at Chapel Hill
This is likely to be the Big Eight Conference’s best game of the week. These two teams have rarely been so evenly matched.
Chapel Hill (6-2, 2-2) has not beaten Cardinal Gibbons (6-2, 3-1) in their five meetings since the Crusaders joined the Tigers’ conference, with Gibbons usually employing a passing offense, but CHHS has its best defense in years. The Tigers have yielded its opponents 128 points – 76 of those coming from AP No. 1 Southern Durham and No. 5 Orange – so Chapel Hill is giving up just 8.7 ppg to unranked teams.
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Last year: Cardinal Gibbons, 47-36
No. 1 Southern Durham
at Cedar Ridge
The best chance for Cedar Ridge (3-5, 1-3) would be for the top-ranked Spartans (8-0, 4-0) to still be celebrating last week’s big, 33-25 win at Northwood.
So far, no one has been able to stop Southern QB Kendall Hinton (129-214 passing for 1,938 yards,) and the Red Wolves have given up 32.8 ppg to Big Eight opponents. But Cedar Ridge had one of its best nights this year when it won 14-12 at Oxford Webb to snap a four-game skid.
Southern has won 21 straight games – 19 straight against conference opponents, going back to its days in the 4A PAC-6.
Last year: Southern, 68-10
Even after giving up a season-high amount of opponent points (33) in last week’s loss to No. 1 Southern, Northwood (6-2, 2-2 Big Eight) still has the Triangle’s fourth best scoring defense (10.2 ppg).
Northwood’s Ti Pinnix, one of the state’s top quarterbacks, will be looking to atone for throwing 4 interceptions against Southern.
Northern Vance (1-7, 0-4 Big Eight) broke the state’s longest losing streak earlier this season, but the Vikings are still struggling to score, averaging 6.3 points in four straight losses heading into Friday.
Last year: Northwood, 51-17
at Oxford Webb
Bad news for Webb: Orange (8-0, 4-0 Big Eight) got a big wakeup call in last win’s come-from-behind win against Chapel Hill, so the Panthers are unlikely to overlook the Warriors. Webb hasn’t beaten Orange since 2010.
Webb (2-6, 0-4 Big 8) has lost four straight but at least scored for the first time in four weeks when the Warriors lost 14-12 to Cedar Ridge.
Last year: Orange, 56-7
Roxboro Person at
East Chapel Hill
East Chapel Hill (0-8, 0-2 PAC) must overcome the emotional letdown of forfeiting last week’s game to Northern Durham. The Wildcats’ already thin lineup has been decimated by injuries, but if they can get together enough players – and put some points on the board – they have a chance against Roxboro Person (1-7, 0-2 PAC).
East has scored just 6 points in its last five games, not including the 1-0 forfeit, but Person has scored just 21 in two straight conference losses.
Last year: East Chapel Hill, 42-35
Carrboro (3-5, 1-1 Mid-State) needs to slow down the Jets’ considerable offense, which features twins Rahman (QB) and Rahim (WR) Mateen. Jordan-Matthews (1-7, 0-2 Mid-State) scores well (24.5 ppg) but has given up an average of 31.4 per game.
If Carrboro RB Trai Sharp (118.6 ypg) is full-speed, this could turn into a shootout on the scoreboard.
Last year: Jordan Matthews, 28-7