7:30 kickoff unless noted.
No. 13 Heritage at No. 11 East Wake, 7 p.m.: Heritage (3-0) seems to have found its stride, posting shutouts of 39-0 over Rolesville and 38-0 over defending Greater Neuse River 4A champion Knightdale after starting the season with a 6-point triumph over Holly Springs. East Wake (2-1) gave area power Wake Forest a run for its money (27-18) in Week Two and overtook another top team in the local standings with its 7-6 edging of Millbrook on Friday.
Warriors quarterback Tripp Harrington (216 ypg), running back Damontay Rhem (107 ypg) and receiver Quincy Jackson (154 yards over two games) are area leaders. Heritage is led by quarterback Blake Walters (161 ypg).
Rolesville at No. 2 Wake Forest, 7 p.m.: Anything is possible, but Rolesville (0-3) shouldn’t get its hopes too high as it continues to search for the program’s first varsity football win. Wake Forest (3-0) is coming off a 48-0 annihilation of Cary and will be looking for one more chance to fine tune things before starting Cap Eight 4A play next week. Cougar runner Bryce Love averages 119.3 ypg.
Greensboro Dudley at No. 4 Hillside, 7 p.m.: Despite graduating several top players, Dudley (3-0) hasn’t missed a step since winning the 4A state championship last year. With freshman Hendon Hooker at quarterback, it has outscored its first three opponents 110-7 and entered the week at No. 4 in the AP’s state rankings. Hillside (1-2) got its first victory last week with a 48-7 road win.
No. 5 Garner at Cary, 7 p.m.: Garner has been able to both score in quick bunches and dominate opponents defensively for long stretches of the game. Garner’s Nyheim Hines leads the area in rushing and has scored nine touchdowns.
Cary coach Kurt Glendenning said playing Wake Forest and Garner in back-to-back weeks is akin to a college team facing Alabama and Florida State consecutively.
No. 6 Orange at Graham: Orange High coach Pat Moser professes not to care too much, but this is a potentially emotional game for him. Moser led Graham to two appearances in the NCHSAA 1A state finals, and he produced a state championship for the Red Devils in 2000 after a runner-up finish in 1999. Orange shut out Graham last year.
Western Harnett at No. 7 Lee County, 7 p.m.: Lee County (3-0) survived a test at Athens Drive last week. Western (1-2) beat rival Harnett Central two weeks ago.
Green Hope at No. 9 Cleveland: Green Hope’s (3-0) passing game is one of the most efficient in the state, so the Rams’ defense will get another test. Green Hope’s Luke Massei has thrown for 726 yards. Cleveland quarterback Aaron Farmer is one of the area’s most productive players. Cleveland (2-1) allows 49 points a game.
Carrboro at No. 10 Northwood: With blue-chip runner Trai Sharp back in the lineup, Carrboro (2-1) can score on anyone. It has scored 103 points total in three games. Northwood (3-0), even with quarterback Ti Pinnix missing last week’s game because of an injury, has out-scored its first three opponents 116-15.
Northern Durham at No. 12 Millbrook: Millbrook, 12-3 last year, is the fourth straight Northern opponent to go at least two rounds into the 2013 state playoffs. Millbrook (2-1) senior running back Marcus Marshall has lethal speed. Northern (0-3) scored it first two touchdowns of the season in last week’s 20-14 loss to Wakefield.
No. 15 Clayton at Smithfield-Selma: Smithfield-Selma (1-2) is no longer a team looking for singular wins but one ready to take that next step and get back to the days when wins weren’t a rarity. Clayton (2-1) gave up 204 yards rushing to South in the first half last week but held the Trojans to 47 second-half yards on the ground.
Other area games
Corinth Holders at Bunn: Bunn (2-1) is expected to be one of the better 2A teams in the area this season with a bevy of speedy running options. Four Wildcats have rushed for more than 150 yards this season, led by Thomas Jones. Corinth Holders (1-2) will look to take advantage of its passing game, led by veteran quarterback Cole Sakowski.
Riverside at Cedar Ridge: The Red Wolves (2-1) have started surprisingly strong under first-year coach Clay Jones. Quarterback Peyton Pappas repeatedly has turned broken plays into gains. Riverside’s (0-3) offense, led by veteran quarterback Diante Strothers, has been OK, but the defense is giving up 41 points a game.
Panther Creek at Jordan, 7: Panther Creek (1-1) went from 1-10 in 2012 to 9-3 last season but graduated most of that team’s leaders. Last week, three Panther Creek quarterbacks – Dom Samson, Brenden Magner and Jordan Cain – threw touchdown passes to four wide receivers in a 41-16 win at Rolesville. Jordan (0-3) has come close to winning.
Enloe at Knightdale, 7: Knightdale (1-2), under first-year coach Cedric Dargan, is trying to rebound from back-to-back losses and get back on track in the wake of the most successful season in school history in 2013. Enloe is 2-0, its best start since 2008. The Eagles’ Anthony McEachin has rushed for 292 yards and a touchdown in two games.
Ravenscroft at Charlotte Latin: Every time Ravenscroft plays a Charlotte team it is like a playoff game. The Ravens contends with the four Charlotte schools for the four N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association post-season berths.
Red Springs at South Johnston: South Johnston (0-3) might feel it let one slip away last week in a crushing, last-second defeat to county rival Clayton, but there are plenty of positives to take from the loss that show the Trojans trending upward. Red Springs (0-3) has allowed 144 points in three games this season.
Wake Christian at Spring Creek: Wake Christian (1-2) played in catch up mode all night last week against High Point Christian, but the Bulldogs were pretty good playing that way. Nathaniel Williams threw for two TDs and ran for another in a 44-26 loss. Spring Creek (1-1) is coming off of an open date.
Southeast Raleigh at Wakefield, 7: Last week’s 3-0 loss by Southeast to Enloe was an upset. The Bulldogs will be looking to bounce back in a big way. Quarterback Marius Cooper is Wakefield’s top offensive threat.
Compiled by D. Clay Best, Aaron Moody, J. Mike Blake and Michael Held