High School Sports

First-round high school football playoff previews

NCHSAA FIRST ROUND

Teams are seeded on the basis of 10 games. Teams may drop one nonconference loss for seeding purposes. Teams cannot drop conference losses and 11-0 teams are seeded as if they were 10-0. The schools with the largest enrollments among the qualifying teams in each classification are placed in the AA bracket and the other qualifiers go to the A bracket. There will be eight state champions spread among the four classifications. Shown with 11-game records. All games kick off at 7:30 p.m.

4AA

No. 16 Leesville Road (5-6) at No. 1 Wake Forest (11-0): Wake Forest beat Leesville Road 35-18 during the regular season in a CAP-8 4A game.

No. 9 Middle Creek (9-2) at No. 8 Southern Pines Pinecrest (9-2): Middle Creek is slowly getting back to full strength. Pinecrest’s losses were to Scotland, 29-22, and to Richmond County, 28-21.

No. 12 Fayetteville Britt (6-5) at No. 5 Millbrook (9-2): Millbrook has great balance with runner Marcus Marshall (1,484 yards), passer Reid Herring (1,723) and an outstanding defense. Britt has won three in a row.

No. 13 Fuquay-Varina (5-6) at No. 4 Richmond County (10-1): Richmond looked headed to a top seed before losing to rival Scotland 34-13 last week. Damacus Williams leads a Fuquay-Varina ground game that averages 247 yards.

No. 14 Apex (5-6) at No. 3 Green Hope (9-2): Green Hope handled Apex 42-23 two weeks ago in a Southwest Wake Athletic 4A game. The Falcons rolled up 484 yards of offense. Apex is in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

No. 11 Holly Springs (6-5) at No. 6 Panther Creek (9-2): Two weeks ago, Panther Creek beat Holly Springs 24-7 in the Southwest Wake Athletic 4A. The Golden Hawks fumbled too many times to make it close, despite holding Panther Creek to just 2 yards per carry. Only two teams have scored more than 17 points on the Catamounts.

No. 10 Wakefield (6-5) at No. 7 Heritage (8-3): In yet another rematch of a game from two weeks ago, Heritage claimed a 40-21 win against Wakefield.

No. 15 Wilmington Laney (5-5) at No. 2 Garner (10-1): Garner averages 48 points per game. Laney has held only three opponents to less than 30 points. The Trojans’ Nyheim Hines is the school’s career rushing leader and has 2,061 yards this season. Laney sophomore Imeek Watson has 1,428 yards rushing and 24 rushing touchdowns

4AA West: No. 16 McDowell (2-9) at No. 1 East Forsyth (10-1); No. 8 Northwest Guilford (8-3) at No. 9 Charlotte Providence (8-3); No. 12 South Mecklenburg (8-3) at No. 5 Matthews Butler (9-2); No. 13 Charlotte Myers Park (5-6) at No. 4 Charlotte Mallard Creek (10-1); No. 14 West Charlotte (5-6) at No. 3 Lake Norman (10-1); No. 11 Greensboro Page (3-8) at No. 6 Charlotte Ardrey Kell (8-3); No. 10 West Forsyth (9-2) at No. 7 Cornelius Hough (8-3); No. 15 Charlotte Olympic (5-6) at No. 2 Charlotte Independence (11-0).

4A

No. 16 Clayton (6-5) at No. 1 New Bern (11-0): New Bern is No. 2 in The Associated Press’ 4A state poll, and the Bears have outscored their opponents 403-77. New Bern has held eight opponents to less than 10 points. New Bern’s Quincy Wright replaced injured starting quarterback Mike Hughes to throw for 173 yards and lead three touchdown drives in a 33-13 win against Greenville Rose. Clayton is led by Eric Hoy (1,722 yards passing; 1,239 rushing).

No. 9 New Hanover (7-3) at No. 8 Greenville Rose (9-2): Eastern Wayne smashed Rose 63-23 three weeks ago, but otherwise the Rampants have looked like one of the state’s best. New Hanover has won five straight since breaking a three-game slid.

