4-0 Patriots visit Cavalier Stadium
For the third time in the last four Friday nights, Southern Lee's football squad will square off against an undefeated opponent when Pinecrest (4-0), coming off a 55-0 rout of Parkland last week, visits the Cavaliers (1-3) tonight for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
The contest is also Southern Lee's big final night for its annual Chill on the Hill week. Cavalier students can come early and stay late for food, games, free gifts and music in and around Cavalier Stadium.
The Cavaliers provided excitement, but not a victory, on the field last Friday night against Triton. The Hawks won 37-21, turning around a 21-19 Southern Lee halftime edge, to go to a 4-0 mark. Northwood, which topped the Cavs in the second week of the season, is also 4-0.
Emond Caldwell connected with receiver Aaron Blockmon for three lightning-quick touchdown plays in the first half. After Triton jumped out to a 13-0 lead, Blockmon scored twice out of six Cavalier offensive snaps and Southern Lee led 14-13.
"We've been playing well versus some great teams," said Southern Lee head coach Don Simon, "and we understand who we've been facing. Once we get into conference, we'll be battle tested and I think it's going to show."
After adjusting to Triton's initial drives, the Cavalier defense tightened up for a stretch against the Hawks, before the Hawk wing-T running attack took over for a grinding, all-ground, 86-yard touchdown march during the third quarter and an eight-minute-long drive which ended in a field goal with 4:21 left in the game.
While saying Triton's offense is "machine-like," Simon said he was pleased with the effort and intensity on defense.
"We played great for awhile," he said.
"The guys are playing hard. We're a hard-hitting group, an attacking group. Now we've got to put it all together and do a better job finishing games."
The Cavaliers will need an excellent all-around game to be in position to finish the game against the Patriots.
Pinecrest has taken a huge lead by halftime in three of its four wins. Last Friday in Southern Pines, the Patriots led Parkland 43-0 at halftime.
"(Pinecrest) has size and speed on both sides of the ball. They've very good on both sides and they have a great coach (Chris Metzger)," Simon said.
"Defensively, their inside five are really strong, so we know where the ball needs to go," he said.
"It's up to our guys to execute our game plan and we'll have to play very well," said Simon.
Sophomore quarterback Christian Ledbetter has posted big plays through the air and running with the ball for the Patriots.
None of the Patriot wins so far have come down to field goals, but if so, Patriot senior Jackson Maples made a state-record 61-yard field goal last season.
For the Cavaliers, Blockmon has 35 receptions for 790 yards (197.5 yards per game) and eight touchdowns in four games.
Junior linebacker Connor Showalter is the Cavs' leading tackler with 29 total tackles along with a forced fumble and an interception.
Following tonight, the Cavaliers face six straight Cape Fear Valley Conference contests through the rest of the regular season. The Cavaliers will travel to Douglas Byrd next Friday night.
Western Harnett (0-4) at Union Pines (3-1) - 7:30 p.m.
Last season - Western Harnett 51, Union Pines 28
The Vikings, 2-9 a season ago, made it three straight wins with a 31-22 victory over visiting Trinity last Friday night.
Junior quarterback Max Yates threw for 213 yards and three touchdowns, hitting Tyler McRae, Demarius Hampton and Joseph Giesler for the scores. The Vikings also got a rushing touchdown by Blake Lawrence and a 91-yard kickoff return touchdown by Robert Collins which answered Trinity getting the opening touchdown of the game. The Vikings are averaging 32.3 points per game.
The Eagles scored their first offensive touchdown of the season last Friday night, but it was after Lee County held a 42-0 lead.
This rivalry continues on even as the Vikings and Eagles are no longer Cape Fear Valley neighbors. Western Harnett has won five straight seasons.
Gray's Creek (2-2) at Triton (4-0) - 7:30 p.m.
Last meeting - Triton 33, Gray's Creek 12 (Oct. 31, 2008)
After struggling, more to stop the Cavaliers than to move the ball against them, for a half and trailing Southern Lee 21-19 at halftime last Friday at Cavalier Stadium, Triton turned entirely to its wing-T running game in the second half to win 37-21 and stay undefeated.
Juwan Thompson carried 13 times for 161 yards and two touchdowns for the Hawks, taking his season totals to 21 carries, 241 yards and four touchdowns.
Triton's defense turned in four interceptions against the Cavs, taking its season total to 10 picks.
Gray's Creek, one of the Cape Fear Valley's defending tri-champions from last fall, comes in off a 23-10 loss to Pine Forest. Sophomore running back Calvin Boyd leads the Bear offense with 55 carries for 267 yards and two touchdowns.
Jordan-Matthews (2-2) at Eastern Randolph (1-3) - 7:30 p.m.
Last season - Jordan-Matthews 14, Eastern Randolph 13
This longtime rivalry continues even though NCHSAA realignment took Eastern Randolph from the Mid-State Conference.
All Jet opponents will be happy when they no longer need to tackle senior running back Hunter Causey, but no squad more so than Eastern Randolph. Last season, Eastern Randolph led 13-6 until a 93-yard Jet drive ended with Causey running for a touchdown and the go-ahead two-point conversion with 0:11 remaining. Causey totaled 237 yards.
Eastern Randolph fell 21-0 to Eastern Guilford two weeks ago and 14-3 to Southern Guilford last week.
The Jets lost 40-20 to Parkwood last Friday. Trajan Glover rushed for two Jet touchdowns.
Chatham Central (1-4, 0-1) at Albemarle (2-2, 1-0) - 7:30 p.m.
Last season - Albemarle 47, Chatham Central 14
Both sides come into tonight's Yadkin Valley contest off shutouts. Unfortunately for the Bears, theirs was a 68-0 loss at West Montgomery while Albemarle blanked East Montgomery for a 41-0 win last Friday night.
Albemarle's allowed seven points in two victories the last two Fridays. Last season, Albemarle piled up 435 rushing yards and forced five Bear turnovers in this match-up.
West Montgomery (3-1, 1-0) at North Moore (0-4, 0-1) - 7:30 p.m.
Last season - West Montgomery 42, North Moore 6
North Moore held a 14-7 lead in the second quarter, then was tied at 14-14 at half, against South Stanly last Friday.
Malik McCrimmon hit Pat Harner on touchdown passes for the two Mustang scores. McCrimmon finished with 164 yards through the air.
South Stanly went on to win 34-14. For the Mustangs though, who have a 31-game losing streak, a competitive contest against one of YVC's best programs is a step in the right direction under first-yer head coach Mike Vogt.
The slate gets no easier against the Warriors though. Senior quarterback Caleb Drake leads the Warriors with 32-for-47 passing for 553 yards and five touchdowns and with 412 rushing yards and five touchdowns. The Warriors are averaging 299 rushing yards a game.