Friday’s Area Games
4AA Playoffs: Wakefield (7-5) at Garner (11-1), 7:30
Wakefield has been an up-and-down team all season. The Wolverines have never won more than two straight but haven’t lost more than two straight except for once. Defensive struggles have been Wakefield’s issue at times this season. They’ve allowed each opponent 28 or more points since Oct. 3.
One thing you have to be sure the Wolverines have worked on a lot this week is punts. Garner blocked three of those last week and has one of the best returners in the area in Nyheim Hines.
Defensively, Garner needs to play to its strengths: a solid pass rush and creating turnovers. Turnovers have been a problem for the Wolverines in the passing game this season.
The Trojans move on by doing the things they typically do well: riding the running of Hines and big plays in the passing game.
Team Leaders: GAR — Rushing: Nyheim Hines 2,155 yards, 36 TDs, Dwayne Holloway 318 yards, 3 TDs; Passing: Brodie West 1,255 yards, 76-of-139; Nyheim Hines 125 yards, 2-of-6; Receiving: Christian Anumihe 300 yards, 5 TDs; Raekwon Britton 297 yards, 4 TDs; Nyheim Hines 250 yards, 3 TDs; Jarvin Holder 222 yards, 1 TD. WAK — Rushing: Kelton Whitehead 684 yards, 5.7 YPC, 7 TDs; Jeremy Massenberg 298 yards, 7.3 YPC, 1 TD; Passing: Matt McKay 1,988 yards, 140-of-324, 17 TDs, 22 INTs; Receiving: Marius Cooper 769 yards, 54 receptions, 6 TDs; Dontel Dunston 596 yards, 29 receptions, 6 TDs; Jeremy Massenberg 211 yards, 8 receptions, 1 TD.
Up Next: The winner meets Green Hope (10-2) or Panther Creek (10-2).
3AA Playoffs: Cleveland (10-2) at Southern Durham (12-0), 7:30
Southern has one of the best defenses in the area allowing just 10.2 points a game, so Cleveland’s high-powered offense (48.7 PPG) led by Aaron Farmer and Corey Brown will provide a big test for the Spartans. Southern has won 25 straight games and a lot of them tight, like the win at Scotland County and a road win at Orange to clinch the Big Eight 3A Conference championship.
Defensively, for Cleveland, it all starts with matching up against standout Southern quarterback Kendall Hinton. Hinton has signed with Wake Forest and has a group of solid receivers. The Spartan roster includes five receivers, all with more than 400 yards receiving and 20 catches on the season.
The Rams will need to control the flow of the game with their offense, relying on the running of Corey Brown and quarterback Aaron Farmer. Even as good as Southern’s defense is, you have to like Cleveland’s chances better the more the Rams possess the ball on offense.
Team Leaders: CLE — Rushing: Corey Brown 1,604 yards, 21 TDs; Aaron Farmer 1,044 yards, 20 TDs; Passing: Aaron Farmer 2,855 yards, 162-of-251, 27 TDs, 15 INTs; Receiving: Greg Tyler 705 yards, 10 TDs; Patrick Jesequel 555 yards, 5 TDs; Caiden Norman 539 yards, 6 TDs. SDU — Rushing: Jordon Brown 814 yards, 12.3 YPC, 14 TDs; Kendall Hinton 760 yards, 9.7 YPC, 12 TDs; Passing: Kendall Hinton 2,539 yards, 167-of-272, 21 TDs, 1 INT; Receiving: Aaron Hirsch 546 yards, 38 receptions, 5 TDs; Jason Henderson 471 yards, 34 receptions, 2 TDs; Jordon Brown 457 yards, 30 receptions, 8 TDs; William Cameron 439 yards, 23 receptions, 4 TDs; Jordan Mackins 405 yards, 28 receptions, 2 TDs.
Up Next: The winner meets Chapel Hill (9-3) or Fayetteville Terry Sanford (9-3).
3AA Playoffs: Hillsborough Orange (11-1) at Corinth Holders (9-3), 7:30
Orange makes its second straight trip to Johnston County for a second round 3AA playoff game. The Panthers beat Cleveland 59-50 on their previous visit to Johnston County.
Senior Grett Cloer directs the Orange offense. He’s a prototypical modern day quarterback at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds. Michael Bolden, Erik Brandon-Dean and Drew Lemaster lead the backfield and can catch the ball as well. Cloer had long TD passes to Bryse Wilson and Josh Kiehle in the 21-20 win over Lee County in the first round.
Orange is stout defensively as well, allowing just 13.6 points a game. The Panthers have won high scoring games (38-37 over Chapel Hill) and low-scoring ones (14-7 over Northwood as well).
The Pirates have won 9 of their last 10 after an 0-2 start and average 34.8 points a game.
Pass rush pressure and secondary play will be huge for both teams as either quarterback (Gloer or Corinth Holders’ Cole Sakowski) can take over a game.
Team Leaders: COR — Rushing: Howard Watson 1,448 yards, 8.4 YPC, 17 TDs; Passing: Cole Sakowski 2,098 yards, 130-of-226, 23 TDs, 4 INTs; Receiving: Dymon Walker 1,030 yards, 51 receptions, 10 TDs; Tony Kirkwood 551 yards, 35 receptions, 9 TDs. ORA — Not available.
Up Next: The winner meets Northern Guilford (11-1) or Wilson Fike (11-1).
1AA Playoffs: Camden County (9-3) at Princeton (11-1), 7:30
Camden County hasn’t lost since September, much like Princeton, and the Bruins’ losses were to three talented teams: Elizabeth City Northeastern, Plymouth and Currituck County. And like Princeton, they can put up the points (38.5 PPG). Defensively, they’ve only held two teams to less than 10 points this season.
Both teams have deep offensive attacks. The only glaring standout between the two teams is Johnny Frasier of Princeton, who is one of the top-rated running backs in the nation.
The team that gets more guys producing on Friday night wins here.
Team Leaders: PRI — Rushing: Johnny Frasier 2,006 yards, 11.9 YPC, 29 TDs; Adrian Whack 333 yards, 6 TDs; Passing: Michael Wooten 1,793 yards, 108-of-177, 21 TDs, 5 INTs; Receiving: C Jackson 506 yards, 25 receptions, 4 TDs; To Woodward 428 yards, 25 receptions, 4 TDs, Johnny Frasier 257 yards, 19 receptions, 3 TDs. CAM — Rushing: Jamar Cowell 1,266 yards, 7.0 YPC, 10 TDs, Marcus Joyner 812 yards, 6.3 YPC,15 TDs; Passing: Noah Tuttle 675 yards, 34-of-69, 8 TDs, 6 INTs; Brandon Underwood 482 yards, 28-of-48, 10 TDs, 2 INTs; Receiving: Ashton Korzeniowski 340 yards, 11 receptions, 6 TDs, Chris Alphin 293 yards, 20 receptions, 5 TDs, Jay Guill 246 yards, 11 receptions, 3 TDs.
Up Next: The winner meets Wallace-Rose Hill (11-1) or Rosewood (7-5).