Playoff pairings: Wake Forest, Middle Creek meet in football 4AA semifinals

From staff reportsDecember 5, 2013 

State semifinals


Wake Forest (11-3) at Middle Creek (12-2)

Some statewide computer rankings have had Wake Forest ranked No. 1 in the area much of the season despite the Cougars dropping three Cap Eight 4A games. Wake Forest plays exceptional defense and its Wing-T offense is deceptive and explosive.

Middle Creek has been outstanding on defense, too, although it has given up at least 20 points in each of its three playoff wins. The Mustangs’ defensive effort in last week’s 24-21 win against Garner was impressive.

Brant Grisel has thrown for 3,104 yards this season and the Mustangs’ offense has become more and more pass oriented as the running back corps has been depleted. Wake Forest’s Bryce Love leads the ground assault with 1,911 rushing yards.

Matthews Butler (11-3) at Charlotte Mallard Creek (14-0)

Butler won state 4AA titles in 2009, ’10 and ’12, and Mallard Creek has been ranked No.1 in The Associated Press poll all season. Mallard Creek won the regular-season meeting 20-7 on Aug. 30.

Mallard Creek runner Jaylen Samuels is committed to N.C. State.


Greenville Rose (12-2) at Scotland (14-0)

Scotland had a difficult time with Knightdale, but scored in the final minute to take a 24-17 quarterfinal victory. Scots quarterback Jaylen Ratcliffe rushed for 133 yards in the win.

Rose avenged a 33-20 regular-season loss to Greenville Conley with a 46-43 second-round win. The Rampants beat Wilmington Hoggard 26-15 last week.

Rose defensive end Kentavius Street is rated among the top defensive linemen in the country.

Charlotte Catholic (12-2) at Greensboro Dudley (13-0)

Catholic is led by runner Elijah Hood, a North Carolina recruit who has rushed for 3,541 yards and scored 51 touchdowns.

Dudley’s defense is exceptional. The Panthers have held 11 opponents to 14 points or less. Linebacker Chris Register is committed to Clemson and defensive back Emanuel Moseley is headed to Tennessee.


Wilson Hunt (11-3) at Southern Durham (12-2)

Southern Durham quarterback Kendall Hinton has passed for 3,633 yards and 32 touchdowns this season. N.C. State receiver commit Maurice Trowell has 1,370 yards in receptions with 16 receiving TDs. Derrick Mason also has 1,093 yards and 11 scores in receptions.

Southern Durham has not played a nonconference opponent in the playoffs and was extended last week in 31-24 win against Orange.

Hunt knocked off Douglas Byrd 20-14 last week behind the 114-yard passing effort of sophomore Dexter Williamson. Dexter Wright has rushed for 1,300 yards this season.

Northern Guilford (12-2) at Shelby Crest (13-1)

Northern Guilford forfeited two games for using an ineligible player. Among its victories is a 33-32 win against Reidsville, a 2A semifinalist.

Crest averages 254.9 yards rushing, led by 98.1 yards per game by Trey Harbison. Northern Guilford’s C.J. Freeman averages 116.7.


Eastern Wayne (11-2) at Havelock (14-0)

Havelock has won 28 straight games and overpowered North Forsyth 48-2 in the quarterfinals. The Rams have held opponents to 10 points or less in 13 games this season.

Havelock is led by runner Derrell Scott (1,848 yards rushing), who is ranked among the top prospects in North Carolina.

Eastern Wayne nipped Eastern Alamance 12-7 last week.

Forestview (10-4) at Concord (14-0)

Concord junior Rocky Reid has rushed for 2,953 yards and scored 38 touchdowns. Forestview’s Logan Bradley passed for 237 yards in last week’s 42-20 win against Lenoir Hibriten.


Washington (12-2) at High Point Andrews (12-1)

High Point Andrews lost its opener to High Point Central 27-7, but has cruised since. Each win had been by at least 28 points before Jacksonville Northside fell last week 21-14. Washington has won 10 straight and pounded Currituck 46-6 last week.

Monroe Parkwood (8-6) at Monroe (12-2)

Monroe pounded Parkwood 46-7 on Oct. 25. Monroe wide receiver Jaylan Barbour is committed to Wake Forest.


Southwest Onslow (11-3) at Elizabeth City Northeastern (12-2)

Southwest Onslow has scored 10 points or more in 74 straight games. Southwest’s three losses came against Jacksonville, Jacksonville White Oak and Jacksonville Northside. Northeastern’s Quaymon Williams has passed for 3,510 yards and 37 touchdowns.

Shelby (10-4) at Reidsville (12-2)

Count on Reidsville scoring. It has not been shut out in 273 consecutive games, but struggled offensively last week in a 13-10 win against Lincolnton. Shelby’s R.J. George should wear No. 29 this week. He has rushed for 2,929 yards and scored 29 touchdowns.


Wallace-Rose Hill (12-2) at Warsaw Kenan (13-0)

Kenan beat Wallace-Rose Hill on Aug. 29, 19-18. Kenan runner Marcelias Sutton is committed to N.C. State. Wallace-Rose Hill stunned Tarboro 35-10 in the quarterfinals.

Swain (12-2) vs. West Montgomery (13-1)

Swain has two 1,000-yard rushers, Spencer McCoy and Blake Wright. Ray Smith has passed for 1,772 yards. West Montgomery rushes for 316 yards per game behind Suave Pegues (1,827) and Caleb Drake (1,450). Drake also has passed for 1,756 yards.


Plymouth (13-0) vs. Lejeune (13-1)

Plymouth has won 26 consecutive games. Chad Dance (1,164) and Demarkice Price (1,071) lead the Plymouth ground attack. Lejeune lost its opener to Swansboro.

Murphy (11-3) vs. Albemarle (11-3)

Veteran Murphy coach David Gentry’s club dropped its first two games and lost to 1AA semifinalist Swain. Albemarle was outscored 129-40 in its first two games. Since then, its only loss was to 1AA semifinalist West Montgomery.

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