Friday’s Football Focus

September 11, 2013 

Last week

Carrboro 29, Chapel Hill 28

East Chapel Hill 24, Cedar Ridge 21

Northwood 22, Jordan-Matthews 6

Orange 38, Riverside 0

This week

Northwood (3-0) at Carrboro (3-0)

Southern Alamance (2-1) at East Chapel Hill (1-2)

Cedar Ridge (0-3) at Riverside (1-2)

Graham (0-3) at Orange (3-0)

Chapel Hill (0-3) has an open date

Northwood at Carrboro

This should be the best game outside of conference matchups all year.

Carrboro (3-0) has won 18 of its past 19 games by playing old-school football, taking whatever opponents will allow the Jaguar offense. Northwood, which used to run a similar offense, is off to its first 3-0 start since 2009 by ratcheting up its offense with a pass-oriented attack.

Carrboro’s big weapon is Trai Sharp, who’s scored 10 touchdowns on the ground while gaining just about 200 yards a game (7.9 yards per carry.) Jonah Mendys has completed 53 percent of his passes for 151 yards a game, most of that going to Marlin Johnson (21.3 yards per catch.)

Northwood has the same trifecta going. Ti Pinnix has completed 56 percent of his passes for 311 yards a game, most of going to Jalen Smith (20 yards per catch). Kadarus Rone has 253 yards on 38 rushes (6.7 yards per carry).

Overlooked by most fans is that both teams play good defense. Carrboro bends sometimes, but doesn’t break, like when it stopped Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill when it counted. Northwood has excelled at stopping the run, holding its first three opponents to an average of 76 yards a game.

Southern Alamance at East Chapel Hill

These two teams are resuming a series they used to play 2000-2004 when both were in the Triad and then Five-County Conference. Southern’s Patriots led that series 5-1 before the teams went their separate ways – East to the 4A and Southern staying in the 3A classification.

East (1-2) has new confidence after beating Cedar Ridge, while Southern Alamance is off to a good (2-1) start in forgetting last year’s 3-8 finish. But the Patriots still have trouble stopping opponents; the team gave up 39.5 points a game in 2012 and have given up 100 in three games so far this year.

Graham at Orange

The Red Devils used to be one of the state’s premier football programs but began a slow decline after its last 2A championship in 2000. They’ve not had a winning season since 2004, and this year is not off to a good start. Graham (0-3) gave up an average of 47.7 points to it first three opponents. Orange (3-0) has been averaging 40 points a game. This one could get ugly.

Cedar Ridge at Riverside

Both teams have hangovers after last week. The Red Wolves (0-3) might be frustrated after losing a close one at East Chapel Hill, while Riverside simply got embarrassed in a 38-0 shutout loss to Orange.

Coach Speak

“There are games when I think we should onside kick every time. They (Chapel Hill) were 50 percent on that thing. The way the kicker hit it and the way they covered it, they made it look good.”

Jason Tudryn, Carrboro

On CHHS kicker Emmet Thorpe’s onside kicks

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