Its two biggest regular-season games — both close losses — in the rearview mirror, an outstanding Northwood team demolished Northern Vance 56-7 here Friday night.
With an unscheduled bye week in hand, Northern should be rested and ready, but whether that’s enough tonight is another question.
Southern came up with seven turnovers — four interceptions and three fumble recoveries — en route to a 33-25 win over Northwood Friday that left the Spartans (8-0, 4-0 Big Eight 3-A Conference) tied atop the Big Eight with Orange (8-0, 4-0 Big Eight).
Here are links to our other Friday area football games:
Orange 38, Chapel Hill 37
Hillside 19, Riverside 18
Jordan 17, Roxboro Person 14
Burlington Cummings 19, Carrboro 0
Cedar Ridge 14, Oxford Webb 12
South Granville 41, Southern Vance 0
Hobbton 47, Kestrel Heights 6
Southeast Halifax 40, Granville Central 35
East Chapel Hill forfeits to Northern
Four of the preseason Big Eight 3-A Conference powers, all of whom have lived up to their billings, are in action Friday, Oct. 17. In Pittsboro, reigning Big Eight and state 3-AA state champion Southern (7-0, 3-0 Big Eight) visits Northwood (6-1, 2-1) at 7, while in Hillsborough, Orange (7-0, 3-0) hosts Chapel Hill (6-1, 2-1).
Northwood’s defense scored and prevented scores. That’s the bottom line in Saturday night’s 46-0 rout of Big Eight 3-A Conference rival Oxford Webb in a game that was rescheduled after being rained out Friday.
Postponed, suspended Friday night high school football games to be made up tonight (Saturday, Oct. 11) and Monday. Only two games officially completed.
Defending PAC-6 champion Hillside opened its conference season with an abbreviated by impressive win Friday, stopping Jordan 27-0 before a thunderstorm ended the game at halftime.
The preliminaries are over. It’s down to business for the PAC-6 4-A Friday night (Oct. 10).
Northwood shellacked Big Eight 3-A Conference rival Cedar Ridge 45-6 Friday night in a performance so dominating that the visiting Red Wolves only gained 9 yards total offense in the first half and never moved the ball past midfield until the third quarter.
Southern and Chapel Hill, two of the area’s three remaining undefeated high school football teams meet Friday, Oct. 3 in Chapel Hill. A preview of Friday's seven area games.
UNBEATEN PANTHERS' DEFENSE STYMIES NORTHWOOD
Orange’s defense shut down Northwood, 14-7, in a battle of unbeatens Friday at Orange.
The two teams combined for all 21 points in the game’s first nine minutes, but the defenses tightened up the rest of the way, choking off the expected shootout.
The Panther defense harassed Northwood quarterback Ti Pinnix all night, sacking him four times and chasing him from the pocket repeatedly. Orange added three tackles for loss on Northwood running backs and held the Chargers to 56 yards on the ground.
Orange also managed to shut down Northwood’s big-play wide receiver, Jalen Smith. Cornerbacks Keshawn Thompson and A.J. Bradsher took turns guarding Smith, holding him to two catches for 26 yards and several incompletions as Pinnix tried to find an opening to get Smith the ball.
The Orange defense also had two red-zone stands, preventing Northwood from getting the game-tying touchdown.
Live links to all Friday's area high school football games:
UNBEATENS NORTHWOOD, ORANGE TO CLASH IN HILLSBOROUGH
There was little to no doubt that the area’s top high school football conference this season would be the Big Eight 3-A.
With returning state 3-AA champion Southern, state 3-AA semifinalist Orange and 2013 playoff teams Cardinal Gibbons, Northwood and Chapel Hill all in the fold, things couldn’t have looked brighter for the second-year conference.
Turns out, through four games, the Big Eight might have been undervalued. And tonight, the Big Eight jumps into conference play.
The top four teams in the league — Southern, Orange, Northwood and Chapel Hill — are undefeated (4-0) and ranked no lower statewide than 34th in the 3-A ranks by MaxPreps.com, the online partner of the N.C. High School Athletic Association.
One of those four is assured of suffering its first loss tonight as Orange, which has outscored its four opponents by a combined 144-40, hosts Northwood at 7.
Three of Orange's wins have come at the expense of 4-A programs from the embattled PAC-6.
Northwood has outscored its four victims 172-29 and is ranked 26th (3-A), Orange 13th.
Northwood quarterback Ti Pinnix made his return a memorable one. Pinnix, who sat out last week’s game due to injury, threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for another 162 yards and two TDs, as the Chargers ran up more than 600 yards offense in a 56-14 blowout of visiting Carrboro Friday.
For Northwood coach Bill Hall in his farewell tour season, his Chargers had a chance to do something historic against rival Jordan-Matthews Friday night and did just that, stopping the Jets 37-7 for their third straight win.
Northwood needed a 76-yard pass from backup quarterback Jacob Fowler to Montel Goods with 1:15 left in the game to steal the lead from Southern Lee and go on to a 14-8 victory.