Top Charlotte-area high school football games for Friday:
No. 2 Mallard Creek (3-0) at No. 8 Harding (4-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: May look a little different to see Harding in one of the state’s top games, but the Rams proved by beating S.C. power Gaffney last week that they are for real. Mallard Creek, as usual, looks like a serious state title contender but must stop the nation’s top junior running back, Quavaris Crouch of Harding.
Scotland County (1-1) at No. 4 West Mecklenburg (4-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: Georgia recruit Zamir White of Scotland is the nation’s top senior running back and he should be plenty rested. Scotland hasn’t played since beating Durham Hillside Aug. 25. West Meck, led by UNC recruit Dyami Brown, is averaging nearly 50 points per game.
Providence (3-1) at No. 6 Butler (1-1), Friday, 7 p.m.: Butler held off a Richmond Senior rally last week to avoid a rare 0-2 start and rebound from a blowout loss to Mallard Creek to start its season. Butler looks like a contender again. But so does surprising Providence, which is narrow overtime loss to No. 7 Myers Park away from being unbeaten.
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No. 9 Shelby (4-0) at Kings Mountain (3-0), Friday, 7 p.m.: Shelby better not be looking ahead to its showdown at No. 1 Rock Hill South Pointe in two weeks. Kings Mountain is averaging 40 points at home and is primed to upset its Cleveland County rival. It’s the first of three straight road games for Shelby’s Golden Lions.