Corinth Holders (3-1) at C.B. Aycock (3-1), 7:30
Both teams are off to great starts and their lone losses have come against really good teams: Corinth Holders’ came against 4-0 Clayton, while Aycock dropped its only bout so far to 1A power Goldsboro.
The Golden Falcons are at home but it would be tough to call home a big factor when it comes to the Pirates, who have won their last five regular-season games on the road.
Wilson Fike (4-0) at Smithfield-Selma (0-4), 7:30
Former North Johnston coach Tom Nelson has the Golden Demons rolling through the first month of the season, so on paper it’s another big challenge for SSS. Then again, if the Spartans keep plugging along like they did after a rough start against Clayton and carry over that second-half magic from last week, Fike’s night could be a lot tougher. Keep an eye on the Spartans’ turnover tally – they forced three fumbles against Clayton last week.
Fayetteville Cape Fear (2-2) at South Johnston (1-3), 7:30
South Johnston achieved two things in its 50-28 victory over Red Springs last week. The Trojans got that all-important first mark on the left side of their won-loss record and hit the big plays they had been missing on both sides of the ball. South will be certainly trying to follow that formula again this week.
Cape Fear’s two losses are to a pair of talented, proven 3A squads in Triton (19-9 score) and Hope Mills Gray’s Creek (29-16).
Cleveland (2-2) at Southern Wayne (2-2), 7:30
Cleveland gets together with what qualifies as an “longtime opponent” in former conference foe Southern Wayne. The Rams won both meetings when the two were in the Eastern Carolina 3A Conference together. Both teams are capable of scoring in bunches. Southern Wayne has scored 48 or more in its two wins and averages just more than 40 a game.
Cleveland is averaging 33 points a night but is giving up 42 on average. That needs to improve for the Rams to stay perfect against the Saints.
Clinton Union (1-2) at Princeton (2-2), 7:30
Both teams are coming off of big wins, but it would be hard to top the Bulldogs’ 45-32 victory over North Johnston. The buzzword coming out of that win for Princeton was momentum and what a win similar to the Rosewood playoff win last year could mean going forward. That’s all good but there’s the simple matter of execution as well, and Princeton has to do that better this week than it did against North. There were too many turnovers and a few too many costly penalties. Somehow the Bulldogs overcame that but it would be wrong to think that’s going to happen a lot.
North Johnston (0-4) at Lakewood (2-2), 7:30
North has taken its lumps in the second half of games over the past few weeks but the positive is that the Panthers have played better longer in each of those games. If that trend continues, wins aren’t too far around the corner for North.
And with playmakers like Monte Walker and Trey Daniels capable of changing games with single plays on offense, defense or special teams its obvious North is much better than its won-loss record shows.
Taking a Break
West Johnston (2-2) is idle this week
“We’ve improved each week. We had a slow start. The first couple of games, we kind of imploded. We cut out the mistakes tonight as far as the turnovers go and that means a lot.”