Scotland County, a 4A football powerhouse near the South Carolina border, will visit Panther Creek this Friday – and will bring lots of fans.
Scotland (5-0), which won the 4A title in 2011, a year before current coach and athletics director Richard Bailey arrived, is the only school in its county. Bailey has never seen the Scots outnumbered in the stands, but says there have been some times – like when the school plays rival Richmond County in front of 12,000 patrons, that are 50-50 splits.
“We have a tremendous fan base. In my four years here, I’ve never been to an away game where the home team has more fans than we do,” Bailey said.
Scotland hasn’t played a regular-season game in Wake County since 2008 at East Wake.
This year’s game was born out of the Scots’ needs to find six teams willing to play them – they have just five conference games – and Panther Creek’s need to find a nonconference team to sign a one-year scheduling contract before Apex Friendship adds varsity football next year.
The two schools will split the gate money. The only concern is if Panther Creek (3-2) has enough seating on the visitor’s side.
“As long as our fans have somewhere to stand, we’ll be good,” Bailey said.
Unlikely hero for Apex
Duke Fruehauf’s second career pass completion was a memorable one. After Apex starter Grayson Boyd was injured in overtime against Cary on Friday, sophomore Fruehauf entered the game on a second down from the Cary 5-yard line and a chance to win the game.
On third down, Fruahauf, who had completed just one of three throws in his brief career, found Ian Boyd in the back corner of the end zone for the 37-34 overtime win – and on homecoming night to boot.
Wake Forest’s quick starts
Wake Forest (4-0) starts Cap-8 Conference play this Friday with a game at Broughton. The Cougars’ dominance is particularly eye-popping.
The Cougars have scored enough points in the first quarter of each of their games to have held on to win.
In Week 1, Wake Forest led Panther Creek 21-0 in the first quarter and won 48-20. It led 27-0 against Apex before winning 50-3, and 20-0 before beating Southeast Raleigh 45-6 and Rolesville 48-0.
N&O game of the week
Southern Durham at Orange: Time Warner Cable picked a good one for Thursday’s live televised game. In the last two years, the two sides have tangled in the last week of the regular season in a de facto Big 8 Conference championship game twice and once in the playoffs. Orange is 29-4 since 2013 but 0-3 against Southern during that time.
The Starting 11: players of the week
(times named to Starting 11 in parentheses)
Carnaji Andrews, Rolesville (1): Completed 18 of 26 passes for 324 yards and three TDs, added a TD run.
Devante Caldwell, Bunn (1): Ran four times for 108 yards and three TDs.
Montel Goods, Northwood (2): Had 33 carries for 200 yards and a TD.
Jalen Green, Southern Durham (1): Completed 16 of 28 passes for 221 yards and five TDs.
Mangus Kaikai, Cardinal Gibbons (1): Had a 90-yard interception return for touchdown and ran for another (6 carries, 32 yards).
Khaaliq Lewis, Wakefield (1): Picked off two passes and returned a fumble for score against Riverside.
Jordan Mann, Apex (1): Linebacker had 20 tackles and eight for loss against Cary.
Ricky Person, Franklinton (1): Ran 22 times for 203 yards and three touchdowns, caught game-winning 38-yard TD pass with 50 seconds left.
Johnathan Spencer, Middle Creek (1): Ran back a kickoff for a 90-yard TD and had 90 yards receiving to lead the Mustangscategory.
Colten Smith, Fuquay-Varina (2): Had three rushing TDs and one receiving for 102 yards (82 rushing) of total offense.
Diamante Taylor, Panther Creek (1): Three touchdowns in three different ways – a 61-yard interception return, a 78-yard kickoff return, after a tricky handoff from Justin Smalls, and a 91-yard pass. He ended with three catches for 121 yards.
3-point stance: top defenses
Southern Durham: Allowed just 145 yards of offense to beat Northern Durham 36-13.
Wakefield: Forced five turnovers – two returned for touchdowns – and didn’t allow any points until the game’s final play to win 36-6.
Western Harnett: The Eagles (1-4) shocked previously undefeated Union Pines, keeping the Vikings (4-1) out of the end zone to win 8-5.
▪ Kickers don’t often get a chance to shine, but they did in Apex’s 37-34 overtime win against Cary. Apex’s Nate Davis and Cary’s Quinn Dunphy combined for a perfect 5 of 5 on field goals and 6 of 6 on extra points.
▪ Turnovers matter. Riverside ran 66 plays to Wakefield’s 38 and outgained the Wolverines 205-203 but lost 36-6 thanks to its five turnovers.
▪ Sanderson (1-3) has played more close games than anyone in the Triangle. The Spartans have one one-point win (22-21 at Apex) and two one-point losses (35-34 in overtime against Knightdale and 22-21 to Green Hope). Sanderson also played undefeated Fuquay-Varina close, losing 26-13.
▪ Conference play begins this week in the Big 8 3A, Cap-8 4A and PAC-6 4A.
Wake Christian breaks in new field house: There’s an extra option for Wake Christian Academy football fans when going to the restroom or concessions. The school’s new Fidelity Bank Field House will support the Bulldogs’ football, baseball, softball and soccer programs. The field house sits at one end zone, while the school’s baseball field overlaps with the other one. Wake Christian welcomes Fayetteville Christian this Friday, its first home contest after a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the field house last week.
Christian Worstell, Ian Pierno, Bonitta Best, Michael Held, Cale Colosimo, Jeff Hamlin, Leon Hargrove and Tom Shanahan contributed.