Thursday’s football games
Leesville Road at Apex
Leesville Road (1-0) has won the last six in this series (after Apex went on its own six-year run) that has been a traditional Labor Day match-up through the years. Apex lost 40-6 last year but has been looking forward to this game since the end of last year. The Cougars (1-0) could make a big statement with a win.
Head-to-head: Leesville leads 7-6 since 1999.
Athens Drive at Broughton
Athens Drive (0-1) won 22-21 last year, which has become a theme between the two Raleigh schools. The last three meetings have come down to the final minute in a one-possession game. Broughton (1-0) was impressive in last week’s 41-14 win against Cary.
Head-to-head: Broughton leads 6-3 since 1999.
Friday’s football games
Cary at Cardinal Gibbons
Cary (0-1) ran all over Gibbons (0-1) last year, winning 47-26. But both teams went in different directions after that. Cary lost seven of nine to close out the year, while Gibbons won eight of its last 11.
Head-to-head: Cary leads all-time series 2-1.
Riverside at Fuquay-Varina
Fuquay-Varina (1-0) performed admirably at Millbrook last week, but was doomed by big plays. Riverside, out of Durham, is coming off a big 45-21 loss to Chapel Hill. The Pirates have a new coach and graduated many of last year’s players who helped win close games.
Head-to-head: Riverside won 22-20 last year.
Green Hope at Sanderson
Green Hope held off Sanderson (0-1) last year by a 20-16 score. Sanderson’s defense is to be respected after coming off a 13-7 loss to Knightdale last week in which it did not allow a single offensive point. Knightdale needed two defensive touchdowns to win. The Falcons (1-0) last won their first two games of the season in 2004.
Head-to-head: Green Hope leads all-time series 3-0.
Holly Springs at Wakefield
The Wolverines have been on Holly Springs’ schedule for as long as the Golden Hawks (0-1) have been playing varsity football. Wakefield (0-0) did not play last week.
Head-to-head: Wakefield leads all-time series 6-1.
Middle Creek at E.E. Smith (7:30)
The only time a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference team used the mercy rule last year? It was when Middle Creek blasted Fayetteville’s E.E. Smith in week two. Smith turned it around later, going 6-6 on the year. Mustangs fans were denied a chance to see Smith’s show band last year, but will get to see the Magnificent Marching Machine this Friday. It is worth the price of admission.
Head-to-head: Middle Creek won 56-14 last year.
Cary Christian at Hobgood Academy (7:30)
The Knights open the season at Hobgood Academy, which is in Hobgood, N.C. Still don’t know where that is? It’s 20 minutes northeast of Tarboro, or 30 minutes east of Rocky Mount.
Head-to-head: Hobgood Academy won 48-18 last year.
Wake Christian at Hickory Grove (7:30)
Wake Christian (1-0) has good feelings about this year already. Imagine how good the Bulldogs will be feeling if they can greatly improve on last year’s showing against Hickory Grove Christian in Charlotte.
Head-to-head: Hickory Grove won 48-0 last year.
Week 1 player of the week
Elijah Perry, Middle Creek
The senior running back had a career day. On 21 carries, he ran for 227 yards and two touchdowns, lifting the Mustangs to a 28-21 win against rival Garner.