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Week Four ticket to get
Cleveland (2-1) @ Cardinal Gibbons (3-0), 7 p.m. - Nick Frey and the Crusaders will take on Cleveland and its high-powered offense led by quarterback Darius Ocean and running back Tyson Dew for Friday’s main event. Cardinal Gibbons is coming off its third dominant performance of the year, defeating Riverside-Durham 48-0 behind four touchdown passes and a rushing score from Frey. The Rams, however, enter Friday’s match up after suffering an upset loss to Terry Sanford in which Ocean threw three interceptions.
Players to watch this week
QB: Darius Ocean, Cleveland (Jr.) - Ocean was humbled in last week’s loss to Terry Sanford. He tossed three interceptions and completed just 50 percent of his passes in the 42-35 overtime defeat. He still displayed the skill set that makes him a weekly attraction, rushing for 62 yards on 12 carries and adding three scores on the ground. He’ll need to be sharper through the air in Friday’s clash with Cardinal Gibbons if Cleveland is to leave with a win.
QB: Vincent Amendola, Leesville (Sr.) - Amendola has been nothing short of excellent so far, leading the Pride to a 3-0 start and passing for over 1,000 yards in the process -- good enough for sixth in the country. He’s thrown 10 touchdown passes and completed 70 percent of his passes, but the 6-foot-2-inch quarterback will face the vaunted Wake Forest defense in his toughest test yet Friday.
WR: Noah Burnette, Leesville (Jr.) - Burnette has been as impressive as his quarterback so far, catching multiple touchdown passes in every game. He’s been largely unstoppable with 455 receiving yards and six touchdowns in just three games, but like Amendola, his talents will be put to the test against a Wake Forest team riding a 34-game win streak.
QB: Brycen Jackson, Northern (Sr.) - Jackson hasn’t been perfect this season, but he’s been good enough to lead the Knights to a 3-0 start. Tossing eight touchdowns and four interceptions on the year, the senior quarterback will look to improve upon his 747 passing yards and 52 percent completion percentage in Friday’s rivalry showdown with Riverside-Durham.
LB: Joey Maya, Middle Creek (Sr.) - Maya leads the state in tackles with 63. 10 of them have been for a loss, making the senior linebacker one of the most disruptive forces in North Carolina. He’ll look to help Middle Creek get back on track with a win over Millbrook Friday.
QB: Anthony Harris, Havelock (Sr.) - Harris has made his mark both through the air and running the ball this season for one of the top teams in the state. He’s thrown for 691 yards and 10 touchdowns while adding 258 rushing yards and two scores on the ground en route to a 3-0 record for the Rams.
DL: Jalen Brooks, Cardinal Gibbons (Sr.) - Brooks and his Gibbons’ defense will look to be the first to shut down Cleveland running back Tyson Dew after adding two more tackles for a loss in another Crusaders’ shutout last week. He also remains a goal line threat, scoring his second rushing touchdown of the season against Riverside-Durham.
QB: Nick Frey, Cardinal Gibbons (Sr.) - The Crusaders did it all through the air in last week’s blowout win over Riverside-Durham, rushing for just 13 yards as a team. Instead, they relied on Frey, who threw for 207 yards and four scores in addition to adding a touchdown on the ground.
RB: Tyson Dew, Cleveland (Sr.) - Dew shined for the Rams last week despite their 42-35 loss to Terry Sanford. He ran for 147 yards and a touchdown, averaging 8.2 yards per attempt. He’ll hope to add to the 429 yards he has on the season.
LB/RB: Drake Thomas, Heritage (Sr.) - Thomas made the most of his six carries in last week’s win, rushing for 34 yards and a touchdown. He was his usual standout self on defense, recording 11 tackles and will hope to use his multidimensional talents to propel past Sanderson.
Other top games to watch
Leesville (3-0) @ Wake Forest (3-0), 7 p.m. - Wake Forest’s 34-game win streak will be put to the test this week by a red-hot Leesville team. The Pride have showcased an explosive offense so far this season and are led by senior quarterback Vince Amendola and his favorite target Noah Burnette. The Cougars are the first of a brutal four game stretch for Leesville that includes Garner, Cardinal Gibbons and Sanderson.
Sanderson (2-1) @ Heritage (2-1), 7 p.m. - Coming off of a 56-0 win over Apex, Sanderson will look to take down a Heritage team led by N.C. State commit Drake Thomas. The Huskies won last year’s matchup 28-7 in a game that Thomas recorded 15 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Knightdale (2-1) @ Broughton (3-0), 7 p.m. - Broughton has had a quick start to the year, winning its opening three games and outscoring its opponents 136-26. The Capitals will host a Knightdale team that does the majority of its damage on the ground, rushing for 309 yards as a team in last week’s win over Athens Drive.
Riverside-Durham (1-1) @ Northern (3-0), 7 p.m. - Riverside-Durham will look to bounce back from a 48-0 beat down it received at the hands of Cardinal Gibbons last week when it heads to Northern for a rivalry game. A season ago, Northern came out on top 28-23 and will hope quarterback Brycen Jackson can take care of the ball and help the Knights improve to 4-0 on the year.
Havelock (3-0) @ J.H. Rose (3-0), 7 p.m. - Havelock comes in as the No. 4 team in the state according to MaxPreps and will be on display Friday night when the Rams and J.H. Rose put their undefeated records on the line in Greenville. Havelock has put up 194 points in its first three games and is led by dual-threat quarterback Anthony Harris. J.H. Rose will look to avenge its 54-0 loss to the Rams from a season ago and improve to 4-0 after starting the 2017 season 0-4.
Other Wake County games of note
Enloe (3-0) @ Athens Drive (0-3), Friday 7 p.m.
Apex (0-3) @ Cary (1-2), Friday 7 p.m.
Holly Springs (1-2) @ Green Hope (1-2), Friday 7 p.m.
Apex Friendship (1-1) @ Panther Creek (0-3), Friday 7 p.m.
Garner (2-1) @ New Hanover (1-2), Friday 7 p.m.
Wakefield (1-2) @ Fuquay-Varina (3-0), Friday 7 p.m.
Millbrook (0-3) @ Middle Creek (1-2), Friday 7 p.m.
Franklinton (4-0) @ Southeast Raleigh (0-3), Friday 7 p.m.
D.H. Conley (1-2) @ East Wake (0-3), Friday 7 p.m.
Other Durham games of note
Dudley (2-1) @ Hillside (2-1), Friday TBA
Seventy-First (3-0) @ Southern Durham (1-2), Friday 7:30 p.m.
Other Chapel Hill-Carrboro games of note
East Chapel Hill (0-2) @ Cummings (0-3), Friday 7 p.m.
Carrboro (2-0) @ J.F. Webb (0-2), Friday 7:30 p.m.