The 2012 NCHSAA prep football playoff brackets have a familiar look: Garner’s seeded at the 4AA eastern regional bracket and there are five first-round rematches from the regular-season involving Triangle-area teams.
The Trojans (11-0), who advanced to the state 4AA championship game last season, won a draw for the No. 1 seed with Leesville Road (10-0) and Middle Creek (10-1). All three teams, champions of their respective conferences, were 10-0 for seeding purposes.
Athens Drive (5-6) visits Garner in the first round in one of those rematches. The Trojans topped the Jaguars 42-7 on Aug. 24.
The other four first-round playoff rematches involve conference rivals.
Leesville Road hosts Heritage (6-5) and Wake Forest-Rolesville (8-2) visits Wakefield (10-1) in the two rematches from the Cap Eight ranks. The Garner-Athens Drive winner faces either Wakefield or Wake Forest-Rolesville in the second round. Wakefield beat Wake Forest-Rolesville 33-19 on Oct. 5.
If Leesville Road, seeded third, can beat Heritage again, it could visit Middle Creek in the second round. The Mustangs host Wilmington Laney in their playoff opener.
Richmond County is the top seed in the 4AA Mideast bracket. The Raiders face Cary in the opening round. Two other Tri-Nine teams meet in the 4AA Mideast with Fuquay-Varina (6-4) hosting Green Hope (6-5). Fuquay-Varina took a 21-17 win in the two teams’ Sept. 28 matchup.
Matthews Butler is the No. 1 overall seed in the western 4AA regional.
In the 4A ranks, two Greater Neuse River 4A Conference rivals will see each other for a second straight week when Knightdale (7-3) travels to Clayton (8-3). Clayton beat Knightdale 42-21 on Friday night.
In other 4A east games, Southern Durham hosts Wilmington Hoggard, Southeast Raleigh is at New Hanover, Durham Hillside hosts Southeast Guilford and Northern Durham visits Fayetteville E.E. Smith. East Chapel Hill is at defending state 4A champion Scotland County in the opening round. New Bern is the top overall 4A east seed.
Triton (10-0) is the top seed in the 3AA eastern regional. The Hawks, champions of the Eastern Carolina Conference are in the east bracket, which also includes Cleveland (10-1), Big East 3A champion Wilson Hunt (10-0) and Carolina 6 champion Cardinal Gibbons (10-0). If the brackets hold, Cleveland goes back to Triton in the second round and Gibbons hosts Hunt in the second round.
Carrboro (11-0) is the No. 2 overall seed in the 2AA east and will host Burlington Cummings in the first round. Bunn (7-3) is seeded fifth.