Southeast Raleigh (4-5, 3-2) at Garner (8-1, 5-0), 7 p.m.
What it means: Garner can clinch no worse than a share of the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference championship with a victory and the league’s No. 1 playoff seed with a victory. Southeast needs to pull the upset to keep its hopes of a top three finish (and a guaranteed playoff spot) alive, but the Bulldogs will need upsets to make that happen. First on that list is this one.
The skinny: Garner had the kind of game last week against Knightdale that Southeast needed it to have this week: off-kilter and just overall really odd. Southeast will have to find some more points — like it did last week against West — to have a chance at this one.
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West Johnston (6-3, 3-2) at Clayton (5-4, 2-3), 7 p.m.
What it means: West Johnston is right where it wanted to be at this point of the season: in control of its own playoff fate. Win out and the Wildcats are guaranteed no worse than a third place finish. Clayton, with meetings against West and Southeast remaining, can still turn the third place race in the conference into a real jumble.
The skinny: West is looking for its first win in the series since 2011. Clayton needs to find more answers on defense. And if there’s one quick fix for a struggling defense, it’s turnovers. The Comets need to find some of those Friday night on senior night.
Wake Christian (7-3, 2-1) at Concord Cannon School (4-5), 7 p.m.
What it means: Wake Christian finishes off its regular season with a non-conference battle. The Bulldogs look like a solid playoff bet after their win over NRCA last week.
The skinny: Cannon is on a two-game losing streak, having given up 100 points combined in those two losses.
Cleveland (7-2, 2-1) at South Johnston (4-5, 3-0), 7:30 p.m.
What it means: It could end up with chaos for the Two Rivers 3A Conference championship race or a really simple championship path for one team. Cleveland creates the near chaos with a win, setting up the possibility of a three-way tie for the conference title. South Johnston — the only unbeaten team left in the league — gets the most direct path to the championship with a victory.
The skinny: South seems to have put it all together, grown up and figured out how good it might be since the calendar flipped to conference play. The Trojans’ first-half slow starts seem to be a thing of the past and they’re still a strong, physical, quick football team. They’ll need to be all of that to take the title away from Cleveland. The Rams caught a rare case of the turnover bug in the second half against Corinth Holders. That can’t happen again against the Trojans, who beat Corinth Holders by almost 20 points when the Pirates had turnover issues against South.
Greater Neuse River 4A
Two Rivers 3A
Big East Independent
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