Chapel Hill: Sports

Football Friday: A look at Week 1 games.

Riverside’s Dianté Strothers
Riverside’s Dianté Strothers Photo by Harry ynch -


Friday’s Games

Chapel Hill (4-8)

at Riverside (8-4)

After six lean years, Riverside got back on the winning track in 2013 and now appears ready to challenge for the PAC-6 championship. First-year coach Chris Howell has significant numbers back from last year’s 8-4 team, on both offense and defense. The Pirates are missing running back Joel Evans, who ran for more than 2,400 yards last year, but have quarterback Dianté Strothers starting for a third year.

Just about everyone in the Big Eight thinks Chapel Hill has way too many good players – like all-state offensive guard Logan Tisch – to finish again below .500. The Tigers’ biggest concern is settling down with a new quarterback, either senior transfer Connor Stough or veteran backup Jake Guskiewicz.

Northwood (8-4) at

East Chapel Hill (3-8)

Northwood’s Ti Pinnix is regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in North Carolina, and he helps make the Chargers a scoring machine (38.5 ppg last year). With almost no lettermen back from 2013, East will have trouble stopping one the Triangle’s top offenses. Sophomore quarterback Brater Gerber will be learning on the job, trying to help East recover from the transfers of Stough and top receiver Arkavious Parks to Chapel Hill.

Orange (12-2) at

Roxboro Person (3-8)

Orange is experienced, deep and talented, returning most of its starters from last year’s 3AA East Region finalists. Person graduated 24 seniors off last year’s 40-man team. Worse, the Rockets need a replacement for all-purpose back Trevon Tapp, who accounted for more than 2,000 yards and more than half of Person’s touchdowns last year, but who then transferred to Northern Durham.

Cedar Ridge (2-9)

at Carrboro (3-8)

Both teams are starting out with new head coaches: Melvin Griffin at Carrboro and Chris Casey at Cedar Ridge. The Red Wolves will rely heavily on experienced quarterback Peyton Pappas (10-9-196 for 1,445 yards last year) and linebacker Ben Rice (145 tackles).


“We have got to change the culture of how we play the game. We’ve got to change the culture of how we officiate the game. ... It’s no more head hunting. There’s too much head trauma, too much national attention on this.

“Coaches, tell your players this: Do not use your head to make contact and do not make contact with the opponents head. That’s all you’ve got to do.”

Mark Dreibelbis

NCHSAA Assoc. Commissioner,

On reducing

‘targeting’ in 2014

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