High School Sports

High school football preview: The players and games to watch in Week Two

Cardinal Gibbons knocks off Wake Forest

Cardinal Gibbons High School head coach Steven Wright talks about his Crusaders defeating Wake Forest, the defending state champions, on Saturday, August 24, 2019.
Up Next
Cardinal Gibbons High School head coach Steven Wright talks about his Crusaders defeating Wake Forest, the defending state champions, on Saturday, August 24, 2019.

With a lot of changes to the schedule due to storms that hit the state last week, the first week of high school football wasn’t complete until Monday evening. That means it’s a quick turnaround for several local teams that will play twice in five days.

There are also several local teams looking to get a jump on their holiday weekend, playing games on Thursday.

Here’s a look at Week Two.

Game of the week

Garner at Cleveland, 7:30 p.m., Friday

In week one, Garner racked up 315 yards of total offense during a 28-17 win over Sanderson. Cleveland is known for its high-powered offense and showed it off, in one game -- split over two days -- in a 15-point win over Southern Durham.

Cleveland, one of the better 3A teams in the East, has won the last two matchups against the Trojans, including a 43-6 win last season at Garner. The Rams advanced to the 3AA East finals a year ago and look to build on that success. An early season win over a 4A perennial powerhouse would be another step in the right direction.

You also don’t want to miss

Apex Friendship (1-0) at Cary (1-0), 7 p.m., Thursday

Here are two Wake County teams looking to stay on a roll after wins in the opening week. In its short history (opened in 2016), Apex Friendship has only started the season 2-0 once before. Cary won the only previous meeting between the two schools, 27-12, in 2016.

Leesville Road (1-0) at Panther Creek (1-0), 7 p.m., Friday

In just three quarters of action against Wakefield, the Pride racked up 244 yards and 37 points. Just imagine what they could have done in a full game. Panther Creek’s defense held Fuquay-Varina to six points in the opener and had 10 tackles for loss.

Jordan (1-0) at Enloe (1-0), 7 p.m., Friday

It’ll be a quick turnaround for the Eagles, who wrapped up their season opener around 9:30 Monday night. Enloe couldn’t get out of its own way early against South Garner. They’ll have to keep the mistakes down against the Falcons in this Wake County-Durham County showdown.

Riverside (1-0) at Cardinal Gibbons (1-0), 7 PM

How will the Crusaders react after its biggest win in school history? Cardinal Gibbons knocked off three-time 4AA state champion Wake Forest on Saturday, but life doesn’t get any easier with Durham-Riverside coming to town for the Cardinal Gibbons home opener. Can the Crusaders keep the momentum going? Last year Gibbons dominated the game with a 48-0 win.

Cary High School's defensive tackle Davin Vann talks about why he committed to the N.C State football team.

Week Two players to watch

Dakota Marquess, Cleveland

The Rams’ senior linebacker finished with a team-high 10 tackles during Cleveland’s week on win over Southern Durham.

Davin Vann, Cary

Star defensive tackle was everywhere in the win over Southeast Raleigh. The NC State commit finished with 11 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles.

Tyler Shupe, Panther Creek

Senior quarterback finished with 252 yards of total offense and two scores in week one.

Landin Sledge, Durham Riverside

Junior quarterback completed 10 of 16 passes for 258 yards and four touchdowns against East Chapel Hill.

Donte McCall, Durham Riverside

Pirates’ junior carried the ball 10 times for 121 yards and one touchdown in a 44-7 win over East Chapel Hill.

Devin Smith, Durham Riverside

Senior wide receiver had five catches for 128 yards and two scores last week.

Ethan Hebb, Cardinal Gibbons

Senior had 12 carries for 100 yards, averaging 8.3 yards per carry, and one score in an upset win over Wake Forest. Also lined up at wide receiver.

Jack Grazen, Cardinal Gibbons

Senior did most of the heavy lifting against Wake Forest, carrying the ball 20 times for 98 yards and one score. Look for him to get the bulk of the touches again this week.

Jaeden Wortham, Enloe

Senior quarterback completed five of 12 passes for 103 yards and rushed 15 times for 124 yards and two scores in a 48-13 win over South Garner.

Ben Haugh, Broughton

Senior linebacker was unstoppable against Apex. Haugh finished with a team-high 13 tackles and two sacks in the win.

Southeast Raleigh football coach JeVar Bransome talks about the importance of having a full summer with his team.

Games around the Triangle


Apex Friendship (1-0) at Cary (1-0), 7 PM

Athens Drive (1-0) at Broughton (1-0), 7 PM

South Johnston (0-1) at Holly Springs (1-0), 7 PM

Apex (0-1) at Green Hope (0-0), 7 PM


Corinth Holders (1-0) at West Johnston (0-1), 7 PM

East Chapel Hill (0-1) at Carrboro (1-0), 7:30 PM

East Wake (0-1) at Knightdale (1-0), 7 PM

Fike (0-1) at Rolesville (1-0), 7 PM

Fuquay-Varina (0-1) at Hillside (0-0), 7 PM

Middle Creek (1-0) at Southeast Raleigh (0-1), 7 PM

Millbrook (0-1) at Wakefield (0-1), 7 PM

Person (0-1) at Northern Durham (0-0), 7 PM

R.J. Reynolds (1-0) at Orange (0-0), 7 PM

South Garner (0-1) at Heritage (0-1), 7 PM

South Granville (0-1) at Sanderson (0-1), 7 PM

Wake Forest (0-1) at Clayton (0-1), 7 PM

Related stories from Durham Herald Sun

Sports reporter Jonas Pope IV covers college recruiting, high school sports, NC Central and the ACC for the Herald-Sun and The News & Observer.