It all comes down to this: Tickets are on sale already for Wake Forest (10-0, 4-0 Northern 4A) and Heritage (10-0, 4-0) next week. There’s a conference title at stake between the two teams that are ranked No. 1 and No. 3 in the state. Another heated rivalry, Garner (6-4, 4-0 South Wake 4A) at Middle Creek (8-2, 4-0) will decide that conference title.
Is Friendship in the playoffs?: In its first season with seniors, Apex Friendship (5-5, 2-2 South Wake 4A) could be playing its way into the playoffs after an upset over Fuquay-Varina (6-4, 1-3). The Patriots may still have to win their last game, against Backyard Brawl-rival Apex next week, to get in.
Championships clinched: Cardinal Gibbons (10-0, 5-0) won the Cap-7 4A in its first year while Sanderson (7-3, 4-1) locked up the 2-seed. Green Hope (8-2, 4-0) topped Jordan (5-5, 3-1) to win the Triangle 6 4A.
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Clayton clinches: Clayton (10-0, 4-0) has the Greater Neuse River 3A Conference title, its first conference title since 2004. Cleveland (6-4, 3-1) will take on South Johnston (7-3, 3-1) in the finale for the 2-seed.
Classy move: It was a week of mourning for Cleveland after losing assistant coach John Jacobs on Tuesday morning to cancer. West Johnston (2-8, 1-3) may be the Rams’ closest rival, but the fans joined in for a “silent kickoff” in memory of Jacobs. No one made a sound during the opening kickoff until the ball carrier was tackled.
Big Eight chaos: Northwood (7-3, 4-1 Big Eight 3A) lost to Hillside (4-5, 3-2) and now there’s a three-way tie for first place that will be broken next week. Orange (7-2, 4-1) will be rooting for Northern Durham (7-2, 4-1) next week against Northwood. If Northern wins, Orange takes the 1-seed and Northern the 2-seed as they “share” a conference title. If Northwood wins, then Orange and Northwood are “co-champs,” but Northwood would take the 1-seed on head-to-head tiebreaker. There is no way in which Northern can get a 1-seed, or that there will be a three-way tie, but Northern can still hang a banner if it wins.
Buy your tickets ASAP: D.H. Conley (9-1, 5-0) and South Central (9-1, 5-0), separated by a few miles and twice as many four-way stops, will be playing for the Eastern Carolina 3A/4A title next week.
Championships clinched: West Craven (6-4, 5-0) has wrapped up the Eastern Carolina 2A and Southern Nash (9-1, 4-0) the Big East 3A.
2-seeds clinched: Eastern Wayne (5-4, 2-3 Eastern Carolina 3A/4A) didn’t win a title, but the Warriors may have wrapped up the 2-seed from their conference by defeating J.H. Rose (3-7, 2-3). Fike (7-3, 3-1 Big East 3A) has clinched the 2-seed in its conference as well.
Seeds decided: South Granville (10-0, 7-0 Northern Carolina 1A/2A) is conference champ while Bunn (7-3, 6-1) will be the 2A 2-seed.
Union Pines survives: Triton (5-5, 2-2), Southern Lee (5-5, 3-1) and Union Pines (5-5, 2-2) could still finish tied for second in the Tri-County 6 3A. Triton is the most fortunate team out of this: If Union Pines had lost in overtime to Harnett Central, Southern Lee would win a head-to-head tiebreaker over Triton. Southern Lee is aiming higher – the Cavaliers could win the conference title with a Brick City Bowl upset over Lee County next week.
Overhills, Pinecrest sliding up: Overhills (7-3, 4-3 Patriot 3A/4A) is a win away from taking the 1-seed in its conference. There is no 2-seed available, so the Jaguars will need to close out strong next week. Pinecrest (6-4, 3-3 Sandhills 4A) upset Jack Britt, which won’t do much for seeding, but will be big for confidence.
Your weekly Lee County update: Ten games, 10 wins, eight shutouts and 34 points allowed all season.
PrepsNow ranking included
Cap-7 4A: Southeast Raleigh at No. 4 Cardinal Gibbons (won 52-12); Enloe at No. 20 Leesville Road (won 33-6); Broughton at No. 8 Sanderson (won 59-7)
Northern 4A: Rolesville at No. 2 Heritage (won 55-6); Knightdale (won 42-19) at Corinth Holders; No. 1 Wake Forest (won 56-0) at Wakefield
South Wake 4A: No. 23 Fuquay-Varina at Apex Friendship (won 32-21); Apex at No. 21 Garner (won 48-0); No. 7 Middle Creek (won 55-14) at Holly Springs
Triangle 6 4A: Panther Creek at Athens Drive (won 50-13); No. 10 Green Hope (won 42-20) at No. 22 Jordan; Cary (won 18-14) at Riverside
Eastern Carolina 3A/4A: No. 14 South Central (won 76-14) at C.B. Aycock; Eastern Wayne (won 49-43) at J.H. Rose; No. 11 D.H. Conley (won 56-14) at Southern Wayne
Big East 3A: Franklinton at Hunt (won 15-14); No. 17 Fike (won 33-23) at Northern Nash; No. 5 Southern Nash (won 35-7) at Rocky Mount
Big Eight 3A: No. 16 Orange (won 42-0) at Cedar Ridge; Southern Durham (won 56-26) at Chapel Hill; Hillside (won 35-28) at No. 15 Northwood
Greater Neuse River 3A: No. 6 Clayton (won 56-13) at Smithfield-Selma; East Wake at South Johnston (won 20-6); No. 24 Cleveland (won 70-27) at West Johnston
Tri-County 3A: No. 3 Lee County (won 44-7) at Triton; Harnett Central at Union Pines (won 12-6, OT); Southern Lee (won 55-7) at Western Harnett
Eastern Carolina 2A: South Lenoir at North Lenoir (won 42-14); Kinston (won 21-12) at Washington; Ayden-Grifton at West Craven (won 14-0)
Eastern Plains 2A: Farmville Central at Beddingfield (won 42-21); No. 13 SouthWest Edgecombe (won 41-21) at North Johnston; No. 19 Nash Central (won 70-6) at North Pitt
Northern Carolina 1A/2A: Louisburg at Bunn (won 45-14); No. 12 South Granville (won 55-9) at Granville Central; Northern Vance (won 33-15) at J.F. Webb; Roanoke Rapids (won 62-35) at Warren County
NCISAA 11-man: Harrells Christian at Ravenscroft (won 30-12); North Raleigh Christian at Wake Christian (won 30-7)
NCISAA 8-man: Faith Christian (Rocky Mount) at Arendell-Parrott (won 32-14); Grace Christian (Raleigh) at Rocky Mount Academy (won 56-12); Cary Christian at St. David’s (won 63-0); Hobgood/Northeast Co-op (won 58-44) at Wayne Christian
Other: Spring Creek at Goldsboro (won 62-0); Princeton at Lakewood (won 47-0); Rosewood at North Duplin (won 28-21); North Stanly (won 42-2) at North Moore; North Edgecombe (won 42-14) at Rocky Mount Prep; South View at No. 25 Overhills (won 30-27); Rockingham County (won 37-7) at Person; Jack Britt at Pinecrest (won 23-13); Carrboro at Providence Grove (won 32-14); Chatham Central at South Davidson (won 20-12); Jordan-Matthews at Wheatmore (won 22-0)