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Sports

Playoff cream rises to the top
Four Mecklenburg teams in title contention
 
Published Wednesday, November 27, 2013 7:19 am
by Herbert L. White

Berths in the West Region semifinal are at stake in the N.C. high school football playoffs.

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PHOTO/CURTIS WILSON
Independence High receiver Jamiek Davis leaps to catch a pass in the Patriots’ 46-39 loss to Butler in the second round of the N.C. 4AA playoffs.

Four Mecklenburg County teams are still in the hunt for state titles, with Butler and Mallard Creek in the 4AA draw and Charlotte Catholic and Rocky River in the 4A tournament. The 4AA seeding has worked as intended so far, with the top four teams advancing to this point while the 4A ranks has some upsets with No. 9 Southeast Guilford crashing the party. Southeast will play at No. 4 Mallard Creek while No. 3 Rocky River travels to Greensboro to play undefeated Dudley. Here’s a roundup of this week’s games.

4AA

• Butler (10-3, No. 4 seed) @ West Forsyth (12-1, No. 1): After dispatching rival Independence 46-39 in a shootout, the Bulldogs will get a stern test at East Forsyth. Butler will need its offense firing on all cylinders against West, which knocked off East Forsyth 22-16.

• Northwest Guilford (12-1, No. 3 seed) @ Mallard Creek (13-0, No. 2): This may be the best contest of the week. Mallard Creek stakes its balanced offense against a Northwest Guilford squad that has one of N.C.’s best running attacks. Northwest averages 315.6 yards a game rushing and 53 touchdowns on the ground, led by tailback Christian Dix’s 1,083 yards on 176 carries with nine scores.

Mallard Creek isn’t a slouch on the ground, either. Jaylen Samuels, an N.C. State recruit, can control a game by himself, but the Mavericks can spread the carries with Lawrence Pittman and Dishon Chambers, too. This has slugfest written all over it.

4A

• Southeast Guilford (11-2, No. 9 seed) @ Charlotte Catholic (11-2, No. 4): The Falcons and Cougars are similar in that they run the ball with great effectiveness. The Falcons average 6.8 yards per carry with 53 touchdowns, three more than receptions for the entire team. Catholic’s Elijah Hood, a North Carolina recruit, has 41 rushing touchdowns by himself in addition to 2,811 yards.  Whoever controls the line of scrimmage will likely advance.

• Rocky River (11-2, No. 3 seed) @ Greensboro Dudley (13-0, No. 2): The Ravens, who beat Porter Ridge 37-29, will lean on their rushing attack to control possession. The Panthers, who beat North Davidson 46-14,  have outscored opponents 512-97. 

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