High Schools

Notebook: Four teams share Cap Eight lead

tstevens@newsobserver.comOctober 21, 2013 

The Cap Eight 4A Conference was expected to be close this season, but Millbrook’s 40-19 victory over previously unbeaten Wakefield has created a four-way tie with three weeks left.

Wake Forest (7-1), Wakefield (6-2), Leesville Road (6-2) and Millbrook (6-2) are all 3-1 in the conference. Heritage (5-3) and Sanderson (4-4) still figure in the race with a couple of league losses each.

Each of the teams has a difficult schedule ahead because of the league’s balance, but Leesville probably has the most demanding schedule because it has games left against each of the other three leaders.

The Pride, which dropped two games immediately after standout Braxton Berrios was injured but has won three straight since, will be at home against Wake Forest on Friday, will play at Millbrook on Nov. 1, and will be a home against Wakefield the final week of the regular season.

Wakefield has two games remaining, at home against Heritage this week, and at Leesville on Nov. 8.

Wake Forest has Sanderson and Enloe left after this week’s game with Leesville. Millbrook is at Heritage and at Sanderson in addition to facing the Pride.

Knightdale leads Neuse: Knightdale is the only team unbeaten in the Greater Neuse and it has a big opportunity this week at home against Garner, which has one league loss. East Wake and Southeast Raleigh also have one loss each.

“We’ve got Garner (this) week, and to be on top you’ve got to beat the king,” said Knightdale coach Rob Senseney. “It is what it is. They’ve got to beat us, and we’ve got to win. It’s set up like a championship fight.”

After the Trojans, Knightdale has a home game against East Wake on Nov. 8.

Mustangs atop Southwest: Middle Creek’s 35-14 win over Holly Springs left the Mustangs alone atop the Southwest Wake standings. Middle Creek has league games left against Athens Drive, Cary and Fuquay-Varina.

Holly Springs and Panther Creek have one conference loss each, having lost to Middle Creek.

Hillside controls PAC Six: Durham Hillside is undefeated in the PAC Six and appears to be in control of the league conference race, but Northern Durham (2-6) also is unbeaten in the league and Durham Riverside and Person have only one league loss each.

Hillside plays at East Chapel Hill on Nov. 1 and has home games against Northern and Person.

Big Eight balanced: Southern Durham and Orange, who play at Orange on Nov. 8, are unbeaten in the Big Eight 3A, but they aren’t the only teams in the league race. Cardinal Gibbons has only one league loss and gets a shot at Orange on Nov. 1.

Ravens record falls: Avery Edwards of Ravenscroft has set the school record for career receiving yards with 2,067 yards. He passed Trey Lewis’ mark of 1,998 from 2000-2002. Edwards is two shy of Lewis’ school record 24 career touchdown receptions.

Schedule helped toughen Cleveland: Cleveland bulked up its non-conference schedule this season as it eyed its first conference championship in its three-year history.

The Rams have a direct route to the conference championship – win out, starting this week against rival Corinth Holders — after knocking off Erwin Triton 31-28 last week.

The Rams played five 4A schools – Clayton, Garner, Green Hope and Durham Riverside.

“If you want to be one of the best teams in the area, you’ve got to play the best teams in the area and eventually beat them,” said Cleveland coach Marc Morris. “Any time you play good, well-coached teams, it’s only going to help you later on in a season.”

Cleveland’s line play was the big difference in the win over Triton. The Rams outgained Triton’s wing-T rushing attack by more than 200 yards (337-133) behind the offensive line play of Bryce Hale, Xavier Baker, Zack Jacobs, Paul Johnson and Adam Kurtz.

Cleveland’s defensive line is manned by Dylan Caldwell, Sterling Johnson, Bryer Rogers and Chris Lee.

Marshall wins Georgia honor: Former Millbrook High football standout Keith Marshall was inducted into the University of Georgia Student-Athlete Leadership Academy on Monday night.

Seventeen Georgia athletes are inducted each year and are selected based on academic and athletic success, leadership, campus and community service and recommendations from coaches and academic advisers.

Marshall is a Bulldogs running back, currently injured.

Pink game: The NFL, the Carolina Panthers and the American Cancer Society have created a stadium kit to be used at selected high school games this year. The kit includes two stadium banners, pink pom poms, player wristbands and helmet stickers.

Ravenscroft was chosen as the area team to use the kit. The Ravens beat North Raleigh Christian 65-12 last week on “pink night.”

Offensive explosion: Croatan and Dixon piled up almost 1,200 yards in offense during Dixon’s 62-57 victory on Friday.

The N.C. High School Athletic Association noted that Dixon running back Malik Simmons rushed for 350 yards while Croatan quarterback Andrew Colburn threw for 468 yards and six scores.

D. Clay Best contributed to this story.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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