Now that we're two weeks into the 2017 high school football season, things are slowly starting to settle down and we can now focus more clearly on who the top teams will be, and who the pretenders are.
THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE
Wake Forest and Mallard Creek continue to show us that they have what it takes to win it all. These two teams have clashed in the state championshp games before, and if we're lucky we may see yet another epic battle this December. Of course with the shift in realighment, we'll have to hope that Wake Forest goes 4AA and doesn't slip down into the 4A ranks, which would certainly make us rethink our favorites in that class.
Scotland once again showed us that they are who we thought they were, back-to-back solid performances against top-tier competition has them firmly ranked in the Top-3.
MOVING UP THE RANKINGS
West Mecklenburg continues to be a team to watch and one that could sneak into the championships. Also keep an eye out for Glenn and Green Hope to start making a move upward.
Millbrook and Providence makes their debut into the rankingis this week, they both have tough schedules coming up so we'll have to see if they have what it takes to stay in the Top-25.
||Def. Richmond 38-13; the
Cougars continue to tighten their grip on the rest of the 4A class with
huge road victory over Richmond in Raider Stadium.
||Def. Butler 42-9; maybe not the most talented Creek team ever, but this could be the best
overall team yet or Mike Palmieri. They've put N.C. on notice that
they're back and looking to reclaim the 4AA title.
||Def. Hillside 34-21; playing one of the more brutal schedules in the 4A, this Fighting Scots
team is showing it can play with anyone in the state.
||Def. West Charlotte 36-6; this
Hawks squad is showing it can overcome adversity and still win
big. This week it was the rushing game and an opportunistic
defense that led the way for the Hawks.
||Def. Carver 68-6;playing an out-manned Carver squad gave head coach Adrian Snow ample opportunities to play a lot of
young players in preparation for this week's huge game against Mount Tabor.
||Def. Orange 26-6; this impressive road victory against 3A power Orange continues to build
upon the Vikings strong foundation. Quaterback Josh Jones put
together another great performance with 186 yards through the air, but
the defense is what could lead this team deep in the playoffs.
Creek 47-27; this
is the kind of statement victory that alerts the rest of the 4A to look
out. In a game that had no shortage of offense, N.C. State commit
Ricky Person and Duke commit Gunnar Holmberg put on a show against the
||Def. Ardrey Kell 23-20
in OT; penalties and mistakes are certainly hurting the Mustangs right
now. While they've got a chance to make a deep run, Myers Park
will have to clean things up to remain one of the top teams in the
||Def. Monroe 55-0; the Cougars waisted no time
in bouncing back from their Week-1 loss to West
the All Gas - No Breaks offense shot out to a 41-0 halftime lead and
the defense was spectacular in shutting down a very strong Monroesquad.
Creek 42-6; already known as a team that pounds opponents with their potent ground
attack, this years Patriots squad has added the deep ball to itsarsenal
and put up huge offensive numbers in their win over Gray's
to Heritage 47-27; I wouldn't panic if I'm a Mustangs fan after Friday's setback to
Heritage, this is still a young and improving ball club and their best
days are still ahead of them. I still see a deep run for Randy
Ragland's team this year.
Tabor 21-17; mistakes and missed assignments certainly hurt the Eagles on Friday but
this is still a very dangerous team that could be among the favorites
in the 4A bracket later this fall.
to Mallard Creek 42-9; the sky isn't falling yet for the Bulldogs, but these
young players will have to grow up fast for head coach Brian Hales. A week off should help the
coaches make some adjustments before heading into Raider Stadium in two
Cabarrus 47-37; I can't overstate this enough, don't take your eyes off of this Ragin'
Bull squad. I think they have the offensive firepower to
Ridge for the Southwestern
||Def. Knightdale 34-7; Trent Pennix and company
bounced back on Friday after their Week-1 loss against East
Forsyth. This team has impressed me over the summer and while
watching them last week, they'll get stronger each week.
