Panther Creek and Middle Creek are at such opposite ends of Cary, sometimes it’s easy to forget they’re in the same town. The two schools have forged a “Battle of the Creeks” rivalry in football over the years.
The two have had a lot of recent success on the gridiron. The last time neither won at least a share of the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference title was 2008.
Hawks go for 2, get win
Holly Springs coach Robert Furth wanted no part of Green Hope in overtime, so that’s why he went for the two-point conversion and the win with less than a minute left in Friday’s 22-21 victory.
Conventional wisdom says to only go for two and the win on the road, but Furth saw it differently.
“I didn’t know if we had enough gas left in the tank if we had to go to overtime,” Furth said. “It was now or never, and the kids just responded. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Co-coach debut spoiled
Athens Drive’s interim co-head coaches Jimmy Ray and Chris Martin (no relation to the former head coach of the same name) lost their debut on Friday. The Jaguars did two notable things during the short week – first, switch the defense to a 4-3, second, print T-shirts with “Reset, Reload, Get It Done” printed on them.
It’s the mindset the 0-4 Jags want to take the rest of the year.
“I recognize that, ‘Hey, it may not turn around overnight,’” Ray said. “It’s going to be a process. … They’ll grow from this situation. We’re resetting the season, we’re going to reload, and we’re going to work to get it done.”
Week 3 Player of the Week
Dominique Shoffner, Middle Creek: In a 38-14 win against Garner, he ran eight times for 74 yards and two touchdowns and completed 19 of 31 passes for 287 yards and two TDs.
Week 4 Player of the Week
Colten Smith, Fuquay-Varina: Rushed for 221 yards and three touchdowns.
Friday Night Heroes
Dalen Spruil, Cardinal Gibbons: Ran 24 times for 149 yards and a score, caught two passes for 27 yards and another TD.
Josh Arrington, Fuquay-Varina: Had 115 yards rushing and two TDs.
Chris McKoy, Holly Springs: Finished the game with 185 rushing yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns. “We’ve got to keep our offense rolling and just do what we know we can do,” McKoy said.
Xzavier McNeil, Athens Drive: The junior receiver had seven catches for 172 yards and a touchdown.
Offensive line, Middle Creek: Pushed West Johnston wherever they wanted the Wildcats to go.
Shoffner, Middle Creek: Completed 8 of 15 passes for 133 yards and four TDs.
Eric Zimmerman, Green Hope: Linebacker had two interceptions.
Play of the week
Holly Springs’ Chris McKoy scored on a 1-yard TD run with 44 seconds left, and then Davis Ferguson completed the two-point conversion pass to Bryce Wheaton to propel the Golden Hawks to a 22-21 win.
They said it
Fuquay-Varina coach Jeb Hall: “Our kids are tough and they showed it tonight ... We just refused to give in. We’ve played some really good teams – these (Cleveland) guys are well-coached and their offense is phenomenal.”
Apex coach Robert Graham: “We’re going to start a run ... We’re going to try to win conference, and that was one of the first ones we were going to get. We’re trying to do something big this year and win the conference.”
Cardinal Gibbons coach Steven Wright: “(Broughton) ran the ball so wel it concerned me. ... Because of those turnovers in the second half we were able to pull away.”
▪ The SWAC isn’t done with nonconference yet, but so far it has a strong 15-11 record. Panther Creek still has to play powerhouse Scotland County and Athens Drive has a game scheduled with tiny private school Word of God.
▪ Fuquay-Varina has 340.8 yards rushing per game. The next closest team is in the SWAC is Green Hope (154.8). Colten Smith (409 yards) leads the league.
▪ Panther Creek’s Dom Samson leads the league in passing yards (989) and touchdowns (13).
▪ Cardinal Gibbons will play former Big 8 foe Cedar Ridge on Friday as its final nonconference game.
7 p.m. starts
Middle Creek (4-0) at Panther Creek (3-1, 1-0): The News & Observer’s No. 2 team visits No. 7.
Cary (1-3, 0-1) at Apex (2-2, 1-0): The oldest rivalry in Wake County looks up-for-grabs this year.
Athens Drive (0-4, 0-1) at Fuquay-Varina (4-0): The Bengals are the heavy favorites.
Sanderson (2-2) at Green Hope (2-2, 0-1): The final nonconference test for Green Hope.
Holly Springs (2-2, 1-0) at Jordan (0-4): Golden Hawks should move to 3-2 after this one.
Other area games
Cardinal Gibbons (2-2) at Cedar Ridge (2-2), 7 p.m.; Cary Christian (1-2) at Southampton Academy Va. (2-0), 7 p.m.; Grace Christian Raleigh (0-4) at Northeast Academy (3-1), 7 p.m.; Wake Christian (3-1) at Hobbton (2-2), 7:30 p.m.
Dave Malenick, Mike Potter and Lee Montgomery contributed.
Week 4 scores
Apex 44, Athens Drive 20
Cardinal Gibbons 35, Broughton 13
Fuquay-Varina 36, Cleveland 29
Holly Springs 22, Green Hope 21
Lawrence Academy 57, Grace Christian Raleigh 24
Middle Creek 56, West Johnston 0
Panther Creek 20, Cary 3
Rocky Mount Academy 47, Cary Christian 14
Wake Christian 23, Spring Creek 0
T1. Panther Creek 3-1 (1-0)
T1. Apex 2-2 (1-0)
T1. Holly Springs 2-2 (1-0)
T4. Fuquay-Varina 4-0 (0-0)
T4. Middle Creek 4-0 (0-0)
T6. Green Hope 2-2 (0-1)
T6. Cary 1-3 (0-1)
T6. Athens Drive 0-4 (0-1)