Football Focus

September 4, 2013 

Football Focus

LAST WEEK’S SCORES

• Carrboro 34, East CH 21

• Orange 42, Nor. Durham 15

• S.Granville 37, Chapel Hill 13

• S. Vance 24, Cedar Ridge 19

THIS WEEK’S GAMES

• Carrboro at Chapel Hill

• Cedar Ridge at E.Chapel Hill

• Northwood at Siler City Jordan Matthews

• Orange at Durham Riverside

Carrboro at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill has done better against Carrboro than any other area team, with the series split 2-2 between them. And Carrboro (2-0) won’t be deceived by Chapel Hill’s 0-2 start. They know the Tigers would like nothing better than easing the taste of two tough losses by upsetting their best rival. CHHS head coach Issac Marsh knows that’s true.

“We won’t have to worry about them being ‘up’ for this one. Carrboro has become a great rivalry game for us,” Marsh said.

Two major factors are likely to make the difference in this non-conference matchup: who makes the most mistakes and how well Chapel Hill can defend the run. Carrboro’s Trai Sharp is the area’s top running back, with true breakaway speed, and he’s helped by the fact that defenses have to keep an eye on wide receiver Marlin Johnson, who is a threat to score every time he takes off downfield.

Cedar Ridge at E. Chapel Hill

This is what former UNC head coach Mack Brown considered a “must win” for both teams. Both are winless but both expect to win this one and, as Brown said, “you must win the ones you’re supposed to win.” The teams appear to be almost equal in talent. Each lost to Carrboro by almost identical scores.

Both teams are still working with young quarterbacks. Cedar Ridge’s Peyton Pappas threw two touchdown passes last week, while East’s Connor Stough threw a 42-yard pass for one TD and ran 25 for another.

The big question for East Chapel Hill will be how much its defense has improved against the run, something the Wildcats have done better with this year, most of the time.

Orange at Riverside

The Panthers seem to be staking their claim to being the best 3A team in the PAC-6 Conference. Orange (2-0) has manhandled two members of the 4A PAC so far – beating Person and Northern by a combined 82-22 score.

The key to stopping the Panthers is simple: don’t let Tay Jones and Patrick Pettiford rush for more than 220 yards, which they’ve done twice now.

The Pirates (1-1) looked as if they were doing better defensively, especially against the run in their opening win against Chapel Hill. But Riverside gave up more than 350 yards last week in its loss to Fuquay-Varina.

Northwood at Jordan Matt.

This is a Chatham County rivalry with Carolina-Duke intensity. Both of these teams have high-powered offenses, with the Jordan-Matthews (2-0) Jets averaging 44 points in their first two games and the Chargers (2-0) averaging 47.5.

If you go, be prepared to stay late; they probably will pass so much that the time stoppages could make this a three-plus-hours game.

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