No. 12 Fayetteville Smith (8-3) at No. 5 Durham Hillside (7-4): Hillside started 1-4 but was not challenged in the PAC-6 4A. Smith’s losses were to Middle Creek, Cape Fear and Seventy-First.

No. 13 Durham Riverside (4-7) at No. 4 Fayetteville Seventy-First (11-0): Seventy-First has one of the best defenses in the state. The Falcons are allowing 9.2 points per game and haven’t given up more than 23 in a game. Riverside averages 28.5 points.

No. 14 Greenville Conley (8-3) at No. 3 Scotland (10-1): Scotland’s loss was to 3A power Southern Durham, 34-28. The Scots have not allowed more than 22 points in any other game, and they pounded rival Richmond last week, 34-13.

No. 11 West Johnston (8-3) at No. 6 East Wake (9-2): East Wake won 28-14 in the regular season thanks to three 25-yard-plus scoring plays. West Johnston, which had 181 yards of offense in the first meeting, will have to tackle well against Demontay Rhem .

No. 10 Northern Durham (4-7) at No. 7 Cape Fear (8-3): Northern Durham has shown great resilency, finishing second in the PAC-6 4A after losing all of its nonconference games. Cape Fear allows 16.7 points per game.

No. 15 South Central (7-4) at No. 2 Wilmington Hoggard (10-0): Rival New Hanover lost to Hoggard 25-15, but no one else has scored more than 13 points on Hoggard. The Vikings allow 6.1 points per game. South Central lost to Greenville Conley 35-27 last week.

4A West: No. 16 Jamestown Ragsdale (6-5) def. No. 1 Greensboro Dudley (10-0) by forfeit; No. 9 Charlotte Vance (8-3) at No. 8 Mooresville (10-1); No. 12 Rocky River (7-4) at No. 5 Asheville Roberson (5-6); No. 13 Mount Tabor (7-4) at No. 4 South Caldwell (9-2); No. 14 Davie (6-5) at No. 3 Charlotte Catholic (10-1); No. 11 High Point Central (8-3) at No. 6 Southeast Guilford (9-2); No. 10 Watuaga (8-3) at No. 7 North Davidson (10-1); No. 15 Kannapolis Brown (6-5) at No. 2 Pfafftown Reagan (10-1).

3AA

No. 16 Cardinal Gibbons (6-5) at No. 1 Southern Durham (11-0): Cardinal Gibbons is getting used to making the trip to Southern Durham – this is its third trip in the past four years and the second straight postseason in which the Crusaders will meet their Big Eight 3A foes in the 3AA East. Southern Durham beat Cardinal Gibbons 31-2 during the regular season.

No. 9 Gray’s Creek (7-4) at No. 8 Cleveland (9-2): Gray’s Creek has won four of its past five, including back-to-back 49-plus point outings against Union Pines and Douglas Byrd. Cleveland averages 46.8 points per game.

No. 12 Chapel Hill (8-3) at No. 5 West Brunswick (5-6): Chapel Hill’s Connor Stough has passed for 2,005 yards. The Tigers stumbled against Northwood, Southern Durham and Orange. West Brunswick lost its first three and to powers New Hanover and Hoggard.

No. 13 Eastern Guilford (7-4) at No. 4 Fayetteville Terry Sanford (8-3): Eastern Guilford broke a three-game losing streak with a 20-14 win against Rockingham County. Terry Sanford has won six straight and eight of its past nine.

No. 14 Union Pines (6-5) at No. 3 Corinth Holders (8-3): Union Pines has lost four of its past five games. Corinth Holders has won eight of its past nine.

No. 11 Lee County (9-2) at No. 6 Orange (10-1): This looked like a third-round matchup until Lee County lost to rival Southern Lee last week. Both defenses are outstanding.

No. 10 Northwood (9-2) at No. 7 Northern Guilford (10-1): This is another exceptional first-round pairing. Northwood’s losses were to Orange and Southern Durham, which have a combined one loss. Northern Guilford’s loss was 33-28 to unbeaten Eastern Alamance.

