No. 3 Butler (6-2, 3-0 Southwestern 4A) at Rocky River (7-1, 3-0): Even though its early, this could be the Southwestern 4A championship game. Despite losing 16 starters and several All-Americans, Butler has won four straight and played well facing one of the states toughest schedules. Rocky River has won seven straight since losing to Richmond Senior but is 0-3 all time against Butler.
No. 4 Hough (6-1, 2-1 MECKA 8) at No. 14 A.L. Brown (6-1, 3-0): Hough can still win a MECKA 8 championship, despite Fridays 38-21 loss to No. 1 Mallard Creek. Heres what has to happen: Hough must bounce back and beat A.L. Brown Friday, then pull for Brown to upset Mallard Creek on Oct. 25. Of course, Hough must run the table. First things first, though, Hough must slow a Brown offense averaging nearly 60 points a game in October.
No. 1 Mallard Creek (7-0, 3-0 MECKA 8) at Vance (5-2, 2-1): Vance, like Hough, can still win a league title, but it must win this game. Vance had a three-game win streak snapped in a 55-40 loss to A.L. Brown two weeks ago but bounced back Friday with its fifth straight win against West Charlotte.
No. 12 Burns (7-0, 4-0 South Mountain 3A/2A) at Shelby (6-2, 5-0): Burns, a 3A team, is rolling, outscoring opponents 258-73. In four conference games, Burns has allowed 31 points. Shelby, a 2A team, has won five in a row, all in convincing fashion after close loses to 3A powers Asheville Reynolds and South Point.
Hibriten (7-0, 3-0 Northwestern 3A/4A) at Watauga (6-1, 2-1): Watauga couldnt contain Freedoms pass game in Fridays 41-34 loss. Freedom receiver Khris Gardin caught nine passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns. This week, Watauga will try to stop Hibritens ball-control rushing attack. Hibriten is tied with Freedom atop a league that has one 7-0 team (Hibriten) and three 6-1 teams (Freedom, Watauga and Patton).
Langston Wertz Jr.
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