Friday, November 13, 2009

Preview of Friday's football playoffs

4AA: West Charlotte (5-6) at Butler (10-0), WCNC
A rematch of the Oct.17 game, which Butler won 38-7. West Charlotte has been limited to seven points the past two games, and is on a three-game slide. The Lions must slow Butler’s high-powered offense, and avoid turnovers that led to three scores in a loss to Vance last week. Butler, ranked nationally and N.C.’s top 4A team, has scored 31 or more in every game and topped 50 points five times. Juwaun Edwards ran for two touchdowns and Christian LeMay threw two scores to help beat Independence last week.

4AA: East Meck (6-5) at G’boro Page (9-2)
East Meck is improving, and has scored 38, 41 and 28 the past three games. The Eagles rallied from early season injuries. Last week, they ran for 295 yards, Olen Little threw three touchdown passes and the defense forced six turnovers. Ronald Howard ran for 148 yards and a touchdown. Page averages 38.9 points. The Pirates are 5-0 at home.

4AA: North Meck (6-5) vs. Olympic (9-2), WCNCThis game, which will be played at Ardrey Kell, is a rematch of the opener, which North Meck won 41-30. North Meck was hampered by four turnovers last week, and quarterback Brad Clay is battling a sprained ankle. The Trojans, on an eight-game winning streak, average 36.6 points.

4AA: Hopewell (6-5) at Mallard Creek (9-1)A rematch of the Oct.23 game, which Mallard Creek won 41-14. Hopewell’s Dondre Lewis ran for four touchdowns and 136 yards last week, as the Titans controlled the line against North Meck. Hopewell has allowed seven points the past two games, but will face a Mallard Creek squad averaging 32.7 points. The Mavericks, coming off a bye week, rely on quarterback Marquise Williams’ passing and running.

4AA: E. Forsyth (6-5) at Independence (10-1), WCNC
Independence hopes to rebound from a loss to Butler in which it committed six turnovers. Anthony Carrothers passed for 389 yards and three touchdowns, and despite four first-half interceptions, led a late rally that fell short. Kyle Gregg caught two touchdown passes. East Forsyth is streaky. The Eagles began with two straight wins, then five losses and have won the past four games. They’ve scored 213 points and allowed 213 points.

4AA: Providence (7-4) at Vance (5-6), WCNC
Providence’s Chauncey Concepcion has thrown for 2,810 yards and 30 touchdowns, and leads the Panthers with 620 rushing yards. Braxton Deaver has 58 receptions for 761 yards and nine touchdowns, and Damon Magazu has 10 scoring receptions. Providence won 23-17 in a regular-season game on Oct.25. Vance’s defense is playing well, and has limited foes to 34 points the past four games. Dechane Durante scored on 45-yard catch and a 70-yard interception, and Malcolm Bynum scored on a fumble return.

3AA: Asheville Erwin (7-4) at Char. Catholic (7-4)
Catholic is on a five-game winning streak, and has scored 28 or more in every game during that span. Angelo Acitelli (795 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns), Danny Reyes (13 scoring passes) and Matthew Sawyer (91 tackles) have had solid seasons. The Cougars had a bye last week. Erwin has an effective offense, but has allowed 27 or more points eight times. It must improve to contain Catholic’s ball-control offense.

3A: Harding (4-7) at Lenoir Hibriten (11-0)
A tough playoff opener for Harding, but the Rams have won three of the past four games, including 28-26 in overtime against Garinger last week. Hibriten wins by an average margin of 45-13, and is a strong contender for a state championship. The Panthers rush for an average of 372 yards, and five backs have 400 or more yards, led by Leo Guevara’s 921 yards and 20 touchdowns.

2AA: Berry (7-4) at West Stokes (7-4)
Berry has lost three of four after a hot start. Germone Hopper (run) and Marquise Buckman (catch) scored last week in a loss to Piedmont. West Stokes has scored 34, 32 and 41 points the past three games.

Country Day (10-1) at Char. Latin (9-1), WCNC
Latin won 28-17 when these rivals played two weeks ago, and had a bye last week heading into this NCISAA Division I semifinal. Quarterback Sam Spence ran for three touchdowns against Country Day last time, and the Hawks average 38.3 points. Country Day scored a season-high in a 58-12 victory against Victory Christian in the first round last week.

Ral. Ravenscroft (8-4) at Char. Christian (8-2), WCNC
Christian is coming off a bye heading into this NCISAA Division I semifinal. Ty Linton leads the Knights with 542 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, and is one of the area’s top linebackers. John Kincaid has thrown for 1,498 yards and 16 touchdowns. This is a rematch of the Oct.23 game, which Christian won 21-14 in Raleigh. Ravenscroft’s Connor Gonet scored two touchdowns in a playoff win against Providence Day last week.

Forsyth Co. Day (8-3) at First Assembly (11-0)
NCISAA Division I semifinal. First Assembly’s Kyle Grisby ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns last week, and caught two touchdown passes. The Eagles average 36 points per game. This is a rematch of an Oct.9 game, which First Assembly won 26-16. The Furies are on a four-game winning streak.

W’minster Catawba (8-3) at Harrells Christian (9-2)
Westminster Catawba’s Brodrique Moore has rushed for 955 yards and 15 touchdowns, and has a team-leading four interceptions. Peyton Hinson has 66 tackles and Ian Brandt has seven sacks. Harrells Christian has scored 40 or more eight times, and has three shutouts.

Q Foundation (5-6) at Carolina Pride (9-2)
This CISAA championship at Weddington Optimist Park is a rematch of Oct. 23 game, which Carolina Pride won 37-20. The Pride’s Ray Mallos has thrown for 2,116 yards and 25 touchdowns, including eight scores to Tim Litton and seven to B.J. Mosley. The defense is led by Tyler DeStefani (64 tackles, 23 for losses, four forced fumbles), Quan McCleary (four interceptions) and Joshiah Starnes (46 tackles).

- Cliff Mehrtens