High School Sports

Previews: Top-ranked Southern Durham faces strong Northwood

7 p.m. games unless noted

No. 1 Southern at No. 9 Northwood

Northwood has had this game circled on its calendar since the start of preseason workouts after losing to Southern 56-54 last year.

Northwood coach Bill Hall said Southern’s Kendall Hinton (1,735 yards, 14 TD throws) and Northwood’s Ti Pinnix (901 passing yards, 9 TDs) are the two best high school quarterbacks in the state.

Southern (7-0, 3-0 Big Eight 3A) has won 20 straight games, including last year’s state 3AA championship game. Northwood (6-1, 2-1) is allowing 7.0 points per game.

No. 2 Wake Forest at No. 10 Heritage

Wake Forest (7-0, 3-0) has scored 58 or more points in three of its last four games. The Cougars haven’t had a close game since beating East Wake 27-18 in the second week of the season. They are averaging 44.6 points and allowing 12.3.

Heritage (6-1, 3-0) lost to East Wake, 34-29, but otherwise have won with defense. The Huskies have held three teams without a touchdown.

Fuquay-Varina at No. 3 Panther Creek

Panther Creek (6-1, 3-0) is in control of the Southwest Wake 4A, thanks in large part to its talented defense, which scored the game’s only touchdown in last week’s defeat of Middle Creek. The Catamounts created eight turnovers in last week’s win over Middle Creek and allow 9.0 points per game. The Bengals have lost two straight.

No. 4 Garner at Harnett Central

Garner (6-1, 3-0) has won six straight and appears to be cruising through the Greater Neuse 4A. With the Garner defense continuing to improve behind the play of sophomore lineman Matthew Butler and the offense finding more complements to runner Nyheim Hines (183.1 rushing yards per game), Central (1-2, 2-5) faces a huge challenge. Hines has rushed for 22 touchdowns.

No. 11 Chapel Hill at No. 5 Orange

Orange scored in the final seconds of last year’s game to escape Chapel Hill with a 6-0 victory. The win was Orange’s fifth straight win over their county rivals. Chapel Hill averages 40.6 points per game. The Panthers allow 10.4 points per game.

No. 7 Middle Creek at Holly Springs

Holly Springs (4-3, 1-2 Southwest Wake 4A) will have an upset on the mind while Middle Creek (6-1, 2-1) is just upset. Middle Creek (6-1, 2-1) did not score a touchdown in a 13-3 loss to Panther Creek last week.

No. 8 Cleveland at Triton, 7:30 p.m.

Triton (0-7, 0-1) traditionally battles Cleveland (6-1, 1-0), but has a tough assignment this year. Cleveland has scored in the 50s three times and in the 40s twice. Quarterback Aaron Farmer has thrown for 1,498 yards and run for 581.

No. 12 Millbrook at Wakefield

Millbrook (5-2, 1-1) delivered one of the most dominating defensive efforts of the season in last week’s 28-0 win over Broughton. Wakefield (4-3, 3-1) lost to Wake Forest on Monday, 58-12.

South Johnston at No. 14 Corinth Holders, 7:30 p.m.

South Johnston (2-5, 1-0) has started slowly in several games but has put together some great second halves of play. Corinth Holders (5-2, 1-0) has won five straight after an 0-2 start. Pirates’ QB Cole Sakowski has passed for 1,343 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Spring Creek at No. 15 Princeton, 7:30 p.m.

Princeton (6-1, 1-1 in Carolina 1A) gets a Gator squad coming off of a bye week. Princeton averages 42 points a night and will be the biggest test an improved Spring Creek defense has faced this season. Princeton’s Johnny Frasier averages 149.6 yards per game.

Cary at Apex

This classic Wake County rivalry features two teams coming off losses. Apex, who has had to move wide receiver Ian Boyd to quarterback, scored only 14 points in a loss to Athens Drive. The Cougars’ Isaiah Totten averages 162.1 rushing yards.

Sanderson at Broughton

Sanderson (1-6, 0-3 Cap Eight) and Broughton (1-6, 0-3) need to get wins wherever they can.

Northern Vance at Cardinal Gibbons, 7:30

Gibbons (5-2, 2-1) was walloped on Saturday by defending state champ Southern Durham. Northern Vance (1-5, 0-2) has won just three games since the start of the 2011 season.

Burlington Cummings at Carrboro, 7:30

Carrboro (3-4, 1-0 Mid-State 2A) has struggled whenever talented RB Trai Sharp (ankle injury) has been off the field. Cummings (3-4, 1-0) topped Graham last week 32-28.

Rolesville (0-7, 0-3) at Clayton (4-3, 1-2)

Clayton tries to get back to .500 in the league with a visit from the Rams.

