There is a little bit more excitement this year when neighboring Chapel Hill High and Carrboro High meet in Friday’s nonconference football game.
Both teams are undefeated and are anticipating outstanding seasons. Chapel Hill is No. 7 in The News & Observer rankings while Carrboro is No. 15.
Carrboro, a 2A school, beat 3A Chapel Hill last year 29-28 and has won four of the past five games between the two.
Carrboro’s Trai Sharp leads all area rushers with 260.5 yards per game. Chapel Hill’s Connor Stough passes for 164 yards per game.
No. 2 Wake Forest at Cary, 7
The Imps (0-2) run the double-wing, and Wake Forest runs the Wing-T. Both have big bodies, but only Wake Forest has multiple Division I recruits on both sides of the ball, including runner Bryce Love (105 yards per game).
No. 3 Millbrook at No. 12 East Wake, 7
Millbrook (2-0) has an outstanding defense, but is expected to be tested by the Warriors (1-1). East Wake’s Tripp Harrington averages 274 yards passing and Quincy Jackson leads area receivers with 153.5 yards per game. Millbrook’s Marcus Marshall runs for 154 yards per game and quarterback Reid Herring throws for 128.
Smithfield-Selma at No. 4 Middle Creek, 7
The 2-0 Mustangs are one of the area’s best teams and runner Elijah Perry averages 199.5 yards per game. Smithfield-Selma (1-1) knocked off Southern Wayne last week.
No. 5 Hillside at Gray Collegiate
The Hornets (0-2) lost to New Bern in the opener and to Southern Durham last week. Both are ranked among the state’s best teams. Gray (0-1) is a charter school in West Columbia, S.C., and is fielding its first varsity football team. The War Eagles lost their opening game 21-6 at Great Falls.
No. 6 Garner at Broughton, 7
Garner (1-1) relies on Nyheim Hines (175 yards) in the running game. Broughton (1-1) beat Cary in its opener, but dropped a last-minute decision to Athens Drive last week. Caps QB Owen Wilkerson averages 175 passing yards.
Riverside at No. 7 Orange, 7
With wins in hand against Person and Northern Durham, Orange (2-0) is looking to go 3-0 against PAC-6 teams this season. Riverside (0-2) has lost to Chapel Hill and Fuquay-Varina.
No. 8 Lee County at Athens Drive, 7
Five of the past six games in the series have been decided by eight points or less, including last year’s 28-26 win by Athens. The Yellow Jackets are 2-0. Athens QB Otumus Payemanu averages 112 yards rushing and 149 passing.
Jordan-Matthews at No. 10 Northwood, 7
Northwood (2-0) has lots of offensive weapons, but turned to backup quarterback Jacob Fowler to toss the game-winning pass in last week’s 14-8 victory over Southern Lee. Rival Jordan-Matthews (1-1) beat Chatham Central 49-0 last week.
West Johnston at No. 11 Cleveland
Cleveland (1-1) has the offensive tools to test most defenses. Quarterback Aaron Farmer passes for 206.5 yards per game and adds 104 yards rushing. West Johnston QB Cameron Williams passes for 136 and runs for 88.
No. 13 Southeast Raleigh at Enloe, 7
Southeast Raleigh (1-1) split with far afield foes Fayetteville Britt and Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Socastee and now faces nearby Enloe (1-0). Anthony McEachin ran for 191 yards in Enloe’s opening victory against Durham Jordan.
Sanderson at No. 14 Apex, 7
Apex (2-0) leads the area in scoring with 45.0 points per game behind the running of Isaiah Totten (188.5 yards per game) and passing of Grayson Boyd (144 yards per game). Sanderson’s defense is allowing 7.0, despite an 0-2 record.
South Johnston at Clayton, 7
South Johnston (0-2) faces the Comets’ versatile Eric Hoy, who averages 210.5 yards rushing and 180 passing. He is the area’s leader in passing efficiency with five touchdowns and one interception.
Jordan at Green Hope, 7
Coach Kwame Dixon has had Green Hope on an upward trajectory since he arrived, and last year he guided his team to the state playoffs for the first time since 2005. Green Hope QB Luke Massei averages 246 yards passing and Bryce Dixon averages 84.5 yards receiving per game.
Panther Creek at Rolesville, 7
The 0-1 Catamounts will get the honor of being Rolesville’s first visiting opponent. Rolesville (0-2), in its first year of varsity football, has been on the road for the season’s first two weeks.
St. David’s at Cary Christian, 7
The Knights will get their first home game of the year against the rival Warriors. St. David’s Reef Ivey rushed for 121 yards in a loss last week.
Cardinal Gibbons at Ravenscroft
The Crusaders and Ravenscroft are in different associations now, but this classic battle between private schools in Raleigh is dripping with history. Gibbons’ Wesley Wagner averages 255 yards passing.
High Point Christian at Wake Christian
The 1-1 Bulldogs welcome the Cougars out of High Point.
Wakefield at Northern Durham, 7
Northern Durham hasn’t scored this season and managed 22 yards of total offense in last week’s loss to Orange. Wakefield gave up 39 points in last week’s loss to Holly Springs, so this might be a good chance for Northern Durham finally to get its ground game in gear.
East Chapel Hill at Cedar Ridge, 7
East Chapel Hill (0-2) showed signs of spirit in last week’s 45-12 loss to Carrboro. Cedar Ridge’s Peyton Pappas throws for 227 yards per game.
Harnett Central at Triton, 7
Harnett Central (0-2) made a couple of comebacks in an eventual 32-21 loss to rival Western Harnett. Triton (0-2) has allowed 73 points in its first two losses.
Knightdale at Heritage, 7
Heritage is allowing 3.5 points per game.
North Edgecombe at Princeton
Anyone expecting a Johnny Frasier show from Princeton has been disappointed. The Tigers have used a diversified offense in two opening wins. Frazier, a Florida State recruit, is averaging 111.5 yards per game.
North Johnston at Corinth Holders
Corinth Holders (0-2) is expected to challenge for the Two Rivers 3A title. North Johnston (0-2) is trying to find some traction.