As I looked at last Friday's slate of games before planning out Football Friday Night, I thought to myself that there were not a lot of great match ups on paper. Boy was I wrong!
Hough beat Mallard Creek for the first time ever, West Meck beat then undefeated South Meck in an upset, and the Forest Hills at Mount Pleasant game was a shootout with the Yellow Jackets winning it late.
But I come into this week looking at a TON of great match ups and hope they live up to expectations.
This week, there are 5 games where undefeated teams will meet for 1st place in the conference. Two other games will knock teams from the undefeated ranks as their conference races become clearer. And you can't forget about 3 rivalry games that will have HUGE impacts on their conference races as well.
Here are the 5 meetings for 1st place in the conference.
2-0 Hough at 2-0 A.L. Brown for 1st in the MECKA 4A
That's right, I said Hough at A.L. Brown and not Mallard Creek at Vance is for first place outright in the MECKA 4A. NO ONE before the season would have thought that, but that's why you play the games.
There isn't a lot of history among these teams as Hough has won the previous 2 meetings which have happened the last 2 years.
Who ever the winner of this one is will still have work to do as the Wonders take on Mallard Creek next Friday and Hough still has a meeting with North Meck on October 30th and Vance on the last Friday of the regular season.
Yes, we will have highlights of this one on Football Friday Night.
3-0 South Caldwell at 3-0 Freedom for 1st in the Northwestern 4A/3A
This is not a surprise to anyone as both have steam rolled thru their conference slates thus far.
Since joining the conference in 2013, the Patriots have been untouchable as they have won 2 straight conference title and have won 20 straight in league play.
But South Caldwell is back to its dominate ways with an outstanding running attack behind highly recruited offensive tackle Landon Dickerson. The Spartans are averaging 314 rushing yards per game as they have 3 running backs with at least 500 yards so far this season.
The Patriot offense is outstanding as well as they are averaging 51 points per game. That's right, 51 points per contest.
This one could be a shootout and could come down to whoever has the ball last.
Yes, Football Friday Night will also be in the house for this one.
3-0 South Iredell at 3-0 Mooresville for 1st in the North Piedmont 4A/3A
South Iredell coming off a very impressive win over Lake Norman now finishes up the tough back to back stretch with Mooresville.
Just a few years ago, South Iredell was a 2A school and won the 2AA state title in 2012. The fact that they are now in a split 4A/3A conference and has a chance to win it is a great accomplishment.
How are they getting it done? Well, the Viking offense is once again powered like it was when it was a 2A power as they are averaging 42 points per game.
South is a very balanced offense as well as they are averaging 162 yards thru the air and 151 on the ground.
It's no secret to how the Blue Devils like to get things done and that is pounding the rock.
They are averaging over 300 yards rushing per game with Donshel Jetton leading the way as he already has over a thousand yards rushing with 11 TD.
Mooresville has dominated this rivalry with 21 victories to just 8 for South. The last time the Vikings claimed victory over the Blue Devils was in 1986.
Will history repeat or can South get over the top and get a HUGE win. Maybe one of the biggest in program history. FFN will be in the house and we will have the answer Friday at 11:35.
3-0 South Point at 3-0 Forestview for 1st in the Big South
No surprise here as these 2 have battled for this title a lot the past few years.
Just 4 weeks ago, it didn't look like the Jags would be in this position as they were 1-3. But after a bye week, they have come back with 3 straight conference wins and on the cusp of doing something they have never done and that's win back to back conference titles in football.
South Point will be out to avenge last year's 3 point loss in overtime.
Neither defense has been stellar this year as Forestview is giving up 20 points per game while South Point is surrendering 21.
This one may come down to who has the ball last and those are the kind of games I like.
Will FFN be there? Why yes we will as it is our Ford Regional Game of the Week.
2-0 Lancaster at 2-0 South Pointe for 1st in the Region 3-3A
Down south of the border, Lancaster will get their biggest test of the season when they pay a visit to South Pointe.
The Bruins are 7-0 overall behind a stout rushing attack led by Ant Foster who has almost 900 yards and 10 TD so far this season. But coach Bobby Collins also calls on Farrika Grier to carry the load as well.
South Pointe is led offensively by quarterback Greg Ruff who has over 17 hundred yards passing and 22 TD.
This has the potential to be a shootout as Lancaster is averaging 34 points per game while the Stallions are putting up 35 per contest.
The winner of this one certainly puts themselves in a position to win the region title as no one else in the region has an overall winning record.
I will be at this one on Friday night. My first game back at District 3 South Stadium since South Pointe's first ever game August 25, 2006. Looking forward to it.
Other games to watch...
Pay close attention to 2 Rocky River Conference games between 1-0 Parkwood at 1-0 Forest Hills and 0-1 Mount Pleasant at 1-0 Monroe. For the defending champ Mount Pleasant, it is win or kiss defending that title good bye, but that will be tough as Monroe is 7-0 overall.
In the Southern Carolina Conference, 1-0 Sun Valley is at 1-0 Marvin Ridge with the winner putting themselves in position to take on Weddington and set up a possible head to head match up for the title.
And what about those rivalries?
Speaking of Weddington, they host Cuthbertson with a chance to put their biggest rival in a DEEP HOLE.
The Cavaliers enter the game 3-4 and 0-1 in league play. At this point, they need wins if they hope to compete in the conference and even more, to make the playoffs.
This is a rematch of last year's 3AA western regional final in which Weddington won so a lot to play for other than just bragging rights.
This one is going to mean a lot to both rival schools.
Before last week, South Meck and Catholic looked like one of those games that would pit undefeated conference rivals but along came West Meck and ruined that, but this game is still going to be fierce.
South is not only hoping to get back on track but also do something they don't normally do and that's beat their rival.
Since 2005, the Sabres have only won 1 time compared to 9 for the Cougars.
Pulling off this feat won't be easy for South Meck as Catholic has one of the best defenses in the state.
So far, they are only giving up 3 points per game and have shut out 4 of their 6 opponents.
And last but not least, Mallard Creek at Vance.
I really don't need to hype this one up, but something to think about. Both teams are 6-2 and 2-1 in league play. The loser of this one will put themselves in a tough position when it comes to playoff seeding so pride and bragging rights is not all they are playing for.
Both had state championship dreams, but the loser of this one could be having nightmares come November.
In my opinion, that puts more fuel on the fire of this heated rivalry.
Friday can't get here fast enough.