When the dust settled at the rugged 22-team Eagle Invitational wrestling tournament on Saturday, South Granville grappler Nathean Castillo was crowned the 113-pound champion. South Granville, with a 20-1 record one of the big surprises in North Carolina wrestling this season, finished sixth in the team standings. Orange finished third, with Joe Scott clinching the 138-pound title and Byron Stephenson rolling to the 285-pound championship.
Wells Fargo, along with the North Carolina School Athletic Association, on Wednesday announced the final standings in the Wells Fargo Conference Cup competitions for the 2014 fall sports season. Area leaders include Granville Central, Carrboro, N.C. School of Science & Mathematics, and East Chapel Hill.
Jaquon Sowell was one of three champions from Riverside, which finished fifth in the 23-team tournament. Host Orange finished second but all three of the Panthers’ finalists lost. Northern had one champ and finished 12th.
Northern Guilford, winner of three of the last four 3-AA state titles, whipped Orange High School 31-7 at a chilly Auman Stadium. The Nighthawks (13-1) will host Chapel Hill next week with a berth in the state championship game at stake.
In Friday's (Nov. 28) state quarterfinal high school football playoffs, Southern hosts Chapel Hill (3-AA), Orange hosts N. Guilford (3-AA) and Hillside travels to New Bern (4-A). All games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Orange’s 12-1 record is strong. But the Panthers would tell you they should be undefeated heading into the quarterfinals of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-AA playoffs. No. 6 seed Orange hosts No. 7 Northern Guilford (12-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
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.
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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.
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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.