Football Focus

October 2, 2013 

Football Focus

THIS WEEK

Chapel Hill (2-3, 1-0) at Southern Durham (3-2, 1-0)

These long-time rivals haven’t met since 2008, when both teams were in the 4A Piedmont Athletics Conference. This will be a big test early in the 3A Big-8 Conference season, with both coming off wins last week.

Chapel Hill is a brand new team since the return of Darius Allen, a running back with tremendous speed, but is still young and learning just how good it can be, says CHHS head coach Issac Marsh.

Southern has a boatload of talented veterans, most notably its versatile junior quarterback Kendall Hinton, who can run and throw with equal skill, and gifted wideout Maurice Trowell, a recruit committed early to N.C. State. They help Southern average 43.6 points a game.

“They have great athletes, and they’re strong,” Viking coach Eric Watkins told the Henderson Dispatch. Hinton “can run or pass. … And that receiver is everything they say he is.”

He should know. Watkins saw them first-hand as Southern Durham stomped Northern Vance 62-6 last week in the first Big-8 game for both teams.

Randleman (4-1) at Carrboro (2-3)

This is a rematch of last year’s second-round game in the state playoffs, which Carrboro won 37-8.

That was then, this is now. Though Carrboro has been ranked No. 10 in the AP poll, Randleman looks like the more experienced team, coming off consecutive wins in overtime against Piedmont rivals.

Randleman is quick and physical, and has a big offensive threat in Juvall Mollette, a wide receiver being courted by every team in North Carolina (and by Tennessee, too.) Mollette caught just 14 passes for 162 yards and five touchdowns through his first four games. But that’s partially because QB Nathan Sloan has shared the wealth with Judson Petty (8-123, 1 TD) and Jacar Green (7-166, 3 TDs).

Sloan has a great QB rating, completing 65 percent of his passes for 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Carrboro is hoping to counter with the possible return of Trai Sharp, helped by an open date last week to allow Carrboro more time to rest up.

Northwood (4-1, 0-1) at Cedar Ridge (0-5, 0-1)

Northwood has won two straight in this series since losing a 2010 playoff game at home to Cedar Ridge.

The Red Wolves scored 28 points last week at Cardinal Gibbons; that’s the most by any Crusader opponent except 4A Cary. And Northwood gave up 41 last week to Orange, so Cedar Ridge’s best hope is to turn this into a running battle of offenses.

Northern Vance (0-5, 0-1) at Orange (5-0, 1-0)

Northern Vance is coming off a tremendous 62-6 thrashing at the hands of Southern Durham. That’s the most lopsided loss so far for the Vikings, who’ve been outscored 225-78 in their first five games. Orange, ranked No. 7 by AP, gives up just 8.6 points a game on average, so things look bleak for the Vikings.

East Chapel Hill ...

... has an open date. The Wildcats next play at home Oct. 11 against Durham Riverside.

Coachspeak

“We’ve gone to Cedar Ridge with a 9-1 team when they were 0-10, and we still needed overtime to get the win. It’s like whenever we play Jordan-Matthews: the records don’t matter. It’s going to be a dogfight.”

Bill Hall

Northwood head coach

“The Big-8 is just loaded with good teams. I don't think anyone in the conference is going undefeated this year.”

Pat Moser

Orange head coach

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