Cavs visit Vikes after an extra week
Coming off a bye week, and hopefully the preparation and rest to go along with it, Southern Lee seeks its first Cape Fear Valley win of the football season tonight at Union Pines (4-4, 1-2). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Wilhoit Stadium in Cameron.
The Cavaliers face a much-improved Viking team. Union Pines has already doubled its win total from last year. The Vikings were 4-2 and trying to build on a conference victory two weeks ago, then facing two conference heavyweights, Terry Sanford and Lee County, took a toll with two lopsided losses.
The Cavaliers (1-6, 0-2), in their first CFVC run under head coach Don Simon, went up against two of the three defending champions before the off week. Southern Lee lost 58-12 at Douglas Byrd, then 30-13 to visiting Gray's Creek.
Gray's Creek capitalized on two Cavalier turnovers and got out to a 14-0 lead. Aaron Blockmon's touchdown catch in the third quarter made it 14-7 and Patrick Bunnell's 8-yard touchdown run with 9:56 remaining in the game brought the Cavs within 17-13.
The Cavaliers outraced and outscored the Vikings last October at Cavalier Stadium, winning a 63-55 shootout.
Blockmon, the Cavalier quarterback in the win over the Vikings last year, is one of the state's most prolific receivers now as a senior for the Cavaliers and junior quarterback Emond Caldwell. Blockmon's caught 50 passes for 1,100 yards - or 157 yards per game - and 11 touchdowns. Caldwell's passing for 211 yards a game and has thrown 13 touchdowns. Monte McLean leads the Cavaliers on the ground with 510 rushing yards.
On the defensive side, linebacker Connor Showalter leads the Cavs with 36 tackles. At the defensive end positions, Dalton Parker has six tackles for loss and four sacks and Justin McKinnon has three sacks, as does defensive back Quintin Locklear.
Union Pines had its offfense stalled by Lee County last Friday. While the Vikings still picked up 155 rushing yards, the Vikings were 0-for-14 on third-down plays and Lee County keyed on the Vikings' top rusher, senior Kaleb Johnson.
Northwood (6-1, 2-1) at Southern Durham (5-2, 3-0) - 7 p.m.
For football fans who love seeing the ball in the air, even if not a Charger or Spartan fan, this Big Eight Conference contest would be a good one to check out.
Northwood junior Ti Pinnix leads the high-scoring Chargers against Spartan junior Kendall Hinton. Southern Durham and Orange have 3-0 marks leading the Big Eight. The Spartans have won four straight overall.
Pinnix has 2,089 passing yards and 21 touchdowns in seven games. Southern Durham doesn't throw it quite as often as the Chargers, but Hinton's completed 65.0 percent of his passes while getting 14 touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Chargers scored on the ground and on special teams in a 33-21 win over J.F. Webb last Friday. Kadarus Rone carried for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Kenton Edwards gave the Chargers the lead for good late in the third quarter with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
Pinecrest (7-0, 1-0) at Scotland (7-0, 1-0) - 7:30 p.m.
Last season - Scotland 34, Pinecrest 11
Scotland, a perennial state contender and a semifinalist last fall, faces the surprising Patriots.
On one hand, Pinecrest hasn't faced an opponent of Scotland's caliber in going 7-0. At the same time, the Patriots have largely put those seven opponents away without a problem. The Patriots haven't played a one-possession game yet and the closest contest was a 37-25 win at Beddingfield. Pinecrest has topped 50 points in four straight games.
Sophomore quarterback Christian Ledbetter passed for two touchdowns and ran for two more in Pinecrest's 52-28 win at Lumberton last Friday. He was 10-of-11 passing for 101 yards on the night. Josh McCoy rushed 21 times for 231 yards and a touchdown.
The Fighting Scots have cruised in their last four victories, including a 48-6 win at Purnell Swett last week.
Triton (6-1, 1-0) at Cleveland (4-3, 1-0) - 7:30 p.m.
Last season - Triton 43, Cleveland 40
The Hawks and Rams met late last season to effectively decide the Eastern Carolina Conference. It's a little earlier in this campaign, but this could well do the same in the new Two Rivers.
Both squads love to run the ball. Triton's led by DeAngelo Harris, who has 519 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, and Zach Wade, who has 553 yards and four touchdowns.
The Rams keep the ball with their main running back and quarterback most of the way. Senior running back Isaac Martin has 942 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season. Junior quarterback Aaron Farmer has rushed for 636 yards and five touchdowns.
After a loss, then a bye week, Triton rolled to a 63-21 win over South Johnston last Friday. Cleveland beat Smithfield-Selma 42-0.
Smithfield-Selma (0-7, 0-1) at Western Harnett (2-5, 0-1) - 7:30 p.m.
The Eagles opened their new Two Rivers Conference chapter last Friday but couldn't carry momentum over from back-to-back wins, falling 37-7 at Corinth Holders.
Senior Laron Gilchrist is leading the Eagle offense with 418 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Fellow running back Gartrel Barnes has scored three touchdowns.
The Spartans opened conference play losing 42-0 to Cleveland. Their closest game was a 37-23 loss at Clayton.
Seventy-First (4-4, 0-3) at Overhills (2-5, 0-2) - 7:30 p.m.
It's the first meeting ever between the Falcons and Jaguars in a Mid-South Athletic clash tonight.
Both squads played Cape Fear last time out. Overhills trailed 3-0 at the half to the Colts before losing 31-0 two Fridays ago. Cape Fear edged Seventy-First 14-13 last Friday.
Harnett Central (1-6, 0-3) at Garner (6-2, 2-1) - 7 p.m.
Last season - Garner 56, Harnett Central 14
The battle of the Trojans is tonight in Garner.
Harnett Central comes into the night off a 40-7 loss to Knightdale. Jalynn Bass's 97-yard kick return touchdown was the Harnett Central touchdown.
Garner is led by running back Nyheim Miller-Hines, who has 1,797 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns in eight games.
Chatham Central (1-6, 0-4) at South Stanly (2-5, 2-2) - 7:30 p.m.
Last season - South Stanly 41, Chatham Central 25
The Bears visit the Rowdy Rebel Bulls in Yadkin Valley action tonight. Chatham Central is still looking for its first points in the YVC this season after four straight losses.
South Stanly routed South Davidson 65-0 last Friday.
Jordan-Matthews (2-5, 0-1) at Graham (2-5, 1-0) - 7:30 p.m.
Last season - Jordan-Matthews 34, Graham 0
Jordan-Matthews blanked Graham last season and has won five of the last six games against the Red Devils.
The Jets started the season 2-0 but a 34-7 loss at Reidsville last Friday made for a five-game losing streak. Meanwhile, Graham started conference play witha 13-7 win over Cummings.
North Moore (1-7, 1-4) at Albemarle (4-3, 3-1) - 7:30 p.m.
Last season - Albemarle 56, North Moore 0
North Moore got its first win since 2010 two weeks ago but couldn't follow up on it in a 55-6 loss at Union Academy last Friday. A tough road continues for the Mustangs under first-year head coach Mike Vogt in the YVC at Albemarle tonight.