Carrboro (2-1) at Northwood (3-0)
With blue-chip runner Trai Sharp back in the lineup, the Jaguars can score on anyone. They’ve scored 103 points total in three games. But they’re prone to giving up big plays, too, yielding 38 points to Cedar Ridge and 41 in last week’s home loss to Chapel Hill.
Even with quarterback Ti Pinnix missing last week’s game because of an injury, Northwood has one of best offenses around — certainly one of the most versatile. The Chargers have out-scored their first three opponents 116-15.
Last year: Northwood 41-19
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Riverside (0-3) at Cedar Ridge (2-1)
The Red Wolves have started out surprisingly strong under first-year coach Clay Jones, who has quickly converted a program in disarray into a winner. One big reason has been the presence of mind of quarterback Peyton Pappas, who repeatedly has turned broken plays into gains.
The Pirates’ offense, led by veteran quarterback Diante Strothers, has been okay so far, but the defense has given up 41 points a game.
Last Year: Riverside, 38-31
East Chapel Hill (0-3) at Southern Alamance (0-3)
Both teams have struggled in the early season against superior programs. East Chapel Hill’s first three opponents enter this week with a combined record of 7-2. The Patriots first opponents (8-1) have been even tougher.
Southern is suffering a “crisis of confidence,” says coach Andrew Carrouth. But the Patriots still can sting opponents with a good passing attack. Sophomore quarterback Tanner Wilson completed 15 of 30 passes for 271 yards last week, with touchdown passes of 62, 37 yards and 15 yards.
Last year: Southern Alamance 45-28
Orange (3-0) at Graham (0-3)
Orange High coach Pat Moser professes not to care too much, but this is a potentially emotional game. Moser led Graham to two appearances in the NCHSAA 1A state finals, and he produced a state championship for the Red Devils in 2000 after a runner-up finish in 1999.
Orange shut out Graham last year in the first meeting of the two old rivals since Moser arrived in Hillsborough in 2009.
So far this season, Orange quarterback Garrett Cloer has the Panther offense clicking. Last week’s return of RB Tay Jones to the lineup just makes the Panthers even tougher. That’s bad news for Red Devil fans. Graham has struggled on defense. It gave up 455 yards of total offense last week to (3-0) Western Alamance in a 55-13 road loss.
Last year: Orange 35-0.
Chapel Hill (3-0) …
… is off Friday night. The Tigers (3-0) next play Sept. 19, when they host East Chapel Hill.