Cardinal Gibbons took a 22-7 halftime lead in its Big Eight 3-A Conference opener at Cedar Ridge Friday and never looked back en route to a 39-7 win.
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.
To win some you have to lose some. That’s the case as least if you believe Riverside High School first year football coach Christopher Howell, who talked about that after his Pirates defeated Cedar Ridge High School 33-13 Friday in Hillsborough to claim their first victory of the season.
Demetrius Lyles melted through, past and around the defensive coverage for a pair of touchdown receptions, Julius Walton ran like a man possessed for another pair, and Cedar Ridge scored on six of seven possessions to thump East Chapel Hill 42-16.
Cedar Ridge interim head coach Clay Jones picked up his first career win after a heartbreaking one-point loss to Carrboro a week ago. ... Danville (Va.) George Washington routs Roxboro Person ... Kestrel Heights breaks down early in Walkertown.
Carrboro quarterback Rowe Mellott blocks last-gasp Cedar Ridge field goal try to preserve 39-38 Carrboro victory in game marked by return from injury of Jaguars' star RB Trai Sharp, who rushes for staggering 335 yards.
Nine area girls’ soccer players have been named to 2014 all-state teams by the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association.
The votes are in for the best players in the 3-A Big Eight and 1-A North Central Athletic conferences.
ORANGE CAPS PERFECT BIG EIGHT 3-A CONFERENCE SEASON WITH WIN OVER CEDAR RIDGE
In an odd twist of fate Orange finished its season undefeated in conference play and soared to a 20-win milestone in unfamiliar territory — at home.
Buoyed by a pair of early big innings and fighting off a late-rally by cross-town rival Cedar Ridge, Orange won 10-6 Friday night during a senior night game that ended two straight months of road games.
“I’m sure there was a little bit of nervousness. We played 20 straight road games, and so they’re back here and they’re excited to be back on the field for this last home game,” said Panthers coach Dean Dease.
“We played Feb. 28 here and March 5, and been on the road since after the [March 6] ice storm, so it wasn’t quite the home opener,” Dease said. The weight of the ice on the backstop netting caused the wooden poles to snap, crushing the backstop and sections of the brick backstop wall.
“It just was a disaster. You couldn’t play at all,” Dease said.
Dease said he challenged his team midway through the conference schedule to go undefeated, and they reminded him Friday that they met his goal, as well as getting the 20th victory.
Carrboro stars Brian Freiburghouse and doubles teammates Max Fritsch and Jake Zinn won their first two state individual 2-A boys’ tennis championship rounds to advance to Friday’s 9 a.m. semifinals. Also in the semifinals is Chapel Hill singles star Bryan Zhang. Complete area results ...
Orange County schools have several players in the mix for all the marbles.
East Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill boys' tennis stars advance ... Sean Obi officially transfers to Duke ... More ...
PAC-6 Track & Field Championships reduced to one day (Thursday) at Hillside ... NCCU opens MEAC T&F Championships ... Duke, UNC men's and women's players named to NCAA individual and doubles tennis fields ... More ...
Jason Tudryn, who took Carrboro High School into the varsity football ranks and came within an eyelash of winning a state title in his sixth season at the helm, has left the program to join the staff of North Carolina coach Larry Fedora. ... Plus, rain claims much of Tuesday's schedule including some dual-team tennis playoff action, PAC-6 4-A track championships and PAC-6 golf championship.
Area teams lead or share leads in five of six conferences that include area high school interscholastic athletic programs after the winter season in Wells Fargo Conference Cup competition.