Games among area ranked teams. Kickoffs are at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.
No. 13 Cardinal Gibbons at No. 1 Southern Durham
Cardinal Gibbons quarterback Anton Stoneking – the team’s third QB this year – has played well since starter Logan Washle was injured at Cedar Ridge. The Crusaders (5-1, 2-0 Big Eight 3A) have an excellent passing attack, but they will be facing the league’s best pass rush and quickest defensive backs.
Top-ranked Southern Durham (6-0, 2-0) has been unstoppable behind QB Kendall Hinton (1,514 yards and 14 touchdowns passing). The Spartans, who have won 19 straight games, average 37.7 points per game.
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Wakefield at No. 2 Wake Forest
Wake Forest (6-0, 2-0 Cap Eight 4A) is averaging 42 points and allowing 12.3. The Cougars’ run defense is stifling and they run for 320 yards per game. Wakefield (4-2, 2-0) has scored 27 or more points in each of its past four games.
No. 10 Panther Creek at No. 3 Middle Creek
Middle Creek (6-0, 2-0) is coming off a 44-7 rocking of Green Hope, which was expected to challenge the Mustangs in the Southwest Wake 4A. If Middle Creek can solve the riddle of Panther Creek’s stellar defense – the Catamounts (5-1, 2-0) are allowing 10 points per game – the next four games don’t look like too much of a challenge.
Clayton at No. 4 Garner
Garner (5-1, 2-0 Greater Neuse 4A) is led by Nyheim Hines, who leads the area with 1,135 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. The Trojans also lead the area in scoring with 44.3 points per game. Clayton (4-2, 1-1) can score, too, behind the play of quarterback Eric Hoy (1,002 yards passing and 697 yards rushing.)
No. 5 Orange at Cedar Ridge
Orange (6-0, 2-0) allows just 10 points a game and has a winning margin of 25.8 points. Crosstown rival Cedar Ridge (2-4, 0-2) has been competitive with most teams.
No. 6 Lee County at Cameron Union Pines, 7:30 p.m.
Lee (7-0, 4-0 Cape Fear Valley 3A) is stingy on defense, allowing 7.3 points per game, including two scores that did not come against the defense. Union Pines (5-2, 1-1) already has more wins than it did in any of the previous six seasons.
Smithfield-Selma at No. 7 Cleveland, 7:30 p.m.
Cleveland (5-1) opens Two Rivers 3A play against rival SSS (1-5). Cleveland averages 44.2 points. Wide receiver Greg Tyler (20 catches, 322 yards) is a Shrine Bowl selection. The Rams have allowed seven points in their past two games.
No. 8 Northwood at Oxford Webb
J.F. Webb (2-4, 0-2) has played good defense – holding Cardinal Gibbons to negative rushing yards last week – but has struggled on offense. Northwood (5-1, 1-1) has the best scoring defense (8.2 ppg) in the strong Big Eight Conference.
No. 9 Heritage at Enloe
Heritage (5-1, 2-0 Cap Eight) has held five opponents to 13 or fewer points. The only slip-up came in a 34-29 loss to East Wake. Enloe (2-4, 0-2) has moved the ball against each opponent.
No. 11 Chapel Hill at Northern Vance
Northern Vance (1-5, 0-2) has improved under coach Eric Watkins, but it has been through a meat grinder during the past two weeks with lopsided losses to No. 1 Southern Durham and No. 5 Orange. Chapel Hill (5-1, 1-1) is trying to rebound from last week’s loss to Southern Durham.
Broughton at No. 12 Millbrook
Millbrook (4-2, 1-1 Cap Eight) will try to bounce back from last week’s loss to Wake Forest. Millbrook’s Marcus Marshall has rushed for 721 yards and quarterback Reid Herring has thrown for 900. Broughton (1-5, 0-2) is led by Owen Wilkinson’s 1,023 passing yards.
No. 14 Corinth Holders at Western Harnett, 7:30 p.m.
Corinth Holders (4-2) opens Two Rivers 3A play against Western Harnett (3-3). Corinth Holders QB Cole Sakowski has 1,113 passing yards. The Pirates shut out previously unbeaten Franklinton last week 38-0.
No. 15 Princeton at Hobbton, 7:30 p.m.
Princeton (5-1, 0-1 Carolina 1A) had a week to nurse its wounds after losing to Warsaw Kenan 26-23 two weeks ago. Princeton runner Johnny Frasier, a Shrine Bowl pick, has 895 yards. Hobbton is 1-5, 1-1.
Other area games
Apex at Athens Drive
Apex (4-2, 1-1) and Athens Drive (2-5, 1-2) got big wins last week. Apex has scored at least 44 points in all four of its wins and Isaiah Totten is the conference’s first 1,000-yard rusher this year.
