Thursday, October 27, 2011
Conference titles on the line in Week 10 North Carolina football
By By Brandon Parker
Some are looking ahead to the playoffs, but several regular-season finales will have a intense postseason feel with conference titles being on the line. Here are the games to look out for in Week 10 North Carolina football:
No. 9 Richmond at No. 3 Scotland The SEC title and playoff implications will be on the line in this much-anticipated matchup between top-10 teams. The Fighting Scots enter the contest with great momentum, winning their last four games by nearly 30 points each. All four of those opponents (Purnell Swett, Pinecrest, Lumberton and Hoke County) are ones that Richmond has either lost to or barely defeated in the same span.
The firepower that characterized Richmond at the start of the season has faded some, but there's still playmaking ability in standouts like Steve Houston. The Raiders will have to focus on slowing down Scotland QB Kwashaun Quick, who has picked apart defenses with his dual threat ability.
My pick: Scotland 35, Richmond 24
No. 5 Charlotte Catholic at Olympic After both teams topped a solid Berry Academy team, they now end the regular season with a makeshift MEGA-7 conference championship. The difference could be made on the defensive end, as Charlotte Catholic has allowed just 14.3 points per game. And when the Cougars D is clicking, it allows sophomore RB Elijah Hood to break big plays like he has all season.
My pick: Charlotte Catholic 27, Olympic 20
No. 7 Wake-Forest Rolesville (9-1) at Leesville Road (9-0) Few teams in the nation, let alone the state, can score like Leesville Road. The Pride has put up 55.7 points per game and has racked up 63 or more points on three occasions. But they will face their stiffest competition yet this weekend when Wake Forest-Rolesville comes to town. The Cougars can light up the scoreboard, too, and continue to find emerging stars with each passing week. Defense could be at a minimum in this contest, but a big turnover could be the deciding factor.
My pick: Wake Forest-Rolesville 38, Leesville Road, 35
Crest at No. 10 South Point After a slow start, Crest has emerged as the intimidating squad that most thought the Chargers would be, winning seven straight behind an evolving offense and defensive playmakers Rhaheim Ledbetter and Jonathan Bullard. This duo will be tested, though, by powerful fullback Troy Leeper, who has had his way against most defenses this season.
My pick: South Point 34, Crest 24
Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.