Southern Durham (2-0) at Scotland County (3-0)
This game was moved to Thursday night to avoid possible bad weather.
Ranked No. 3 among the state’s 4A teams, Scotland is coming off a 51-13 win against Marlboro (S.C.) County, while 3A No. 2 Southern had a week off after its triumph against arch-rival Hillside.
The Scots seem to have recovered from the absence of quarterback Jaylend Ratliffe, who led them to the NCHSAA 4A state title game in 2013 and then suffered a fractured skull in an ATV accident in late July. Junior Ferguson Dashaun has taken over as QB for Scotland’s run-oriented offense, which is paced by Quadrin Williams (119 ypg) in rushing.
Linebackers Tyquan Ingram (10.5 tackles per game) and Tyrek Smith (9.5) lead the defense for Scotland, which has held three opponents to 7.7 points a game.
Last Year: Scotland, 53-31
Friday: Greensboro Dudley (3-0) at Hillside (1-2)
Despite graduating several top players, Dudley hasn’t missed a step since winning the 4A state championship last year. (In the “It’s a small world” category, Dudley defeated Southern’s opponent, Scotland County, in the 2013 final, 24-7.)
If anything, the Panthers may be better than last year. With freshman phenom Hendon Hooker at QB, they’ve outscored their first three opponents 110-7 and enter this week at No. 4 in the AP’s state rankings.
Hillside finally got off the snide last week with a 48-7 win on a road trip to South Carolina. Remarkably, the Hornets have the only win so far this season among all PAC-6 schools, all of which except Hillside are 0-3.
Last Year: Dudley 24-7
Friday: Riverside (0-3) at Cedar Ridge (2-1)
The Red Wolves have started out surprisingly strong under first-year coach Clay Jones, who has quickly converted a program in disarray into a winner. One big reason has been the presence of mind of quarterback Peyton Pappas, who repeatedly has turned broken plays into gains.
The Pirates’ offense, led by veteran quarterback Diante Strothers, has been okay, but the defense has given up 41 points a game so far.
Last Year: Riverside, 38-31
Friday: Panther Creek (1-1) at Jordan (0-3)
With former UNC and NFL player Sean Crocker as their coach, Panther Creek’s Catamounts went from 1-10 in 2012 to 9-3 last season but graduated most of that team’s leaders. They have yet to settle on a starting lineup. Last week, three different Panther Creek quarterbacks – Dom Samson, Brenden Magner and Jordan Cain – threw touchdown passes to four different wide receivers in a 41-16 win at Rolesville.
Panther Creek had last week off, giving it extra time to get ready for this game
Last Year: Panther Creek, 24-0
Friday: Northern (0-3) at Raleigh Millbrook (2-1)
Another week, another non-conference rivalry game for the Knights. Millbrook, 12-3 last year, is the fourth straight Northern opponent that went at least two rounds into the 2013 state playoffs.
Millbrook senior RB Marcus Marshall has lethal speed. OLB James Smith-Williams leads a tough defense that will test a Northern offense that’s been shut out in two of its three losses.
Last Year: Millbrook, 41-2
Compiled by W.E. Warnock