Carrboro at Bartlett Yancey, 7:30 p.m.
Carrboro (2-4) is looking to get out of a four-game skid. Bartlett Yancey (0-6) has lost 14 straight.
Holly Springs at Cary
Cary’s lone touchdown last week was on an interception return, which means it has been four straight games since the Imps (0-6, 0-2) have scored an offensive touchdown. Holly Springs (3-3, 0-2) has also had offensive troubles in recent weeks, having scored 13 or fewer points in the past two games.
Green Hope at Fuquay-Varina
Green Hope (5-2, 2-1) and Fuquay-Varina (3-3, 1-1) are two teams that must regroup quickly after disappointing losses last week. Green Hope’s Luke Massei has thrown for 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns.
Hillside at Jordan
Hillside (2-4, 0-0) has been taking small steps toward recovery. After a 1-4 start against a series of conference and state champions, the Hornets looked like themselves in a 47-0 beatdown of Nash Central. Jordan (0-6, 0-0) has lost 15 straight games and has been outscored 226-56 in its first six games.
Harnett Central at Knightdale
Harnett Central (2-4, 1-1) owns a Greater Neuse 4A victory against Clayton and would stay in playoff contention with a win. A win could get Knightdale (2-4, 0-2) started on a late-season streak.
East Chapel Hill at Riverside
Riverside (1-5) has lost two straight. East Chapel Hill hasn’t won this season in six games.
Northern Durham at Person
Northern Durham (0-6, 0-0) has played one of the state’s most difficult schedules, but might be a playoff team despite its nonconference record. Person (1-5, 0-0) has played without injured all-PAC-6 running back Taymon Smith (shoulder), who might be back.
Wake Christian at Ravenscroft, 7:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs (5-2, 1-0) are averaging 60 points over their past two games. This is the league opener for Ravenscroft (3-4).
Triton at South Johnston, 7:30 p.m.
Both teams are better than their records. South Johnston (1-5, 0-0) gave powerful Wilson Fike fits in last week’s 41-35 loss. Triton (0-6) played tough in a 21-7 loss to Rocky Mount.
Bunn at Southern Vance, 7:30 p.m.
Bunn (4-2) is one of the teams to beat in the Northern Carolina 2A. The Wildcats will open league play against Southern Vance (0-5).
Lawrence Academy at Cary Christian
Cary Christian (1-5, 1-5) will host Lawrence Academy (1-5, 1-5) out of Merry Hill in a game that will have NCISAA 8-man playoff implications.
St. David’s at Wilson Community Christian
Melvin Briggs (838 rushing yards) leads St. David’s (3-3) into winless upstart program Community Christian (0-6).
Ayden-Grifton at Greene Central
Bertie at First Flight
C.B. Aycock at Greenville Rose
Columbia at Manteo
Creswell at Plymouth
Dixon at Croatan
E.E. Smith at Fayetteville Britt
East Bladen at Pender
East Carteret at Pamlico
East Duplin at Jacksonville Northside
Fike at Southern Nash
Gates County at Camden County
Goldsboro at South Lenoir
Graham at Burlington Cummings
Gray’s Creek at Westover
Harrells Christian at N. Raleigh Christian
Havelock at Swansboro
Hertford County at Pasquotank County
Hobgood Academy at Halifax Academy
Holmes at Northeastern
James Kenan at North Duplin
Jones Senior at Lejeune
KIPP Pride at Northwest Halifax
Lakewood at Rosewood
Laney at Topsail
Lawrence Academy at Cary Christian
Lumberton at Pinecrest
Midway at Clinton
New Bern at South Central
North Brunswick at Southwest Onslow
North Edgecombe at Rocky Mount Prep
North Johnston at Beddingfield
North Lenoir at Kinston
North Pitt at SouthWest Edgecombe
Northampton County at Riverside-Martin
Northeast Academy at Southampton (Va.)
Northern Nash at Hunt
Pine Forest at South View
Reidsville at Jordan-Mathews
Rocky Mount at Nash Central
Rocky Mount Academy at Kinston Parrott
Purnell Swett at Scotland County
Seventy-First at Cape Fear
South Granville at Franklinton
Southeast Halifax at Louisburg
Southern Wayne at Greenville Conley
St. Pauls at West Columbus
Tarboro at South Creek
Terry Sanford at Douglas Byrd
Union at Wallace-Rose Hill
Warren County at Roanoke Rapids
Washington at Farmville Central
Weldon at Granville Central
West Craven at White Oak
Whiteville at Red Springs
Wilmington Ashley at New Hanover