Friday’s Area Playoff Games
4AA: No. 15 Wilmington Laney (5-5)
at No. 2 Garner (10-1), 7:30
Laney hasn’t beaten a team with a winning record all season, so that’s a positive trend for Garner. The Buccaneers’ five wins have come against opponents with a combined 12-40 record. But those Laney losses didn’t exactly come against the Cape Fear Stenography School. The Bucs lost to a lot of teams you know as football powers: Clinton, Greenville Rose, New Bern, Hoggard and New Hanover.
Sophomore Imeek Watson leads the Bucs with 1,428 yards rushing and 24 rushing touchdowns.
Up Next: The winner meets either No. 10 Wakefield (6-5) or No. 7 Heritage (8-3).
4A: No. 11 West Johnston (8-3)
at No. 6 East Wake (9-2), 7:30
It’s the one thing many in Wake County have come to expect in the playoffs and dislike about the playoffs: conference rivals meeting in the first round. But if you’re drawing them up on paper, this is one conference rematch actually worth seeing.
East Wake won the first round (28-14 on Oct. 17) with three big play touchdowns (all covering 25 yards or more). West, which had just 181 yards of offense in the first meeting, will have to tackle well against the likes of bruising back Demontay Rhem and the rest of a physical Warrior squad.
Up Next: The winner meets either No. 14 Greenville Conley (8-3) or No. 3 Scotland County (10-1).
3AA: No. 9 Hope Mills Gray’s Creek (7-4)
at No. 8 Cleveland (9-2), 7:30
Gray’s Creek has won four of its last five entering the playoffs, including back-to-back 49-plus point outings against Union Pines and Douglas Byrd. And yes, this is the same group of Bears Cleveland met in the opening round of the 3AA playoffs last season, a 33-13 Cleveland triumph.
The Bears run the ball and run it well this season. Leyland McDonald has 1,486 yards rushing and 20 TDs; Calvin Boyd has 1,559 yards and 19 TDs.
Up Next: The winner meets either No. 16 Cardinal Gibbons (6-5) or No. 1 Southern Durham (11-0).
NCISAA Division III State Semifinals:
No. 5 Wake Christian (8-4) at
No. 1 Charlotte Victory Christian (8-2), 7
Fresh off of their "upset" of fourth-seeded High Point Christian in the opening round of the playoffs, the Bulldogs visit the Kings looking to take the next step in their state title dream.
Up Next; The winner meets either No. 3 Metrolina Christian Academy (6-3) or No. 2 Rabun Gap School (10-2) for the state championship.
Final Conference Standings
Greater Neuse River 4A
Two Rivers 3A