Two touchdowns in 50 seconds at the end of the first half propelled the Panthers of Orange High School (12-1) past the Corinth Holders High Pirates (9-4) and into the state 3-AA quarterfinals 42-13 Friday night.
The area's four remaining high school playoff entries pulled a perfecto Friday night, to move into the state quarterfinals where three members of the Big East 3-A Conference are among the last eight 3-AA programs standing. Southern will host Chapel Hill on Friday in one quarterfinal, Orange will host Northern Guilford in another, and Hillside will travel to No. 1 seed New Bern in 4-A in a rematch of the Hornets' season-opener.
Click on live links below for complete game-by-game reports:
Four area teams remain alive for Friday’s (Nov. 21) 7:30 p.m. second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, but only one can be considered a favorite. Reigning state 3-AA champion Southern is that favorite, as the No. 1 seed hosts No. 8 Clayton Cleveland. Southern is one of three Big Eight 3-A Conference teams still alive after the first round of the playoffs, joining No. 6 seed Orange and No. 12 Chapel Hill, both of whom play on the road in 3-AA action tonight. In Fayetteville, 4-A No. 5 seed Hillside (8-4) will have its hands more than full when it travels to meet No. 4 Seventy-First (12-0).
Bryse Wilson stopped a potential game-winning two-point conversion try with six seconds left, powering Orange (11-1) over visiting Sanford Lee County 21-20 in the first round of the state 3-AA playoffs Friday night.
Is there another state championship in the offing for our area high school football? We’ll know a little bit more after Friday's 7:30 opening round of 10 state playoff games in five classifications.
Reigning and undefeated 3-AA state champion Southern, fresh off a miraculous comeback win at previously undefeated Orange Friday night has earned the No. 1 seed in the 16-team state 3-AA football playoffs that begin Friday. ... Complete list of all area teams' playoff seedings and Friday night matchups ... Updates from preliminary brackets are many, including Granville Central losing home opener, seeding drops and opponent changes.
Southern comes from nine down in the final 2:56 to beat Orange 27-23 and cap a perfect regular season. The loss was Orange’s first of the season. Southern, the reigning state 3-AA champion, also ended a perfect Orange season last year in the regular-season Big Eight 3-A Conference finale.
Reigning state champion Southern won the battle of the unbeatens Friday night, handing Orange its first loss of the season 27-23 en route to the Big Eight 3-A Conference championship and likely the No. 1 seed in the state 3-AA playoffs.
Click on live links below for complete Friday night football coverage.
Southern 27, Orange 23
Northern 34, Riverside 22
Chapel Hill 42, Cedar Ridge 30
Hillside 57, Roxboro Person 0
Northwood 31, Cardinal Gibbons 6
Granville Central 42, Northwest Halifax 0
South Granville 14, Roanoke Rapids 0 ...
Reidsville 56, Carrboro 6 ...
Northern Vance 36, Oxford Webb 19
“The last game (between) two undefeated (teams), and the outcome (could mean) you are the champions,” Southern coach Darius Robinson said.
“We’re here. We’re both 10-0,” Orange coach Pat Moser said. “This is for the championship. It’s very big.”
Something has to give when these 3-A teams from the Big Eight Conference meet at Orange High School Friday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.. Orange could put a chink in the Spartans’ armor. Or Southern could bag the Panthers.
“The Big Eight Conference is the best 3-A conference in the state,” Moser said. “We had to play really good football to get by those teams.
“We’re both undefeated, 10-0 teams. It’s been a hard road to get here to that.”
Orange and Southern spent part of the season fending off conference counterparts Chapel Hill, Northwood and Cardinal Gibbons. Those matchups were akin to what could be described as Big Eight bowl games.
Which would make the Southern-Orange scenario something like the Super Big Eight Bowl.
NCSSM's Nicholas Walker, Carrboro's Maysa Araba win invidual titles to lead teams to state boys' and girls' championships in Kernersville. ... Complete 2-A and 3-A individual and team results. ... Northern boys upset No. 2 seed Fayetteville Jack Britt in soccer playoffs; Granville Central eliminated ... Developing story ...
Overcoming two touchdowns that were negated by penalties and then committing the game’s only turnover, Orange did just enough to come out with a 20-6 victory over Cardinal Gibbons Friday night.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association state championships in cross country for boys and girls return to Kernersville for the fifth straight year Saturday, Nov. 1. The races will be run at the Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex in Kernersville.
Durham Academy loses NCISAA field hockey title 1-0 in sudden-death to Charlotte Country Day ... Area 2-A and 4-A state tennis finalists all fall in championship round ... Many area programs advance through regionals to state cross country championships.
Undefeated Big Eight 3-A Conference co-leader Orange (9-0, 5-0) dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage in a 49-0 home rout of Oxford Webb (2-7, 0-5) here Friday.