Northern (0-4) at Southern (3-0)
Regardless of the AP pollsters who've ranked Shelby Crest ahead of the Spartans, Southern looks like the best 3A team in the state right now. Heck, after beating Hillside and Scotland, Southern can lay claim to some 4A cred, too.
The Knights' top priority must be to slow down Southern QB Kendall Hinton. Northern has given up 28.5 points game, while the Knights' offense has three touchdowns in four games.
Last year: Southern, 39-27
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Apex (2-1) at Riverside (1-3)
People said all along that Riverside was too talented to keep losing, and the Pirates proved that with last week's win. The same has been true for Apex, which lost three games in 2013 by six points or less, including an OT game with Riverside.
The Cougars coughed up four turnovers in their only loss so far. Otherwise, they have developed a great offense – averaging 37 points a game – with quarterback Grayson Boyd.
Last year: Riverside, 37-31 (OT)
Jordan (0-4) at Holly Springs (2-1)
Holly Springs football coach Wayne Bragg seems to have solved his earlier problem of a lack of offensive linemen, and the Golden Hawks seem to be getting the gist of his pro-style system.
The Falcons have played a tough schedule so far. Their first four opponents have just four losses total among them. Jordan's big problem has been an inability to finish drives.
Last year: Holly Springs, 43-12
Hillside (1-3) at Charlotte Country Day (2-1)
Hillside had success the last time it left Durham to play a private school, but Charlotte Country Day is a far different program from Gray Collegiate in South Carolina. The Buccaneers have a stable program under veteran coach Bob Witman, and Country Day QB Cole Bloomer has a good football IQ.
But Hillside is just bigger, stronger and faster. And the Hornets have payback on their minds after last year's upset.
Last year: Country Day 25-21