Forest 38-13; there were
some high points for the Raiders in Friday's setback against top-ranked WF,
look for this Bryan
Till led team to show consistant improvement each week and become a
very tough-out for someone later this fall.
||Def. Garinger 48-0; head coach Sam
junior running back Quavaris Crouch and company are only beginning to
see the fruits of their labors pay off, this team will only get
stronger as the year goes on.
||Def. Piedmont 44-7; we knew the passing game would be solid with four-year starter Grayson
McCall, but junior running back Malcolm Hines has really solidifed head
Hertz's ground attack and this defense is really strong so keep an eye on these
guys, it hasn't been that long ago that PR was in back-to-back 4A title
Guilford 38-27; the Pirates
defense is already stout, but once this young offense gains experience
and confidence, watch out!
||Def. Walkertown 52-0; Appalachian State bound
quarterback Stephon Brown looked
terrific as expected in their blowout victory on Friday, but it was the
Bobcats defense that was ruthless holding the Wolfpack to only 26 yards
of total offense.
Durham 20-8; quaterback
Nick Frey and the rest of the Crusaders team looked very strong in
Friday's victory on the road against Southern
This is another one of those teams that has the potential to get really
hot and hurt some teams feelings come playoff time.
Fear 15-14; while a late game defensive stand by the Colts
stole a potential win away from Seventy-First,
this Falcon squad is very potent and still capable of a deep run this
||Def. Wakefield 39-9; last week's loss to Wake
Forestdidn't turn me off from thinking that these Wildcats were a pretty
talented football team, but we'll certainly get a much better idea of
how strong they are this week when they go on the road to face Hertiage.
||Def. Hough 31-27; Julian
Boddie ran wild for the Panthers as he gained 233 and scored three
touchdowns. Now in his third year as head coach, it looks like Brad Bowles has helped this program turn the corner,
we'll find out just how improved they are this week as they travel to Myers Park.
||Def. Hoke County 42-27; While
I don't think the Tigers have even played a complete game yet, head
coach Rodney Brewington's players are as talented as anyone and have shown glipses of what they
can become later this year. Tyrese Byrd put up 139 yards against
Hoke and Donovan Brewington is getting better each week behind
center. He put up big yards Friday as he connected twice with ECU
commit Andrew Pegues.
Green Hope (1-1), Mooresville (1-0), Southeast Raleigh (1-1), Purnell Swett (2-0), High Point Central (2-0), North Mecklenburg (2-0), Ardrey Kell (0-2), Reagan (1-1), Davie County (0-2), Garner (0-2), South Mecklenburg (0-2), Hough (0-2), R.J. Reynols (2-0), East Mecklenburg(1-1), Laney (1-1), South Central (2-0), Jordan (0-2), Northwest Guilford (2-0), Fuquay Varina (1-1)
THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE
Without question, Dudley and Charlotte Catholic are proving to be the class of the 3A. If Catholic goes small 3A which could happen, then those two powerhouses could win both championships, but that doesn't mean we won't forget about Cape Fear, Havelock, and Eastern Guilford.
MOVING UP THE RANKINGS
Mount Tabor and New Hanover continue to shoot up the rankings and Southern Nash, Hillside, and Freedom are also taking the elevator ride up.
After crushing A.L. Brown 35-14, Marvin Ridge has moved up to the 13th spot. Also new to the rankings this week is Western Alamance, Sun Valley, and Cleveland.
||Def. Ragsdale 74-21; the names change but the
dominance remains the same, head coach Steve
Davis saw his offense explode Friday as the Panthers dismantled Ragsdale.
The Panthers scored 11 touchdowns including a pick-6 interception
return on defense in the rout.
Mecklenburg 44-0; the Cougars were dominant on both sides
of the ball Friday as they crushed the rival Sabres. Catholic continues
to control the line of scrimmage and they outgained South 336 yards to
Bern 48-19; the Rams made it a clean sweep on Friday of
beating Craven County teams, they were very balanced as Zach Sabdo
passed for 171 yards and 3 scores while Khalil Barrett and Cameron
Hutchinson both went over 100-yards on the ground.
||Def. Seventy-First15-14; for the second consecutive week the Colts defense stood
strong and preserved the victory. Justice Galloway-Velazquez was
back in action at quarterback but it was his presence at linebacker
that made the biggest highlights.
||Def. Northside-Jax34-6; Blake Walston threw for 270 yards as the Wildcats
continue to make waves throughout the 3A ranks. The defense was
tremendous as they shut down the previously 16th ranked Monarchs.
