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.
The Southern Spartans played with dull swords that still were sharp enough to beat the Northern Knights 28-0 in a non-conference duel on Friday.s, click on View All (above), then scroll down to High Schools.
Live links to complete area high school football coverage:
Apex 49, Riverside 25
Southern High School rode a late two-touchdown rally here Thursday night to take down down perennial state power Scotland County 34-28. ... In Fayetteville, Granville Central routed Village Christian Academy 46-0. ... Both games were moved up a night because of threatening weather.
The date of Friday's scheduled Southern at Laurinburg Scotland County high school football game has been advanced to tonight (Thursday, Sept. 11) because of the threat of inclement weather in the Lauringburg area Friday and Saturday.
Brown already had offers to play football at East Carolina, Boston College, Virginia, West Virginia, N.C. State and Wake Forest — where quarterback Kendall Hinton, who threw that touchdown pass to him, appears to be headed.
LAST-MINUTE TD LIFTS SOUTHERN OVER HILLSIDE 16-13 AT NCCU
Southern junior Jordan Brown scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of last year’s 3-AA state championship game.
On Friday he scored another winning touchdown in the final minute, and the stakes may have been just as high.
Brown’s 8-yard touchdown catch with 25 seconds left gave Southern a 16-13 win over 4-A Hillside at N.C. Central University’s O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium, breaking the Hornets’ four-year winning streak in the city’s biggest rivalry.
“Winning the state championship is huge,” Southern coach Darius Robinson said. “But unfortunately in order for you to get the respect in our state, in our city, in our region, we have to win a game like this. So it’s on the level of a state championship because that’s a great team over there.”
The Southern-Hillside rivalry always seems to come down to the final possession — the last seven meetings have been decided by a total of 31 points — and Friday’s meeting was no exception.
For coverage of all area football games played this weekend, click on View All to the right of Sports (above) and scroll down to High Schools.
It's Southern and Hillside tonight (Friday, Aug. 29) at 7:30 p.m. at N.C. Central's O'Kelly-Riddick Stadium — enough said.
SOUTHERN RIDES POWERFUL ARM OF HINTON, STINGY DEFENSE TO WIN IN OPENER
Some of the top high school football talent in the area emerged from the Durham Eagles Athletic Association.
Reigning state 3-AA football champion Southern High School is locked & loaded and ready to defend its 2013 crown. Despite the losses of veteran head coach Adrian Jones (now an N.C. Central aide) and graduated star wideouts Maurice Trowell (N.C. State) and Derrick Mason (N.C. Central), the Spartans are rich with talent and desire.
CarolinaGridiron.com has ranked the top 15 high school football programs in North Carolina in each of four attendances classifications. Locally, Hillside is ranked No. 15 in 4-A, defending state 3-AA champion Southern is ranked fourth and Orange is ranked 10th in 3-A. ... Duke's Boutier falls in round of 32 at U.S. Women's Am ... Duke leads all ACC schools on academic honor roll ... Landon Donovan to retire ... Kevin Love to join Cavaliers, NBA sources say. ... Ex-UNC star Felton suspended by NBA.
NCPreps.com has named quarterback Kendall Hinton of reigning state 3-A champion Southern High School to its preseason 3-A North Carolina all-state team. ... Hillside star OT Emanuel McGirt was named to the 4-A all-state team.
The Spartans remain hungry. In the meantime, they fed those who were.
Teddy McKoy replaces 2013 4-A PAC-6 coach of the year Monique Fearrington at Southern.
Duke appeared to the frontrunner for acquiring the services of Southern quarterback Kendall Hinton.