Reigning state 4-A champion Dudley’s still here and not giving up the throne. After an intermission in their high-flying act, the Panthers resumed their winning ways Friday with a 24-6 victory against winless Northern at Tarpley Stadium.
Southern basically had football practice Friday night, along the way picking up a 69-0 win on its home field against Northern Vance.
The only reason it would be difficult to say that the Hillside Hornets are back following Friday’s 47-0 non-conference victory over Nash Central is because they never really went anywhere. The home victory moves Hillside to 2-4 on the season, but the record is misleading. Three of the losses were by less than three points and the schedule, including rival Southern, New Bern and Greensboro Dudley, was brutal.
Wake Christian Academy (4-2) came to play and Kestrel Heights (1-5) didn’t. End result? Wake Christian took care of business in the first half 54-14 and tacked on 14 more in the second to keep Kestrel Heights at bay 68-30.
Guns are illegal on high school campuses, and Riverside might take that to heart. Running its offense out of the pistol with quarterback Diante Strothers taking the shotgun snaps, the Pirates fumbled nine times — including a muffed onside kick grab — and lost the ball five times in all, four on fumbles, in what became a 49-7 home rout to Clayton Cleveland.
UNBEATEN PANTHERS' DEFENSE STYMIES NORTHWOOD
Orange’s defense shut down Northwood, 14-7, in a battle of unbeatens Friday at Orange.
The two teams combined for all 21 points in the game’s first nine minutes, but the defenses tightened up the rest of the way, choking off the expected shootout.
The Panther defense harassed Northwood quarterback Ti Pinnix all night, sacking him four times and chasing him from the pocket repeatedly. Orange added three tackles for loss on Northwood running backs and held the Chargers to 56 yards on the ground.
Orange also managed to shut down Northwood’s big-play wide receiver, Jalen Smith. Cornerbacks Keshawn Thompson and A.J. Bradsher took turns guarding Smith, holding him to two catches for 26 yards and several incompletions as Pinnix tried to find an opening to get Smith the ball.
The Orange defense also had two red-zone stands, preventing Northwood from getting the game-tying touchdown.
Live links to all Friday's area high school football games:
Two years removed from state 2-AA runnerup finish, Carrboro has just 38 players in its football program. East Chapel Hill has 40. Neither has enough players to field a junior varsity program.
Not only is East Chapel Hill without a junior varsity football team, but two of the better players from last season’s varsity now play for crosstown rival Chapel Hill High School.
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.
Nine games into Northern High's soccer season, the Knights finally lost one, and you’d have thought they were languishing at 1-8 instead of sitting pretty at 8-1.
Oxford Webb ran for almost 500 yards Friday night en route to a 34-21 comeback win over visiting Elizabeth City Pasquotank.
South Boston (Va.) Halifax County scored two touchdowns in the first eight minutes and never trailed in a 42-29 victory at Roxboro Person Friday.
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.
Granville Central football coach and athletic director John Hammett announced today that the Panthers have rescheduled Friday night's scheduled game at Fayetteville Village Christian to tonight (Thursday, Sept. 11). Game time is 7 p.m. in Fayetteville.
In a span of a minute and three seconds the South Granville Vikings sealed a win with a pair of rushing touchdowns on consecutive possessions Friday and went on to defeat visiting Granville County rival Oxford Webb 28-12.