Forsyth 21-17; new head coach Tiesuan
Brown led the Spartans to their first victory over East since
2011. It took a pair of strong defensive stands to secure the win
against the 4A powers.
Ridge 50-7; the Wildcats continue to impress as they
improve to 2-0. Senior quarterback Dominique Graves added 4
rushing touchdowns and one through the air in the rout.
Warriors will travel to Porter
Ridge this week.
Mount 60-43; senior quarterback Holton Ahlers complted 24
of 35 passes for 374 yards and 5 touchdowns and added 56 on the ground
and rushing touchdown in the track meet victory over the Gryphons.
to Scotland 34-21; the Hornets continue to impress even in defeat.
This is certainly a team that could advance very deep in the playoffs.
Central 48-7; the Firebirds amassed 382 yards on the ground
in the dominant victory over Nash
Central. Both Zonovan Knight and Kendrick Bell went over
100-yards rushing and accounted for three touchdowns. SN is
on an impressive 24-4 run since 2015.
||Def. Draughn41-6; it was the first of what will most certainly be many wins
by new head coach Jim
Bob Bryant. The Patriots have been very strong early on and
they'll host arch-rival East
Burke this week in one of the best rivalry games in N.C.
Brown 35-14; the Mavs handed Kannapolis their first home
loss in five years in the dominant victory on Friday. Senior
quarterback Bryce McLain accounted for 235 yards of offfense and threw
three touchdown passes in the rout.
to Shelby29-8; the Rockets were unable to consistently penetrate through
the Shelbydefensive front and made too many mistakes in the defeat on
Friday. Nathan St. Onge was a bright spot in defeat and this is
still a very dangerous squad that will bounce back. Head Coach Shane
Laws will go for win 100 on Friday as they Rockets visit Owen.
Roberson 20-14; the Chargers got their first victory in theNick
Eddins era as they defeated TCR on Friday. They'll have a
week off to prepare for arch-rivals Shelbyon Sept. 8th.
Caldwell 54-6; the Mountaineers were very dominant on both
sides of the ball and put up 375 yards of offense with 263 on the
ground in their victory over the Spartans.
Springs 45-0; the Yellow Jackets defense once again was
stout in the victory. Friday's victory was the 300th of head
Mill 33-0; this is one of those teams you can't sleep on,
they were very strong on both sides of the ball in Friday's
victory. They'll face two major tests over the next two weeks
when they face Cloverand Hickory.
||Def. Rolesville 41-6; head coach Hunter
Jenks squad continues to impress after last week's season opening
victory against Garner.
The Comets were very balanced on offense as they rushed for 174 yards
while passing for 192. Junior quarterback Sawyer Worrell has been
very impressive so far this season.
to Vance 55-0; the Redhawks were on an amazing 109-34 run that dated
back to 2008 and included a 2015 state championship, but that all came
to a screetching halt Friday as Vanceblanked them 55-0. The loss marked the first time Monroewas shuout on offense since losing to Forest
Hills 41-0 in November of 2005.
||Def. Anson 59-22; Sam Howell and Anthony
Marple led the Spartans to a big victory against Anson,
head coach Tad
Baucom's team has been nearly unstoppable on offense this season,
they're averaging 60.5 PPG. They have a week off before taking onPorter
Ridge on Sep. 8th.
||Def. Williams 35-3; the 1-2 punch of Christian Daniels and Jake Christman was
all that was needed for the Warriors to defeat Burlington
Williams for the 15th straight season. WA will most likely go
untested from this point forward setting up a Mid
State 3A battle against Eastern
Alamance later this season.
to Hoggard 26-6; the Panthers 17-game regular season winning streak came
to an end Friday when they lost to 4A power Wilmington
Hoggard, but this tough game is a loss that should benifit Orangelater on this year. I still expect them to be a very tough out in
the deep rounds of the 3A playoffs.
