|Indy and Butler go another round|
|Rivals highlight second playoff round|
|Published Thursday, November 21, 2013 6:07 am|
It’s week 2 in the N.C. football playoffs and the cream is rising to the top.
|Butler High quarterback Anthony Ratliff (right) runs away from Olympic defenders in the Bulldogs’ 55-28 win in the first round of the N.C. 4AA playoffs last week. Butler hosts Independence on Friday at 7:30 p.m.|
The first week didn’t produce a major upset among Mecklenburg County squads, with Independence’s 13-10 win against Hough the most dramatic finish. Mallard Creek and Butler did the expected by blasting first-round opponents and are on track to track for a potential clash in the West final.
But before that happens, there’s this week, which offers some interesting contrasts.
Independence (8-4, No. 12 seed) @ Butler (9-3, No. 9): The Patriots blocked a Hough field goal with 36 seconds left to pull off a 13-10 win in the first round. On paper, that qualifies as an upset, but in reality Independence hasn’t been that far from Mecklenburg’s upper crust. Butler, which swamped Olympic 55-28 in the playoff opener, qualifies as upper crust. Like Hough, the Bulldogs have a regular-season victory against the Patriots. Upset alert, anyone?
Providence (8-4, No. 7 seed) @ Mallard Creek (12-0, No. 2): Providence’s Panthers are going to need their absolute best to give the state’s top-ranked team a tussle. That means efficient offense and opportunistic defense, which the Panthers used to beat West Mecklenburg 14-7 last week. Mallard Creek, which dispatched Ardrey Kell 62-7, has bunches of weapons and are especially driven to make good on this year’s potential.
High Point Central (9-3, No. 5 seed) @ Charlotte Catholic (10-2, No. 4): This is likely the most intriguing game of the week. The Bison beat Hopewell 38-21 in the opening round and have the speed to compete with Catholic, but the Cougars counter with tailback Elijah Hood, the power gear in one of the state’s best rushing attacks. Catholic beat Kannapolis A.L. Brown 56-14 last week as a warmup.
Porter Ridge (8-4, No. 11 seed) @ Rocky River (10-2, No. 3). Rocky River won the Nov. 8 regular season meeting at Porter Ridge 20-0. How much have the Pirates learned in the last two weeks, and is it enough to overcome to whip the Ravens, who have 10 wins in the last 11 games?
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