High school notebook: Cap 8 football race looks balanced

tstevens@newsobserver.comOctober 1, 2013 

Wakefield's Tevin Hargrove (91), left, and Byrant Neal (52) celebrate a sack during Wakefield's game against Middle Creek High School, Friday, September 20, 2013 in Raleigh, NC. Wakefield won 34-24.

JOHNNY JOHNSON

Wake Forest football coach Reggie Lucas said the Cap Eight 4A is as balanced as he can remember.

Wake Forest and Leesville Road were the preseason favorites in the conference, but Wakefield is undefeated; Leesville is stumbling with quarterback Braxton Berrios; Heritage and Millbrook have one loss each; and Sanderson has played well. Enloe is struggling, but Broughton has been competitive.

“There is a tremendous amount of balance this year,” Lucas said. “Realistically, you can lose any night if you don’t play well. If you go out and make mistakes, you’re probably going to lose. The teams are that close.”

Wakefield’s 5-0 start may have surprised some people, but not the Cap Eight coaches.

“We had seen (Evan) Brabrand on the junior varsity level,” Millbrook’s Clarence Inscore said. “Wakefield had Connor Mitch, but under difficult circumstances Brabrand might have been the starter as a sophomore and junior.”

Brabrand has completed 104 of 176 passes for 1,346 yards. He has 14 touchdown passes and two interceptions.

Wake Forest is at home against Millbrook on Friday and follows with games against Wakefield, Heritage and Leesville Road.

The game against Millbrook always presents special problems, Wake Forest’s Lucas said. Former coach Earl Smith installed the Wing-T when he was at Millbrook and later put the formation in at Wake Forest before Lucas succeeded him as head coach.

“Millbrook always plays well against us,” Lucas said. “They know all about our offense.”

Millbrook improving: Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore thought his club would be much better this season after going 3-8 last year.

“At one point, we were starting nine sophomores and three freshmen,” Inscore said. “That wasn’t very good for last year, but the experience those guys gained last year has helped a lot this year.”

The Wildcats got off to a fast start in Friday’s 56-13 win over Enloe when Marcus Marshall, the younger brother of University of Georgia runner Keith Marshall, returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

Tweeting along : Leesville Road standout Braxton Berrios missed the 30-7 loss to Heritage on Friday night with a sprained ankle. He still has confidence in his team, which has dropped two straight without him in the lineup.

Minutes after the game, he went on Twitter: “Aye don't trip, please somebody tell me when a state football title was ever won in September. The road is just beginning, just wait… ”.

Eastern Wake showdown: East Wake coach John Poulnott said in the preseason that he could see the Greater Neuse 4A regular-season championship coming down to the Nov. 8 game between his Warriors and Knightdale.,

At the time, Garner was the overwhelming league favorite.

After East Wake’s 54-40 win over Garner on Friday night, the possibility of the eastern Wake showdown is greater.

East Wake and Knightdale are both 1-0 in the league. Knighdale is 4-1 overall with a key league game against Clayton this week. East Wake is 2-3, but is averaging 456.2 yards in total offense.

“It the title came down to that last game, it would mean an awful lot to this part of the county,” Poulnott said.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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