No. 15 Wilson Hunt (6-5) at No. 2 Wilson Fike (10-1): Fike beat Hunt 51-21 last week.

3AA West: No. 16 Central Cabarrus (6-5) at No. 1 Asheville (10-1); No. 9 North Forsyth (5-6) at No. 8 Cox Mill (6-5); No. 12 South Iredell (6-5) at No. 5 Weddington (10-1); No. 13 Asheville Reynolds (6-5) at No. 4 Asheville Erwin (9-1); No. 14 Sun Valley (6-5) at No. 3 Statesville (7-4); No. 11 Ledford (7-4) at No. 6 Hickory Ridge (9-2); No. 10 Marvin Ridge (3-7) at No. 7 Asheboro (8-3); No. 15 Gastonia Ashbrook (5-6) at No. 2 Cuthbertson (8-3).

3A

East: No. 16 Pikeville Aycock (4-7) at No. 1 Southern Guilford (11-0); No. 9 Rocky Mount (7-4) at No. 8 Western Alamance (9-2); No. 12 Jacksonville (6-5) at No. 5 Eastern Wayne (8-2); No. 13 Burlington Williams (6-5) at No. 4 Southern Nash (8-3); No. 14 Rockingham Morehead (5-6) at No. 3 Havelock (10-1); No. 11 West Craven (4-7) at No. 6 South Johnston (5-6); No. 10 Southern Lee (7-4) at No. 7 West Carteret (9-2); No. 15 South Brunswick (4-7) at No. 2 Eastern Alamance (11-0).

West: No. 16 Southwestern Randolph (5-6) at No. 1 Crest (11-0); No. 9 North Buncombe (7-4) at No. 8 West Rowan (7-4); No. 12 Hibriten (6-4) at No. 5 Pisgah (8-3); No. 13 East Gaston (5-6) at No. 4 Forestview (9-2); No. 14 Tuscola (5-6) at No. 3 Concord (11-0); No. 11 Fred T. Foard (6-5) at No. 6 South Point (7-4); No. 10 Kings Mountain (8-3) at No. 7 West Henderson (7-4); No. 15 East Rowan (5-6) at No. 2 Freedom (10-0-1).

2AA

East: No. 16 North Pitt (4-7) at No. 1 Washington (10-1); No. 9 Burlington Cummings (6-5) at No. 8 Kinston (6-5); No. 12 Greene Central (4-7) at No. 5 Randleman (9-2); No. 13 Franklinton (7-4) at No. 4 Roanoke Rapids (8-3); No. 14 Croatan (6-5) at No. 3 Northside-Jax (8-3); No. 11 North Brunswick (6-5) at No. 6 Southwest Edgecombe (8-3); No. 10 Bunn (7-4) at No. 7 South Granville (7-4); No. 15 St. Pauls (5-6) at No. 2 Northeastern (11-0).

West: No. 16 Smoky Mountain (2-9) at No. 1 East Lincoln (11-0); No. 9 Rutherfordton-Spindale Central (7-4) at No. 8 Bandys (8-3); No. 12 Newton-Conover (7-3-1) at No. 5 Lincolnton (9-2); No. 13 Parkwood (6-5) at No. 4 Hunter Huss (4-7); No. 14 Maiden (5-6) at No. 3 Ashe County (9-2); No. 11 High Point Andrews (5-5) at No. 6 Monroe (7-4); No. 10 Forest Hills (5-6) at No. 7 West Stokes (7-4); No. 15 Wilkes Central (4-7) at No. 2 Franklin (11-0).

2A

East: No. 16 Red Springs (4-7) at No. 1 East Bladen (9-2); No. 9 Fairmont (6-5) at No. 8 Farmville Central (9-2); No. 12 Midway (7-4) at No. 5 Southwest Onslow (10-1); No. 13 Warren County (6-5) at No. 4 South Columbus (5-6); No. 14 Bertie (5-6) at No. 3 Ayden-Grifton (7-4); No. 11 Hertford County (4-7) at No. 6 Edenton Holmes (9-2); No. 10 Graham (6-5) at No. 7 Clinton (9-1); No. 15 Pasquotank (4-7) at No. 2 Eastern Randolph (8-3).

