Cleveland wrapped up an unbeaten season in the Two Rivers 3A Conference with a 35-16 victory over Western Harnett Friday night.
The Rams finished the season 8-3 overall and 5-0 in the conference. Isaac Martin, a Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas selection, ran for three first-half touchdowns for Cleveland in the win. Triton takes the No. 2 seed and Corinth Holders - by virtue of its win over Western Harnett - is the No. 3.
The outright league title is the first in Cleveland’s short history despite its solid playoff record in its first three seasons of varsity football. The Rams will host a 3AA playoff game next week.
West Johnston finishes with a victory: West Johnston roared out to a big lead and coasted to a 41-20 victory over Harnett Central Friday night.
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The Wildcats (4-7 overall, 2-4 conference) built a 41-0 lead before Central put up 20 points in the final quarter of play. West finsihed a game out of a three-way tie for third in the conference.
Wake Christian falls: Wake Christian bowed out of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II playoffs with a 48-27 loss to Harrells Christian Academy Friday night. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 6-6 record and had their three-game win streak halted.
Greater Neuse playoff seeds decided: Southeast Raleigh clinched the No. 3 seed and the last automatic playoff bid from the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference with its 35-31 victory over Clayton. The Bulldogs finished in a tie at 3-3 in the league with East Wake and Clayton but get the No. 3 seed by virtue of its sweep of that duo.
Clayton will still go into the playoffs as at at large team because if its 7-4 record this season. East Wake finished the season 4-7, going 2-4 down the stretch after its upset of Garner in late September.
Garner, meanwhile, finished second in the conference outright. The Trojans will carry an 8-3 record into the 4AA playoffs and enter the playoffs as the Greater Neuse River’s No. 2 seed.
Knightdale went unbeaten in the GNRC finishing up its conference season with a 30-21 win over rival East Wake.
SSS upset keeps Two Rivers 3A seeding simple: Smithfield-Selma halted its 40-game losing streak with a 22-21 victory over South Johnston Friday night. The Spartans’ skid was a longest active streak in the state.
In addition to giving the Spartans a good note to go out on, the win - and Triton’s 41-14 win over Corinth Holders - prevented a three-way tie for third in the conference.
Corinth Holders was the league’s No. 3 qualifier even though it tied at 2-3 in the league with Western Harnett. The Pirates (7-4 overall) get the final automatic playoff bid by virtue of its win over the Eagles earlier this season.
South Johnston technically was last in the league since it loses any tiebreaker to SSS because of Smithfield-Selma’s head-to-head win. Both teams went 1-4 in the league.