Northern Vance (1-3)
at No. 1 Southern (4-0)
Northern Vance won last week, breaking the state’s longest losing streak at 24. The celebration will be short-lived.
The Vikings’ biggest problem has been self-inflicted wounds, like turnovers, and that inability to hold onto the ball has led to their being outscored by a 2-to-1 ratio.
Southern will have to reign in its offense to hold down the score.
Last year: Southern, 62-6
at No. 4 Dudley (4-0)
Could the Knights possibly have constructed a tougher non-conference schedule? Northern is taking on a top 10 team for the second week in a row and for the third time in five weeks.
Unlike many of the offensive juggernauts Dudley has fielded in the past, this year’s team is led by possibly the best defense in the state, and that defense is led by 6-3, 230 pound linebacker Chris Register, a five-star recruit headed to Clemson. The Panthers have yielded just 16 points in four games (4.0 ppg).
Last year: Dudley, 46-7
at Riverside (1-4)
First-year head coach Scott Ridley already has his Rams running in top gear. Cleveland, ranked No. 9 last week in the News & Observer’s poll, is averaging averaging 43.2 points a game. The Rams scored on every possession in the first half of last week’s 49-0 victory against Southern Wayne.
Last year: Riverside, 63-49
at Jordan (0-5)
This one of just four road games this season for the Patriots, who come out of the tough-as-nails Southeastern Conference. It’s been almost two years since Pinecrest lost to any team not ranked in the state’s top 10.
Pinecrest quarterback Christian Ledbetter stands jut 5-9 but is lightning quick. He ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Patriots in last week’s 31-14 win over Southern lee.
Last year: Pinecrest, 55-7
Nash Central (0-5) at Hillside (1-4)
Hillside needs a win to break it slide. (The Bulldogs could use a break, too, but they’re not likely to get it Friday.)
Last year: Hillside 40-0