West: No. 16 Lake Norman Charter (3-8) at No. 1 Black Mountain Owen (10-0); No. 9 Surry Central (7-4) at No. 8 Salisbury (5-6); No. 12 Mountain Heritage (6-5) at No. 5 North Rowan (9-2); No. 13 East Rutherford (6-5) at No. 4 Mount Pleasant (9-3); No. 14 Trinity (5-6) at No. 3 Shelby (9-3); No. 11 Hendersonville (7-4) at No. 6 Carver (8-2); No. 10 Lexington Senior (3-8) at No. 7 Polk County (8-3); No. 15 Providence Grove (4-7) at No. 2 Reidsville (9-2).

1AA

East: No. 16 Spring Creek (2-8) at No. 1 Wallace-Rose Hill (10-1); No. 9 East Carteret (5-6) at No. 8 Rosewood (6-5); No. 12 Union (3-8) at No. 5 Camden (8-3); No. 13 Northampton (3-8) at No. 4 Princeton (10-1); No. 14 Hobbton (2-9) at No. 3 Tarboro (8-3); No. 11 Perquimans (4-6) at No. 6 Louisburg (7-4); No. 10 Riverside-Martin (5-6) at No. 7 Gates (7-4); No. 15 Pender (2-9) at No. 2 Warsaw Kenan (9-1).

West: No. 16 East Wilkes (3-8) at No. 1 West Montgomery (10-1); No. 9 Walkertown (8-2) at No. 8 North Stanly (9-2); No. 12 Cherryville (4-7) at No. 5 Starmount (8-3); No. 13 North Moore (6-5) at Bessemer City (8-3); No. 14 East Montgomery (5-6) at No. 3 Whiteville (9-2); No. 11 Granville Central (7-4) at Mitchell (7-4); No. 10 Swain County (8-3) at No. 7 Mount Airy (10-1); No. 15 Avery County (4-7) at No. 2 East Surry (10-1).

1A

East: No. 16 KIPP Pride (2-9) at No. 1 Plymouth (10-1); No. 9 North Duplin (4-7) at No. 8 Pinetown Northside (4-7); No. 12 Kestrel Heights (3-7) at No. 5 North Edgecombe (8-3); No. 13 Creswell (3-8) at No. 4 Southside (8-3); No. 14 Weldon (2-8) at No. 3 Pamlico (9-2); No. 11 Columbia (3-7) at No. 6 Lakewood (6-5); No. 10 Manteo (3-7) at No. 7 South Creek (5-6); No. 15 Rocky Mount Prep (2-9) at No. 2 Southeast Halifax (10-1).

1A West: No. 16 Hayesville (2-8) at No. 1 Robbinsville (11-0); No. 9 Rosman (5-6) at No. 8 Community School (5-6); No. 13 Andrews (3-8) at No. 4 Murphy (8-3); No. 14 West Columbus (3-8) at No. 3 Elkin (6-5); No. 11 Bishop McGuinness (3-8) at No. 6 Alleghany (7-4); No. 10 Cherokee (3-8) at No. 7 Pine Lake Prep (6-4); No. 15 South Stanly (3-8) at No. 2 Thomas Jefferson (8-3).

NCISAA playoffs

Eight-man championship: Kinston Parrott (10-1) vs. Rocky Mount Academy (11-0) at Rocky Mount Athletic Complex, 7:30 p.m.

Division I championship: Charlotte Latin (10-1) at Charlotte Christian (9-1)

Division II semifinals: Harrells Christian (6-5) at Davidson Day (9-1); Arden Christ (7-3) at Southlake Christian (10-1)

Division III: Wake Christian (8-4) at Charlotte Victory Christian (8-2); Metrolina Christian (8-3) vs. Village Christian (6-5) or Rabun Gap, Ga. (9-2)

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