|4A playoff semis separates Mecklenburg County’s best teams|
|Five squads in the running for West finals|
|Published Tuesday, April 20, 2021 9:00 pm|
|PHOTO | TROY HULL|
|Vance High running back Dylan Smothers breaks off a long run in the Cougars’ 44-28 win against Ardrey Kell in the first round of the North Carolina 4AA playoffs on April 16. Vance, No. 4 in the Magnificent Seven, plays Hough Friday in a rematch of their regular season game won by Hough 29-22.|
The best teams in The Post’s Magnificent Seven football rankings are squaring off against each other for a shot at regional championships.
The top five – Myers Park, Hough, Butler, Vance and Providence – are all in the semifinals in either the 4A or 4AA playoffs, which continue Friday. No. 1 Myers Park hosts Panther Creek in one 4AA semi while Vance and Hough tangle for the second time in three weeks for the other regional final berth.
In the 4A tournament, Butler travels to Providence in the 4A ranks for a spot in the West final.
This week’s survey:
1. Myers Park (8-0). Admit it. No one could’ve seen this coming. A second week at No. 1 for the Mustangs, who blasted Northwest Guilford 63-22 in a game that wasn’t that close.
They’ll take a major step up in class against Panther Creek, which subdued Olympic 21-14.
2. Hough (8-0). The Huskies breezed past Green Hope 43-15 to set up a rematch against No. 4 Vance, which is looking for redemption after losing to Hough 29-22 in the regular season finale.
This ought to be the game of the year – so far.
3. Butler (7-1). How can a team with the Bulldogs’ championship pedigree be overlooked? A win at Providence Friday in the 4A playoffs will go a long way toward putting Butler back in the limelight.
4. Vance (7-1). The Cougars looked ripe for the picking in the first half last week against Ardrey Kell before waking up for a 44-28 win.
Vance can’t afford to sleepwalk against No. 2 Hough, which already owns a regular season win against the Cougars.
5. Providence (7-1). The Panthers are doing a lot of good things in 2021 after their latest conquest, a 44-34 win against Hickory Ridge.
A win against Butler will go a long way toward making their season.
6. Ardrey Kell (6-2). The Knights had Vance in a tight spot for a half in their 4AA playoff game. The reality is two halves are necessary to win.
7. Olympic (6-2). The Trojans followed an 8-4 season with a 6-2 campaign. Both ended with a first-round playoff loss, which is a good rallying point for the fall.
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