Durham Hillside returns to The News & Observer high school football rankings this week for the first time since opening the season 1-4.
The Hornets have won five straight games, including a forfeit victory over East Chapel Hill last week.
Hillside allows only 10.6 points per game and has been outstanding on defense, even when it was losing early in the season.
The Hornets lost 12-0 to New Bern, which is ranked No. 2 in the state Associated Press poll; 16-13 to Southern Durham, No. 1 in The N&O and No. 1 in the 3A poll; 12-9 to Greensboro Dudley, which is No. 3 in the AP 4A poll; and 20-18 to Charlotte Country Day.
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Hillside will be the top seed in the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs from the PAC-6 4A Conference and wraps up its regular season at Person on Friday.