Duplin 27-26; a last second 28-yard field goal sealed the
Cardinals fate Friday as they fell to 2A power East
Duplin. The kicking game doomed Jacksonvilleas they also missed two PAT's. I feel certain that head coach Beau
Williams' squad will bounce back but they won't have any time to
lick their wounds as they travel to Laneyon Friday.
||Def. Garner 19-15; always one of the most prolific offensive teams in North
Carolina, head coach Scott
Riley's Rams made a major statement Friday with their victory over Garner.
They'll face another very touch challenge this Friday as they host Terry
Watauga (2-0), Eastern Alamance (2-0), West Carteret (2-0), A.L. Brown (1-1), Northside-Jacksonville (1-1), Stuart Cramer (2-0), T.C. Roberson (0-2), Terry Sanford (2-0), Rocky Mount (0-2), Alexander Central (2-0), E.E. Smith (2-0), West Rowan (1-1), Tuscola (1-0), J.M. Robinson (1-1), Concord(1-1), West Brunswick (0-2), Statesville (2-0), Cuthbertson (0-2), Northern Guilford (1-1), South Iredell (2-0), J.H. Rose (0-2), West Caldwell (1-1)
THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE
The Top-10 is a who's who of N.C. Football. South Point is on a roll, Shelby is Shelby! Northeastern has a title on their minds, and East Duplin, Hibriten, North Davidson, Wallace-Rose Hill, and Reidsville are all eying a state championship run.
MOVING UP THE RANKINGS
Franklin made a big jump after knocking off Asheville and Murhpy in back-to-back weeks, and East Bladen shot up the rankings after a convincing win against Clinton.
Maiden, East Rutherford, Kinston, and Patton are all new to the Top-25 this week.
||Def. Lincolnton 59-6; Jake Alexander's 145 yards rushing and five touchdowns
helped lead the explosive Red Raiders offense in the rout of rival
Lincolnton. Next week South Point travels to rival Forestview.
Reynolds 29-8; the Shelby defense was dominant and they
took advantage of every Rocket miscue in Friday's victory over the 3A
power. The Golden Lions will host Burnson Friday.
Norfolk Norview 40-28; head coach Antonio
Moore's Eagles continued to impress this week with thier victory
over VA powers Norview. They will travel to Camden
County this Friday.
||Def. Jacksonville 27-26; it took a last-second 28-yard field goal to propell the
Panthers to victory over the Cardinals. East led most of the game
and certainly solidifed their spot in the 2A Top-5.
Caldwell 55-0; Clay
Lewis's Panthers were dominant Friday as they crushed county their
county rivals. They travel to Ashe
County this Friday.
County 28-7; T.J. Boyce rushed for 143 yards to lead the
Black Knights to victory over the 4A War Eagles. Their strong
performance this week and last week's near miss against 3A power Mt.
Tabor further solidifes their status as a Top-10 program.
Onslow 48-7; the Bulldogs overcame some sloppy play early
to crush the Stallions. This week Kevin
Motsinger's team will be focusing on this week's battle against 3A
The next three games will tell us just how strong this years Bulldogs
||Def. McMichael 58-7; the players change but the results always stay the same
in Reidsville. Head football coach Jimmy
Teague and crew once again are proving that they're among N.C.'s
best. This week they'll face Moreheadon the road.
||Def. Erwin 51-13; the Cougars have outscored their first two opponents
81-20, Trey Robinson, son of head coach Joey
Robinson rushed for 199 yards on 21 carries in their victory over
the Warriors. They will have a huge showdown this Friday as they
travel to Salisbury.
||Def. Murphy 28-21; after two huge victories to start the season, last
week's win over Ashevilleand Friday's victory over Murphy,
Franklin appears poised to make yet another deep run in the playoffs.
Henderson 29-28; after a dominant opening week victory overNorth
Henderson, it took a lot more effort for head coach Jim
Sosebee and his Bearcats to defeat rival West. I still feel
this is a very solid team that should be a major factor in the
playoffs, close games like this one could prove helpful come the
||Def. Clinton 35-16; head coach Robby
Priest and his Eagles were soaring on Friday in their opening week
decisive victory over Clinton.
A signature win like this could be just what East needs to make a
strong run this year.
