Orange, trailing by a touchdown, lost its starting quarterback on a keeper when he was pounded by Southern defenders, perhaps costing the Panthers a shot at victory.
East Regional No. 2 seed Southern (12-2) stopped No. 6 seed Orange (12-2) for the second time in four weeks 31-24 Friday night and got a huge break when No. 4 seed Wilson Hunt (11-3) upset No. 1 seed Fayetteville Douglas Byrd (11-3) 20-14 on the road Friday as well. As a result, Southern (12-2) will host the state 3-AA East Regional championship game Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The winner of that game will play for the state title at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Wake Forest University’s BB&T Field in Winston-Salem. ... Also, a look at how loss of Orange quarterback Garrett Cloer to injury handicapped the Panthers.
The 3-A Big Eight Conference powers finished the regular season 1-2 in the conference standings on the heels of Southern’s 55-41 Nov. 8 home win over the previously unbeaten Panthers that clinched Southern’s first title in the new league.
It was billed as the Game of the Year on Nov. 8 and it more than lived up to expectations as Southern High School held serve 55-41 in a game that turned on an Orange onside kick that Southern recovered with 3:08 to play and Orange trailing 48-41. Little did anyone know at the time, that showdown between 8-2 Southern and 10-0 Orange was just an appetizer for Friday’s main course, Game of the Year II — Orange at Southern, 7:30 p.m. This meeting means more than the first one did — and that one handed the prestigious Big Eight 3-A Conference title to Southern by a game over Orange. Friday’s Elite Eight 3-AA state playoff game will determine who moves on to play in the state semifinals and a shot at the 3-AA state championship.
Tay Jones scored three touchdowns on long runs, including a 51-yarder with 1:52 left in the game to help Orange hold off Cleveland 59-50 on Friday night in the second round of 3-AA playoffs. With the win, Orange advances to an Elite Eight showdown at Big Eight 3-A Conference rival Southern Friday at 7:30.
The playoff road isn’t paved with yellow bricks and there are no Munchkins lining up against Orange and Hillside on the road tonight at Clayton Cleveland (3-AA) and Knightdale (4-A), respectively, or at Southern (3-AA) where the Spartans host Cardinal Gibbons. Game time for each second-round playoff is 7:30 p.m.
Boys' and girls' basketball ... boys' and girls' swimming ...
The Orange Panthers’ defense, which allowed 55 points last week to Southern, made a statement in the first round of the NCHSAA 3-AA playoffs Friday.
This is a look at Friday, Nov. 15th's eight state playoff football games encompassing nine area football programs. Game-by-game breakdowns include playoff classification, East Region seeding and overall records.
4-AA — No. 10 South View (8-3) at No. 7 Riverside (8-3), 7 p.m.
4-A — No. 12 Clayton (7-4) at No. 5 Hillside (8-2), 7 p.m.
4-A — No. 10 Northern (3-8) at No. 7 Wilmington New Hanover (8-3), 7 p.m.
3-AA — No. 15 Chapel Hill (4-7) at No. 2 Southern (9-2), 7 p.m.
3-AA — No. 11 Rocky Mount (8-3) at No. 6 Orange (10-1), 7 p.m.
3-A — No. 10 Northwood (8-3) at No. 7 Mebane Eastern Alamance (8-3), 7 p.m.
2-AA — No. 13 Hertford County (6-5) at No. 4 South Granville (9-2), 7 p.m.
1-AA — No. 5 Granville Central (7-4) at No. 4 Princeton (8-3), 7 p.m.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association on Saturday released the seedings and matchups for Friday's opening round of the state football playoffs in eight classifications and nine area teams made the field.
Southern figured out how to play defense — in the first half — against Orange and with a 55-41 win Friday night made history as the first 3-A Big Eight Conference champion.
Orange and Southern meet in the area game of the year Friday, Nov. 8, the first meeting of the Big Eight 3-A Conference co-leaders as fellow 3-A members. But while Friday's regular-season finale will decide the Big Eight title, it might not be the last time the two face off this season. Two of the top 3-A programs in the state, they could very well face each other again in the playoffs. Both teams have already locked up playoff berths. A look at all 10 high school games involving area teams on Friday's schedule. Note: Northern-Riverside tonight is at Riverside.
The N.C. School of Science and Mathematics had three of the first five individual finishers to take win the state’s 2-A boys’ cross country team championship at the Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex — formerly Beeson Park — in Kernersville Saturday. Complete area results for all four classifications, all local teams and runners.
Orange cinches 3-A playoff berth
With only two games remaining in the regular season, the races for the three playoff berths up for grabs in each of the area’s five NCHSAA football conferences is red hot.