Football focus

August 28, 2013 

Football Focus

LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

Carrboro 36, Cedar Ridge 19

Northwood 39, East Chapel Hill 14

Riverside 17, Chapel Hill 14 (OT)

Orange 40, Person 7

THIS WEEK’S GAMES

East Chapel Hill at Carrboro

Short of 4A state title contender Hillside, this could be the toughest test this year for East Chapel Hill (0-1). Carrboro (1-0) is the class of the NCHSAA 2A East Region, and, notably, has never lost to 4A East Chapel Hill in four meetings.

Everyone knows the problems with facing Carrboro begin with Trai Sharp, one of the quickest players in North Carolina. When he’s not running with the ball, you’ve got to look out for deep threat Marlin Johnson to catch it. Sharp ran for 124 yards and four TDs on 23 carries against Cedar Ridge last week, while Johnson caught five passes for 94 yards.

Both Carrboro and East Chapel Hill have young quarterbacks, and both looked good last week. East’s Connor Stough threw for 273 yards and two touchdowns a Northwood. Jonah Mendys threw for 118 yards without an interception on 7-for-12 passing at Cedar Ridge.

This game may well come down to which team has the tougher two-way athletes. Neither is blessed with big numbers, and both rely on several athletes to play both offense and defense, especially on the line.

Chapel Hill at South Granville

This has been one of the best series in the Triangle – currently split at 2-2 after CHHS won in 2011 and 2010. Both of those were decided by less than a TD and last year’s went to OT before CHHS pulled it out.

South Granville has been to the playoffs six straight years. Head coach Mike Hobgood, who coached the offensive line at Northern Durham when the Knights went to the 1993 state championship game, has seven starters are back on offense from a team that averaged 30.2 points per game last year. Quarterback Matt McCutcheon passed for about 1,000 yards in a run-first offense that featured junior tailback Sean Bowman (1,257 rushing yards).

Both teams lost their season-openers: Chapel Hill 17-14 in OT to Riverside, and South Granville 27-14 to Rocky Mount.

Southern Lee at Northwood

Northwood’s 9-1 JVs lost just one game last year – to Southern Lee. Northwood varsity head coach Bill Hall reminded his team of that first thing after he congratulated them on their season-opening win against East Chapel Hill.

Southern Lee hasn’t finished about .500 in more than five years. “But they always give us a tough game,” Hall said.

The Cavaliers won this matchup 29-28 in 2011 and Northwood won 37-21 – the visiting team winning each time.

Southern Lee comes in 1-0 after winning 23-6 last Friday at Western Harnett.

Northern at Orange County

The Knights (0-1) have another big test coming after getting blown out 46-0 at Southeast Guilford. Orange (1-0), coming off last year’s run to the state 3A semifinals, looked every bit as good as Southeast in the teams’ respective openers. Orange may not have a line as big as Southeast Guilford’s huge front, but the Panthers have plenty of fleet backs, and QB Garrett Cloer’s passing adds another dimension to Orange’s offense.

Last week, the Knights gave up more than 200 total yards rushing and a touchdown apiece to Southeast’s C.J. McThay and Styles Jennings.

Southern Vance at Cedar Ridge

This is a series Cedar Ridge (1-0) won twice in a row under coach Joe Kilby but then has lost twice since he left for Apex. The fact that the Raiders had enjoyed three straight years of improving records until last season may have had something to do with that.

Southern Vance (0-1) is struggling to get over last year’s 5-6 finish, and didn’t get off to a good start with last week’s 43-0 loss to Northeastern. Ty-Traveon Roberts never got a chance to show what he could do behind center; Northwestern scored on its first four drives and the Southern Vance quarterback spent the rest of the night trying to survive a tremendous pass rush.

QUOTABLE

“We will work hard to get better. We’ll be all right.”

Issac Marsh, CHHS coach

After last week’s overtime loss to Riverside

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