As most South Piedmont Conference teams kick off league play, an old rivalry will be renewed when Concord visits Northwest Cabarrus Friday.
"Concord is one of our biggest rivals," said Rich Williams, the Trojans' head coach. "To open up our conference against them is exciting."
Last season, Concord and Northwest faced each other twice - once to open up the conference season and again in the first-round of the 3A state playoffs. The Trojans came out on top in a close 40-32 game during their first meeting, but the second time around, the Spiders defeated Northwest 29-20.
Northwest Cabarrus will look to avenge that loss Friday, while Concord hopes to keep its SPC title hopes in track.
The Spiders are coming off a bye week after losing a close 8-7 game to Gastonia's Huss. Concord struggled offensively during the game, which was a defensive stalemate for most of the night. The team wasn't able to convert on late-game opportunities that could have gotten them ahead.
Entering the season, the expectations around the Concord program were high and that hasn't changed for the Spiders.
They will depend on sophomore quarterback B.J. Beecher, who has shown his youth at times this season, to lead them in their SPC opener.
Dominique Posey, the team's running back, should also play a large role in this rivalry.
Northwest Cabarrus (2-2)
The Trojans got off on the wrong foot to start the season, getting shut out by a surprising Mooresville team before struggling against defending 3A state champions West Rowan, who they lost 26-7 at home.
Northwest breezed through South Rowan, who they gained a 21-0 lead at halftime and held on for the win after giving up a dozen points to the Raiders during the second half.
Williams said the Trojans, which come off a 42-0 win against Parkwood, have been improving every week.
"We haven't take any steps back," he said.
The Trojans defense has played well, led by linebacker Rob Atwell and lineman D.J. Bostick.
Northwest's offense will hope to help them stay rested. That largely depends on how first-year starting QB Colby Williford as well as running backs John Edmond and Jalen Caldwell do Friday.