FOUR PLAYERS TO WATCH
Xzavior Bowden, Goldsboro: Bowden is breakout star for the Cougars. He ran for just 621 yards last year but has 1,584 already this year with 18 touchdowns. While going against powerhouses East Duplin, Clinton and Wallace-Rose Hill in three consecutive weeks, he still averaged 151 yards per game.
Ben Miller, Jordan: The junior quarterback has broken a school record with 2,197 passing yards this year for 17 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 54.4 percent of his throws.
Paul Robinson, Green Hope: The senior linebacker leads the state with 150 tackles (99 solo), which averages to 16.7 per game. He also has three rushing touchdowns, three sacks, seven tackles for loss and a blocked field goal.
Nadir Thompson, Southern Nash: The Virginia Tech recruit is in his third week back after missing five games due to injury. A state indoor track champion, Thompson is projected to play cornerback in college.
GAMES TO WATCH
Apex (3-6, 1-2) at No. 21 Garner (5-4, 3-0): This game’s on here for one reason: it’s the unofficial WCPSS Construction Bowl. Apex is in its first year at the campus of Green Level High while its old school is being reconstructed, and Garner is in its last year at South Garner while the same happens to it. There’s something unusual about having two displaced schools playing each other.
Eastern Wayne (4-4, 1-3) at J.H. Rose (3-6, 2-2): This game may not strike you as important, but the winner will sneak into the playoffs as the 2-seed from the 3A side of the Eastern Carolina 3A/4A. The loser likely stays home.
No. 10 Green Hope (7-2, 3-0) at No. 22 Jordan (5-4, 3-0): Either way, a team called the Falcons will win the Triangle 6 4A. Jordan last won a conference title in 2006, while Green Hope’s most recent one was 2014.
Princeton (6-3, 2-1) at Lakewood (7-2, 2-1): To the winner goes a first-round home game in likely the 1AA playoffs, by virtue of earning the Carolina 1A’s 2-seed.
Hillside (3-5, 2-2) at No. 15 Northwood (7-2, 4-0): Now the Big Eight 3A frontrunner, Northwood’s basically in the playoffs already with back-to-back must-wins to end the regular season. The Chargers last won a conference title in 2010, when it was 2A.
South View (7-2, 4-2) at No. 25 Overhills (6-3, 3-3): If the Jaguars win out, they’ll take the 1-seed from the 4A part of the Patriot Athletic 3A/4A. But South View won’t be easy to take down.
Ayden-Grifton (6-3, 3-1) at West Craven (5-4, 4-0): Here’s the Eastern Carolina 2A championship. Both teams are defending champs from different conferences before this year’s realignment.
Check with school for times; most Triangle games are at 7 p.m.
PrepsNow ranking included
Southeast Raleigh at No. 4 Cardinal Gibbons
Enloe at No. 20 Leesville Road
Broughton at No. 8 Sanderson
Rolesville at No. 2 Heritage
Corinth Holders at Knightdale
No. 1 Wake Forest at Wakefield
South Wake 4A:
No. 23 Fuquay-Varina at Apex Friendship
Apex at No. 21 Garner
No. 7 Middle Creek at Holly Springs
Triangle 6 4A:
Panther Creek at Athens Drive
No. 10 Green Hope at No. 22 Jordan
Cary at Riverside
Eastern Carolina 3A/4A:
No. 14 South Central at C.B. Aycock
Eastern Wayne at J.H. Rose
No. 11 D.H. Conley at Southern Wayne
Big East 3A:
Franklinton at Hunt
No. 17 Fike at Northern Nash
No. 5 Southern Nash at Rocky Mount
Big Eight 3A:
No. 16 Orange at Cedar Ridge
Southern Durham at Chapel Hill
Hillside at No. 15 Northwood
Greater Neuse River 3A:
No. 6 Clayton at Smithfield-Selma
East Wake at South Johnston
No. 24 Cleveland at West Johnston
No. 3 Lee County at Triton
Harnett Central at Union Pines
Southern Lee at Western Harnett
Eastern Carolina 2A:
South Lenoir at North Lenoir
Kinston at Washington
Ayden-Grifton at West Craven
Eastern Plains 2A:
Farmville Central at Beddingfield
No. 13 SouthWest Edgecombe at North Johnston
No. 19 Nash Central at North Pitt
Northern Carolina 1A/2A:
Louisburg at Bunn
No. 12 South Granville at Granville Central
Northern Vance at J.F. Webb
Roanoke Rapids at Warren County
Harrells Christian at Ravenscroft
North Raleigh Christian at Wake Christian
Faith Christian (Rocky Mount) at Arendell-Parrott
Grace Christian (Raleigh) at Rocky Mount Academy
Cary Christian at St. David’s
Hobgood/Northeast Co-op at Wayne Christian
Spring Creek at Goldsboro
Princeton at Lakewood
Rosewood at North Duplin
North Stanly at North Moore
North Edgecombe at Rocky Mount Prep
South View at No. 25 Overhills
Rockingham County at Person
Jack Britt at Pinecrest
Carrboro at Providence Grove
Chatham Central at South Davidson
Jordan-Matthews at Wheatmore
Royal Imperial (Canada) at Word of God