Cabarrus 27-24 OT; it took overtime for head coach Mike
John's Tigers to defeat the Trojans. MP dominated the game
for about three and a half quarters before blowing a 21-0 lead to a
surging Northwest program. I still feel this is a strong program
this year, we'll see how they bounce back from a close game.
Byrd 34-7; a season ago Russell
Dove led the Stallions to an impressive 12-3 record in his first
year at the helm at South, on Friday they made a strong statement by
decisively defeating the Eagles to start the 2017 campaign. This
is certainly a team to watch and one that could certainly be playing
Red Devils will have a tough battle this Friday as they travel to Hickory.
Southwestern Randolph 64-22; for two straight weeks Shane
Handy's offense has been nearly unstoppable. They'll get a
tough test this week as they face Ledford.
Brunswick 29-28; Luke
Little made a gutsy call on Friday going for a 2-point conv. with
3:47 left in the game to defeat the strong 3A Trojans. They've
got a week off to prepare for another tough opponent in two weeks when
they host East
||Def. Enka 35-0; the Bears defeated the Jets on Friday but they'll
certainly be looking forward to this week's battle against arch-rivals Tuscola.
Hunt 27-22; the Bears built an early 13-0 lead and the
defense held on late to preserve the victory. They've got a tough
battle this week against 0-2 Rocky
Mount. The game against the Gryphons should give us a very good
indicator as to just how good head coach Terrance
Saxby's Bears can be.
Johnston 21-7; Allajah Mitchell rushed for 126 yards on 5
carries including a 75 yard touchdown on his first carry of the game to
break the 7-7 tie with the Trojans in the 3rd quarter. His
10-tackles and one sack helped seal the victory. Head football
Hobgood's team is very strong on defense, they'll face Ravenscroft
Bladen 35-16; I know the Dark Horses are 0-2 but I wouldn't
worry yet. This is a young but talented squad that is certain to
bounce back and be a factor in the playoffs. The road won't get
any easier though, they travel to Jacksonville this week to face Northside.
Burke 50-6; the Blue Devils are off to a good start for the
2017 season. I could see this team go undefeated through the
first half of the season setting up a crucial South
Fork 2A battle against West
Gaston 48-14; the Cavs continued their strong start on
Friday defeating NG 48-14. The next few weeks will give us a much
better indicator of just how strong this team is.
Pitt 19-15; the Vikings are 2-0 and looking much better
this season than the 2016
campagain. This Thursday should be a great contest between
them and Fike.
They're very athletic, if this group can come together, it can be a
very good season.
Central 64-29; William Brawley scored five touchdowns for
head coach Tom
Eanes in the Panthers victory over the Hilltoppers. Patton
lost star quarterback Joe Eakin in last week's loss to Huss,
so far it seems that their high octane triple-option attack has been
able to sustain. They will travel to McDowellthis week.
Roanoke Rapids (2-0), West Craven (0-2), Fairmont (1-0), Farmville Central (1-1), Ledford (0-1), Greene Central (1-1), Wilkes Central (1-1), Anson County (0-2), West Lincoln (1-0), Salisbury (1-1), Bunn(1-1), East Montgomery (2-0), R-S Central (1-1), Lexington (1-0), SouthWest Edgecombe (2-0), North Surry (2-0), North Wilkes (2-0), Red Springs (2-0), Beddingfield (2-0)
THEY ARE WHO WE THOUGHT THEY WERE
Tarboro is the class of the 1A at this point and they show no signs of giving up that distinction. Murphy may have taken a slight step back after falling to Franklin but don't count out the Bulldogs.
MOVING UP THE RANKINGS
Swain County, North Stanly, Princeton, Bessemer City, and Lakewood are all trending up this week.
North Duplin is moving up and replaces Manteo at 25th this week and Riverside Martin rejoins the rankings after one week away.
||Def. Washington 48-0; Jaquez Edge ran through, over, and around the Pam Pack in
Craddock's Vikings will face Northern
Nash this week.
