 5 Cleveland (6-0), 7:30
Isaac Martin leads a Cleveland offense that’s still rolling up points, while the Rams’ defense is allowing 9.5 points. Southern has struggled to score through its first five games.
No. 19 Chapel Hill (5-1)
at No. 6 Cardinal Gibbons (5-0), 7:30
Since joining the Carolina 3A four years ago, Gibbons has won 15 straight in conference games and has gone 39-7 overall. Junior Shawn Stankavage at quarterback and runner Ben Grazen lead the Crusaders. Chapel Hill was unbeaten before falling to Carrboro 35-0 last week.
Panther Creek (1-5)
at No. 7 Middle Creek (5-1), 7:30
Middle Creek battled to Tri-Nine wins over Lee County (21-19) and Cary (31-24) the last two weeks and expects another tough league challenge this week. Three of Panther Creek’s losses have come in games decided by eight points or less. Panther Creek handed Middle Creek its only Tri-9 loss last season. It will be an emotional night on both sidelines. Middle Creek will retire Rashawn King’s number before the game and welcome coach Sean Crocker in his first game back with Panther Creek after changing jobs in the offseason.
North Lenoir (2-4)
at No. 8 Triton (6-0), 7:30
North Lenoir has been outscored this season 128-132. One loss was a forfeit and thee others were by a total of eight points. Triton’s Dedrick Stacker averages 135.6 rushing yards.
No. 9 Hillside (3-2)
at Person (1-5), 7:00
Hillside had won two straight and three of its previous four before last Friday’s open date. Person’s biggest problem has been stopping opponents; Person has given up more points (198) than anyone else in the PAC-6. Hillside has the most explosive offense in the conference.
South Granville (4-2)
At No. 10 Carrboro (6-0), 7:30
Carrboro carries a perfect record into its Carolina 2A Conference winner. South Granville has become a potent force in the league under head coach Mike Hobgood, who keeps it simple: block and tackle harder and run better than your opponent.
West Johnston (2-3)
at No. 11 Knightdale (4-1), 7:00
The Wildcats moved the ball well in last week’s loss to Southeast Raleigh, but had drive after drive stopped inside the Bulldogs’ 30. The Knights would love to keep rolling in league play and be unbeaten going into their back-to-back visits to Southeast Raleigh and Garner the next two weeks.
No. 12 Orange (5-1)
at East Chapel Hill (4-2), 7:30
East Chapel Hill’s running game and defense are substantially improved from last year, helping it to its best midseason record in a decade. Orange has a multiplayer running game and quarterback Sean Motley passed for 179 passing yards in a 48-7 Panther win over Northern Vance .
No. 13 Cary (3-3)
at No. 14 Lee (4-2), 7:30
Cary is trying to break a two-game losing streak. In its last Tri-Nine game, Lee dropped a 21-19 decision to Middle Creek.
No. 15 Southeast Raleigh (4-2)
at No. 17 Clayton (3-3), 7:00
Southeast and Clayton each lost their Greater Neuse 4A Conference openers two weeks ago, but scored wins last week. Southeast gets big plays from quarterbacks Cameron Marshman and DeMonte Spence. Clayton counters with Anthony Gaskins and Tam Barbour. Traditionally, this matchup has been low-scoring.
No. 16 Athens Drive (4-2)
at Apex (1-4), 7:30
Apex has scored seven points in each of its last four games, all losses. Athens is unbeaten in the Tri-Nine 4A.
No. 18 South Johnston (4-1)
at C.B. Aycock (2-4), 7:30
The Golden Falcons have lost three straight after a promising 2-1 start. They get a visit from a South Johnston team on Friday that has its eyes on staying in the race for the Eastern Carolina 3A Conference championship race.
No. 20 Northern Durham (3-2)
at Riverside (0-5), 7:00
Northern has won three straight. Running backs Kylyn Flemming and Alphonso Gbojueh provide an excellent 1-2 punch for the Knights, while quarterback Brandon Brown did a nice job of mixing runs and passes in last week’s 49-0 win over Jordan. Riverside averages 12 points per game.
at Heritage (3-3), 7:00
Enloe is still trying to find its footing under first-year coach Mike Massey, while Heritage can eclipse its 2011 win total in this game.
at Millbrook (1-5 ), 7:00
Sanderson looks to bounce back from a 55-7 loss to Heritage. Millbrook fell in the second half of last week’s matchup after scoring first and sticking with a rolling Wakefield team for much of the game.
East Wake (0-6)
at Harnett Central (2-3), 7:30
East Wake is averaging 22.5 points per game, but is allowing 40.7. Central averages 8.2 points and allows 24.5.
Corinth Holders (1-5)
at Louisburg (2-3), 7:30
The Pirates practiced after a varsity win for the first time last week after beating Northwest Halifax. Louisburg has held four of five opponents to 20 points or less.
Roanoke Rapids (3-3)
at North Johnston (1-5), 7:30
North Johnston upset Roanoke Rapids in the first round of the playoffs last season after falling to the Jackets during the regular season.
at Spring Creek (0-5), 7:30
Princeton comes off an open week eyeing the start of a win streak as Carolina 1A Conference play opens. Spring Creek has been held to a touchdown or less three times this season.
Cedar Ridge (0-6)
at Graham (0-6), 7:30
Cedar Ridge, averaging 8.3 points a game, will get a chance to get in gear against a Graham team that has been out-scored 72-197, yielding 33 points a game.
at Granville Central (0-6), 7:30
Northwood is a solid team that’s still forming its identity. Granville Central will have real trouble with the Chargers’ offense. So far, Central has given up 252 points to opponents – an average of 42 points a game.
Southern Durham (2-4)
at Durham Jordan (1-5), 7:30
Jordan has lost four straight, mostly because it has scored just 39 points this season. The Falcons have scored one touchdown in two conference games. Southern’s defense has allowed 8.7 points in its last three games.
Harrells Christian (3-2)
at Wake Christian (2-4), 7:30
The Bulldogs of WCA are off on a winning streak after a 48-22 victory over Kestral Heights last week. Harrells running back Russell Washington averages 204.8 yards rushing a contest.
at Fayetteville Christian, 7:30
Ravenscroft, 2-4, is the league favorite.
at N. Raleigh Christian, 7:30
North Raleigh quarterback J. Cook averages 250 yards passing.
Rocky Mount Academy
at Word of God, 7:30
Word of God’s Casty St. Louis averages 200.6 rushing yards in eight-man football. The game is scheduled for Wilder’s Grove Community Center.
– D. Clay Best, Caryn Grant, Mike Blake, Elliott Warnock and Tim Stevens