Northern Durham at East Chapel Hill (Forfeited)

East Chapel Hill (now 0-8, 0-2 after the forfeit) announced on its website that it will forfeit Friday night’s game against Northern Durham (now 2-6, 2-0 after the forfeit). ECH said the team doesn’t have enough healthy players and the decision was made as a safety measure.

North Johnston at Farmville Central, 7:30 p.m.

As if playing in the Eastern Plains 2A Conference isn’t tough enough, this week North (1-6, 0-1) gets a Farmville team (6-1, 0-1) coming off a tough 13-12 loss to Washington. It was the Jaguars’ first loss of the season. Farmville Central gives allows 17.3 points a game.

Riverside at Hillside

Hillside (3-4, 1-0) has won 29 consecutive conference games. Riverside (2-5, 1-0) has playoff hopes.

Roxboro Person at Jordan

Jordan (0-7, 0-1) has dropped 16 straight games. Person (0-1, 1-6) lost its PAC Six 4A opener to Northern Durham on Monday.

Enloe at Leesville Road

Enloe (2-5, 0-3 Cap 8) has four losses by 7 points or less. Leesville (4-3, 2-1) finished fast on Monday to top Sanderson 41-19.

Ravenscroft at North Raleigh Christian

Ravenscroft (4-4, 1-0) has out-scored its last two opponents 92-14. North Raleigh (1-5, 0-1) has been shut out three times.

Cary Christian at Northeast Academy, 7:30 p.m.

The Knights (2-5) make a very long trip to Lasker, a town of about 100 people in Northampton County, for this conference game hoping to win in back-to-back weeks.

Cedar Ridge at Oxford Webb

Webb (2-5, 0-3) has three straight shutout losses. Cedar Ridge (2-5, 0-3) has lost four straight.

Western Harnett at Smithfield-Selma, 7:30

Staying in the playoff race is the top priority for Western Harnett (3-4, 0-1) and Smithfield-Selma (1-6, 0-1) and the way to do that is come up with a win Friday at Tucker Stadium.

Knightdale at Southeast Raleigh

Southeast (3-4, 2-1) can stay tied for second place in the Greater Neuse with a victory, while Knightdale (3-4, 1-2) hopes to jumble the league standings with a victory. Knightdale seems to have rediscovered its scoring touch in the last two outings, averaging 34 points a game in those two games.

East Wake at West Johnston

Second place in the Greater Neuse is on the line as former East Wake head coach Jimmy Williams leads West Johnston (5-2, 2-1) against the Warriors (5-2, 2-1). Both teams are led by talented backfields and play solid defense. That all spells a game decided by turnovers and third down conversions.

Other Eastern North Carolina games

Gametime is 7:30 p.m.

Bartlett Yancey at Reidsville

Beddingfield at North Pitt

Bunn at Roanoke Rapids

Cape Fear at Pine Forest

Croatan at North Brunswick

Currituck at Bertie

First Flight at Holmes

Foundation at Harrells Academy

Graham at Jordan-Matthews

Granville Central at SE Halifax

Gray’s Creek at Terry Sanford

Greene Central at North Lenoir

Greenville Conley at C.B. Aycock

Greenville Rose at Eastern Wayne

Hobgood Academy at Wilson Community

James Kenan at Lakewood

Jones Senior at Southside

Kestrel Heights at Hobbton

Kinston at Goldsboro

Kinston Parrott at Halifax

Lawrence Academy at St. David’s

Lejeune at East Carteret

Louisburg at Kipp Pride

Manteo at Gates County

Mattamuskeet at Columbia

Nash Central at Fike

New Hanover at Laney

North Duplin at Rosewood

Northside-Jax at Dixon

Northside-Pinetown at Pamlico

Northwest Halifax at Weldon

Overhills at Seventy-First

Pasquotank at Northeastern

Red Springs at Fairmont

Richlands at West Craven

Richmond County at Purnell Swett

Riverside-Martin at North Edgecombe

Rocky Mount at Hunt

Rocky Mount Prep at Tarboro

South Central at Southern Wayne

South Creek at Northampton

South Lenoir at Ayden-Grifton

South Stanly at Chatham Central

South View at Fayetteville Smith

Southampton, Va. at Rocky Mount Academy

Southern Nash at Northern Nash

Southern Vance at South Granville

SW Edgecombe at Washington

Southwest Onslow at East Duplin

Spring Creek at Princeton

Topsail at West Brunswick

Trask at East Bladen

Union Pines at Southern Lee

Wallace-Rose Hill at Midway

Warren County at Franklinton

West Carteret at Swanboro

West Columbus at Whiteville

White Oak at Havelock