High-SchoolNorth-Carolina: South Mecklenburg

Two new teams in final North Carolina football regular season rankings

October, 31, 2011
Believe it or not, it's been 11 weeks since Mallard Creek and Butler faced off in a makeshift championship game for the season opener. Now it's playoff time and plenty of teams have emerged with the Mavericks and Bulldogs as prime contenders the state crown.

Leesville Road and Havelock entered the final regular season rankings with dominant performances to cap their undefeated regular seasons. Leesville Road easily downed previously ranked Wake-Forest Rolesville to win the Cap 8 title, but it lost QB Austin Berrios to a knee injury on the game's opening kickoff, potentially making the road to a state title a bit tougher. Havelock, which beat Burns earlier this year for its signature win, appears to be the favorite in 3A after outscoring opponent by an average of 48.6 to 14.3.

The rankings will return after the postseason for one final evaluation of the season, but stay tuned to ESPNHS North Carolina for playoff updates.

Click here for a full playoff pairing list from the Charlotte Observer.

Nationally, Mallard Creek moved up to No. 20 while Butler stood pat at No. 32 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here are the final regular season rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 10-0 (1)
Jela Duncan scored five touchdowns as the Mavericks beat Hough, 51-14, and won their third straight I-MECK title. The No. 2 seeded Mavericks will begin the 4AA playoffs against South Mecklenburg.

2. Butler (Matthews) 9-1 (2)
The Bulldogs beat Independence, 38-26, to earn the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. They will host Hoke County this week in the 4AA playoffs.

3. Scotland 10-0 (3)
The Fighting Scots continued their dominance, beating previously ranked Richmond, 42-7. Top-seeded 4A squad will take on Harnett Central in first round of playoffs.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina football rankings
Results as of Saturday, Oct. 15

Sophomores aren't supposed to play like Elijah Hood did in last Friday's big game between Charlotte Catholic and Berry Academy. Too bad for Berry Academy that Hood didn't get that memo.

The Cougars running back continued his impressive campaign, rushing for 179 yards and four touchdowns to push his team to a 48-26 win in MEGA 7 play. The effort was enough to overcome 187 all-purpose yard by Berry Academy receiver/kick returner Germone Hopper and position the Cougars for a conference title showdown in the season finale against Olympic.

Meanwhile, Richmond looked like its old self after an up-and-down two weeks. The Raiders knocked off previously undefeated Lumberton, forcing three late turnovers to pull out the 27-22 win.The outcome also revives the intrigue surrounding the season finale between Richmond and No. 4 Scotland on Oct. 28.

Nationally, Mallard Creek and Butler both moved up one spot in this week's POWERADE FAB 50, with the Mavericks taking over the No. 21 slot and the Bulldogs now at 35th.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 8-0 (1)
Mavericks easily took care of Hopewell by the score of 65-6. Next up: West Charlotte.

2. Butler (Matthews) 7-1 (2)
After trailing 10-7 early, the Bulldogs reeled off 35 straight points in 42-10 win against Providence. Riley Ferguson threw for five touchdowns. Next up: South Mecklenburg.

3. Greensboro Page 8-0 (3)
The Pirates put together their best offensive output of the season, blanking Southern Alamance, 70-0. Next up: Dudley.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina football rankings.

Green Hope rises, South Meck falls in new POWERADE soccer rankings

September, 13, 2011
Don't be fooled by its name — Green Hope has given very little hope to its opponents this season.

The Falcons breezed through their non-conference schedule, compiling a 6-0 record, consecutively downing power programs Jordan and Sanderson and outscoring opponents by a count of 24-4. Midfielders Tyler Carroll (team-high six goals) and Ryan Thompson (five assists) have anchored this fast start, pushing the Falcons up to No. 16 in the new POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

South Mecklenburg made its debut in the national list this week, earning the No. 44 spot. But this accomplishment could be short-lived for the Sabres. Ben Berdon's hat trick helped rival Providence pull off the 4-0 upset against South Meck on Monday, sending the Sabres to their first loss on the season.

Find out which three other local programs made the rankings by clicking here.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.