Friday's key matchups starting with Hillside and Southern Durham

From staff reportsAugust 29, 2013 

No. 1 Hillside (1-0) at No. 8 Southern Durham (0-0)

Durham County’s two best high school football teams play Friday night at Durham County Stadium in a non-conference football game.

Hillside had one of the most impressive wins in the state last week as it went to New Bern and took a 27-24 overtime victory against the 2012 N.C. High School Athletic Association champions and the preseason favorites this season.

The game is Southern Durham’s opener, but the Spartans are the preseason favorite in the Big Eight 3A. Most previous meetings between the schools have had conference championship ramifications, but Southern moved from the PAC-Six 4A to the 3A league this season during realignment.

Hillside is led by wide receiver Travion Thompson, who had 160 yards in receptions and two touchdowns.

Southern receiver Maurice Trowell is one of the top prospects in the state.

No. 2 Garner (1-0) at Cleveland (0-1)

Both teams are driven by their run games. Isaac Martin, who ran for 2,000-plus yards in 2012, powers the Cleveland offense, and Nyheim Hines, a threat on the ground, on passes and on kick returns, leads the Garner attack.

Expect big plays. With both teams breaking in new defenders, there’s reason to expect a 40-something to 30-something final.

From an X’s and O’s standpoint, watch the cat-and-mouse game before the snap when Cleveland has the ball. Rams coach Marc Morris likes to wait for the defense to commit before making his offensive call. So Garner has to be good at disguising what it’s doing: who’s blitzing, what kind of coverage it is, etc., to be as effective as it can on defense.

Garner nipped Middle Creek 21-16 last week while Cleveland was beaten by Clayton 53-29.

Fayetteville Smith (1-0) at No. 4 Middle Creek (0-1)

Smith nipped Fayetteville Terry Sanford 35-34 in its opener while Middle Creek had Garner on the ropes before losing 21-16.

No. 5 Wake Forest (1-0) at East Wake (1-0)

Wake Forest held Panther Creek to 137 yards rushing on 28 attempts in last week’s 28-14 win. East Wake’s Damontay Rhem leads the area in rushing after getting 218 yards in a 44-18 win against South Johnston

No. 6 Heritage (1-0) at Panther Creek (0-1)

Heritage overcame a slow start in its 49-21 opening win against Holly Springs. The Huskies’ defense was opportunistic, creating four turnovers in the first half.

No. 7 Cardinal Gibbons (1-0) at Cary (1-0)

Cary won’t put it in the air against Gibbons, which negates the Crusaders’ strength from last week (three interceptions). The Imps nipped Broughton 30-24 in the opener, holding the Caps to 3 yards rushing. Gibbons was pressed by Green Hope but held on for a 14-12 win.

No. 9 Knightdale (1-0) at Millbrook (1-0)

Millbrook was an impressive 23-8 winner at Fuquay-Varina while Knightdale topped Sanderson 21-13. Knightdale features explosive quarterback Marquavious Johnson.

Northern Durham (0-1) at No. 10 Orange (1-0)

Orange flexed its muscles last week in a 40-0 victory over Person. Northern Durham lost 46-0 at Southeast Guilford.

Sanderson (0-1) at No. 11 Green Hope (0-1)

Sanderson QB Matt Koehler passed for 228 yards in a 21-13 loss to Knightdale. Green Hope’s Luke Massei had 230 yards passing in the 14-12 loss to Gibbons.

No. 12 Erwin Triton (1-0) at Overhills (0-1)

Triton opened its season with a 19-9 win at Fayetteville Cape Fear while Overhills lost to Southern Pines Pinecrest 35-14.

East Chapel Hill (0-1) at No. 13 Carrboro (1-0)

Carrboro has never lost to 4A East Chapel Hill in four meetings. Carrboro’s Trai Sharp ran for 124 yards and four TDs against Cedar Ridge last week.

No. 14 Clayton (1-0) at Corinth Holders (1-0)

Clayton has outscored the Pirates 83-18 in the past two seasons and looks to build on that streak. Corinth Holders has nine defensive starters back from 2012, and that’s the group that will need to step up.

Wakefield (0-0) at No. 15 Holly Springs (0-1)

Holly Springs’ turnovers hurt in last week’s 49-21 loss to Heritage. Wakefield will be without graduated quarterback Connor Mitch, one of the state’s most productive passers ever, in its season opener.

Other games

Chapel Hill (0-1) at South Granville (0-1)

South Granville has been to the playoffs six straight years, but dropped its opener 27-14 to Rocky Mount. Chapel Hill fell in overtime to Durham Riverside 17-14.

Durham Jordan (0-1) at Enloe (0-0)

Jordan was battered by Braxton Berrios and his Leesville Road teammates last week, 62-21. Enloe is seeking a fast start after a 1-10 campaign in 2012.

Fuquay-Varina (0-1) at Riverside (1-0)

Riverside nipped Chapel Hill 17-14 in overtime last week while Fuquay lost to Millbrook 23-8 and gave up 14 points while on offense or special teams.

Ravenscroft (1-0) at Charlotte Providence Day (1-0)

Nonconference games against Charlotte-area teams mean more for the Ravens’ playoff chances than league games. Providence Day beat Charlotte Victory Christian 23-18 and Ravenscroft beat Northern Vance 35-14 last week.

South Johnston (0-1) at West Johnston (1-0)

The last five games in the series and six of the past seven have been decided by a touchdown or less.

Smithfield-Selma (0-1) at Southern Wayne (0-1)

It should be strength vs. strength when the defensive line of Southern Wayne faces a Smithfield-Selma front that includes veterans Chris Brinson, Mitchell Morrisey and Marcus Elliot.

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