Time to drop a little knowledge-- high school football style.
As usual, I like to start this thing with some eye opening results from this past Friday.
#3 Statesville over Winston-Salem Carver 30-26
The Greyhounds would be down by 19 in the second half and was down by 3 with 2:31 to play, but would come back to win 30-26 to go to 3-1 on the season.
This win coming a week after being handled by West Forsyth 35-6.
Coach Randall Gusler has to be happy to be 3-1 at this point considering his defense is giving up 26 points per game. But the offense is more than making up for that averaging 29 points contest.
We knew dual threat QB Travis Ramseur would be a big factor and he has, but RB Nakendric Clark has been a big surprise in 2015.
The senior is averaging 7 yards per carry. He has at least a hundred yards rushing in all 4 games and is averaging 140 yards per game.
As impressive as the Hounds have been in non conference play, they can make a big conference statement Friday when they host the preseason favorite to win the North Piedmont Conference in Mooresville.
#2 East Meck beating Providence 21-14
No that is not a misprint, East Meck beat Providence 21-14. Since 2000, the Panthers have owned the Eagles winning 12 of their 15 match ups. Friday's win is the first over Providence since 2008.
East is now 2-3 on the year. This program has not won more than 2 games in a single season since 2009 when they won 6. So to already have 2 is a positive building block for coach Barry Shuford's squad.
Friday, East gets the chance to do something they have not done since 1994 and that's beat Independence. The Patriots enter the contest at 2-3 just like the Eagles. Can East finally end the streak?
#1 Forest Hills stuns Cuthbertson 24-17
One of the biggest surprises this season has been the Yellow Jackets of Forest Hills. They are off to a 4-1 start which is their best since 1996 when they started 5-0 on their way to a 10-1 season.
Coach John Lowery ALWAYS plays a tough non conference schedule. A slate where he will match his 2A squad up against 3A teams.
Their only loss was to 4-1 Weddington. That's a Warriors team that played for the 3AA state title in 2014 and is a top contender in 2015.
The Jackets also have a victory over 3A Piedmont who is 3-1 on the season.
Then this past Friday, they picked up another win over a 3A rival in 3-2 Cuthbertson. That is a Cavalier team that played in the 3AA western final and return a lot of talent off that team.
Coming up with the big play when needed has been the calling card for this team because if you look at the stats, you have to wonder how they are getting it done.
The offense is only scoring 19 points per game while the defense is surrendering 22 per contest.
At 4-1, they join the conversation as teams to contend with in the Rocky River Conference along with 5-0 Monroe and 4-0 Central Academy.
Time to make a statement!
In week 6, there are 4 games where teams can make huge statements about the team they will be in 2015.
(4-1) Richmond Senior at (5-0) Greensboro Dudley
The Raiders have a huge road test Friday when they take on the Dudley Panthers.
Last year, Dudley had one of the best defenses in North Carolina as they only gave up 5 points per game. In 2015, they are not too bad as they are only giving up 9 per contest.
The Raiders bring an offense that is putting 40 points per game up on the scoreboard. Last Friday, they scored 55 in a win over South View.
So it will be strength vs strength on Friday night.
A win over one of the top 4A teams in the state will re establish the Raiders as a team to beat in the Southeastern 4A.
(3-1) St. Stephens at (3-1) Watauga
This is the conference opener for both teams and one will continue to be one of the biggest surprises of the Northwestern 4A-3A Conference.
The last 3 years, the Pioneers have owned the Indians winning all 3 contest including last year's match up when they shut them out 34-0.
Before that, St. Stephens enjoyed a 3 game winning streak over Watauga. Friday, they hope to get that started again.
(4-0) Central Academy at (3-1) Piedmont
Central Academy has been a great story so far in 2015 with their 4-0 start. The Cougars are in great shape to pick up their first winning season in program history, but can they be a real factor in the Rocky River Conference?
We will find out a lot about them Friday when they take on Piedmont.
No, it is not a conference game, but it is a VERY quality opponent.
Of CATA's first 4 wins, none of their opponents have a winning record. As a matter of fact, their combined record is 3-13.
To the credit of CATA, they are winning the games they are suppose to win and doing it in dominant fashion as their defense is only giving up 7 points per game.
This is one game I will have an eye on.
(3-1) Burns at (2-2) East Burke
Burns is trying to rebound from their first loss of the season when they go to surprising East Burke on Friday.
That one loss to Kings Mountain was a conference defeat so they can ill afford another slip up in league play if they hope to battle for the crown. Beating East is a must to stay in the race.
This is the second season for legendary coach Tom Brown at East Burke. Coach Brown owns 330 wins at Maiden. That is the 2nd most at one school in the state of North Carolina, but is he starting to turn the corner at his new school?
The Cavaliers surprised East Rutherford last Friday to get to 1-0 in conference play.
When you are in a league with Crest and Shelby, teams tend to get lost in the shuffle and the Cavs are in that bunch.
A win Friday, will certainly have folks paying more attention to the team in Connolly Springs.
Even though we desperately need rain, for at least 4 hours on Friday, can we just dodge the heavy rain? PLEASE!?!?!?
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