Disciples 56-8; the Aces have shown no signs of slowing
down despite significant personnel losses from last year's 2A
Runner-Up squad due to graduation. Look for them to most
likely go 5-0 setting up a huge Sep. 22nd battle against Northeastern.
to Franklin 28-22; the Bulldogs lost a tough one this week at The Pit, but
you can still expect them to be a force this season in the 1A
Stokes 38-20; the Bears are once again a force, their
rushing attack and strong defense is looking good so far, they travel
to Elkinthis week.
Central 52-14; the Cardinals crushed Surry Central this
week, they'll have a tough one on Friday as they face Forbush.
||Def. Thomasville 47-21; the Warriors are looking very strong to start the
season, with a week off they'll square off against arch-rival East
Montgomery on Sep. 8th.
Rowan 27-11; in a battle of coaching brother-in-laws, Ben
Hampton and his Cavaliers came up short against the 3A power
||Def. Dixon 48-24; Jeff
Carrow's Seahawks are looking very good, I expect their success
will continue and they'll be a tough opponent in the playoffs.
This could be the year they return to the state finals.
Mountain 35-16; if the Devils can stay healthy, this could
be the best season in years for the fans in Bryson City.
||Def. Cannon 27-14; while the Mountaineers are expected to continue their
recent success, we'll have to wait a few weeks to see how strong
they'll be. I think all Mitchell fans currently have Oct. 6
circled on their calendars.
Central 49-31; Kent Brigg's Braves are looking good now but
can they sustain their run once the SMC
CATA 51-0; the Comets are soaring right now after Friday's
51-0 victory over CATA, they'll have a tough county battle this week
Stanly comes to town.
||Def. Starmount 39-20; the Rams gave East all they could handle on Friday but David
Diamont's Cardinals stood strong when they needed it to secure the
victory. They'll have a tough battle this week when they travel
Cramer 49-18; Marcus Graham rushed for a touchdown and
passed for another in their loss to Cramer, they'll travel to Grahamthis week.
Mount Prep 44-0; The Leopards led 44-0 at the break and the
defense held on to secure their second straight shutout. Jahdon
Smith rushed for 130 yards with three touchdowns in the victory.
Carteret 37-21; for the second consecutive year, East lost
to rival West. They will travel to Jonesthis week.
||Def. Midway 41-21; The Bulldogs dominated on the ground rushing for 494
yards enroute to victory on Friday. It'll get a lot harder this
Thursday when they travel to Farmville
Wolverines will face R-S
Central this week.
Greenwood Raptors 47-12; the competition may get a little
tougher this week when they face Chatham
Gaston 22-0; The defense led the way for the Yellow Jackets
as they posted a shutout victory over East Gaston. The offense
did a pretty good job as well grinding out 330 yards of total offense,
250 of which was on the ground. This could be a tough opponent
this fall if the defense continues to play well.
||Def. Bertie 16-14; the Jags are oh so close from being undefeated right now
but they handled their business this week with a win over a strong 2A
Bertie squad. This could be a team to watch as the season
||Def. Plymouth 28-13; the Knights were able to bounc back from last week's
disapointing loss to Bertie.
The schedule is brutal but if Asim
McGill's squad can weather the storm, they could be very tough to
handle in the fall.
Martin 28-13; last year the Vikings started the season 0-3
before winning 12 straight and advancing to yet another state title
game. Do they have the firepower to do it again? The
scheudle is certainly tougher but I think Robert
Cody and company will start posting some victories soon.
North Georgia 61-0; Friday's win was not a good indicator of
what to expect from the Black Knights, we'll get a much better look at
what 2017 will hold over the next two weeks.
||Def. Northside 28-12; with a veteran quarterback that can run their split-back
veer to perfection, the Rebels could be very hard to stop.
They'll have a tough task this Friday when they host South
Manteo (2-0), Winston-Salem Prep (0-2), Union (1-1), Northside (1-1), Community School of Davidson (1-0), South Stokes (0-2), Hayesville (1-1), Gates County (1-1), North Moore (1-1), Starmount (0-2), Cherryville (1-1), North Edgecombe (0-2), Rosewood (1-1), Pamlico County (1-1), Louisburg (1-1), Rosman (0-2), Avery County (2-0), South Creek (1-1), Alleghany (2-0)