Published: 06:11 PM, Thu Sep 13, 2012
Friday's prep football matchups
SEVENTY-FIRST (0-4) AT E.E. SMITH (3-1)
The Falcons: Seventy-First has allowed 150 points, 13 more than any other Cumberland County team, but its losses have come against 4-A schools with a combined record of 14-2. The Falcons, like they did last year, will attempt to enter the win column in their Mid-South 4-A Conference opener against E.E. Smith, a team they've beaten four straight times.
The Golden Bulls: E.E. Smith might be the second-best team in the Mid-South, with a win against 3-A power Douglas Byrd as proof of its potential. If the Golden Bulls are going to make noise in the conference race, though, they need to get off to a better start in league play. They have dropped five straight conference openers, including three in a row to Seventy-First, which took last year's meeting 24-14.
PINE FOREST (4-0) AT SOUTH VIEW (0-4)
The Trojans: This game could let area fans know if Pine Forest is indeed for real or if South View is capable of bouncing back from a tough start against a difficult non-conference schedule. The Trojans posted a season-high 34 points last week against Westover, and the defense contributed to that output by forcing two turnovers, including a fumble return for a touchdown from Darius Carter. He also intercepted a pass.
The Tigers: South View has won five straight games in the series, including last year's 39-0 shutout. Before that, the previous three games were decided by a combined eight points. One bright spot in a 41-7 loss to Richmond Senior last week was the running of Jeremy Cox, who gained 86 yards on eight carries. He had 113 yards combined in the Tigers' first three games.
TERRY SANFORD (2-2) AT JACK BRITT (3-1)
The Bulldogs: Terry Sanford has been pretty picky on defense. In a 24-21 win against Broughton last week, freshman Mark Gilbert returned an interception for a touchdown, the Bulldogs' third pick-six in the last three contests, and Isaiah Stallings made a game-clinching interception following Peter Court's go-ahead field goal. Stallings had two picks in the game.
The Buccaneers: Jack Britt dropped from No. 4 in the state 4-A poll to No. 10 following a 32-6 home loss to Scotland, the Bucs' second-worst defeat at the Boneyard. The worst loss was a 35-0 shutout against Douglas Byrd during Jack Britt's debut season in 2000, and the next-worst home loss before last Friday was a 37-12 decision against Richmond Senior in 2003. The Bucs will try to get their running game going again after being held to 75 yards on 35 attempts.
HOKE COUNTY (4-0) AT CAPE FEAR (0-4)
The Bucks: Detrez Newsome rushed for 207 yards and four touchdowns in a rout of Sanderson last week, and he has 918 yards for the season. He also scored on a punt return last week, one of three non-offensive touchdowns for Hoke County. Shaikiem McGougan had a defensive touchdown, and Brandon McRae returned a kickoff 90 yards.
The Colts: Cape Fear, the only Cumberland County team that's not starting conference play this week, faces one of the state's top rushers for the second straight Friday. Gray's Creek back Ken McDowell gained 282 yards last week, raising his season total to 1,034, so the Colts will have to improve defensively. Linebackers Jewell Edmonds and Caleb James, along with defensive back Adrian Williams, all recorded at least 15 tackles against Gray's Creek, but those are alarming totals.
WESTOVER (1-3) AT SOUTHERN LEE (1-3)
The Wolverines: Westover lost 28-14 in its Cape Fear Valley 3-A Conference opener against Southern Lee last season after beating the Cavaliers to begin league play each of the previous two seasons. In a loss to Pine Forest last Friday, Henry Howard threw three touchdown passes, including one to Semaj Street, who had two catches for 101 yards. It was the first 100-yard game by a Westover receiver since Theo Livingston had six catches for 152 yards against Pine Forest just over two years ago.
The Cavaliers: Southern Lee lost its first three games of the season and beat South Robeson, a 1-A school, 30-24 last week. The Cavs pulled ahead for good thanks to consecutive touchdown runs from Aaron Blockman, who finished with 137 yards on the ground.
Staff writer Bret Strelow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 486-3513.