The Southern Carolina Conference was tightly contested a year ago, when Porter Ridge edged Sun Valley in double overtime in the final game of the season for the conference football title.
Four teams had at least nine wins last year, and all are better this season.
The opening two weeks showed the talent in the conference and how good the teams competing for the top spot can be - with the possible exception of Sun Valley High.
Porter Ridge, which played Forest Hills on Aug. 2, opened with wins of 55-26 over Monroe and 63-14 against Piedmont. The Pirates moved into the Observer's Sweet 16 poll following week one.
Quarterback Lee McNeil threw six touchdowns and ran for two more in his first two games. Jordan Oakley and Zach Scarboro each have two touchdown catches and well over 100 yards. Chris Duffey ran for 178 yards and three touchdowns, and Najee Davis added 114 yards and another score in the opener. Both added a touchdown against Piedmont.
Weddington was very sharp for new head coach Tim Carson, defeating Cuthbertson 45-13 and Forest Hills 48-27.
The Warriors have a solid nucleus of talent led by quarterback Drew Podrebarac, who threw for 213 yards and ran for another 103 in the opening win, and followed with 249 passing yards and three touchdowns against Forest Hills.
Marvin Ridge opened up against a much-improved East Meck team and squeaked out a 17-13 win. It followed that effort with a 21-18 win against Ardrey Kell in a tough, physical win. The Mavericks played solid defense in both games.
Quarterback Tyler Chadwick's three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter proved the difference, and he finished 13 of 22 for 152 yards against the Eagles. He ran for two scores against the Knights, throwing for 182 yards and another touchdown. Joey Sanguine leads the Mavericks on the ground.
The biggest surprise of the first two weeks was Sun Valley. The Spartans came undone at Richmond Senior, falling 70-28, and didn't look any better in a52-21 loss to Sweet 16 No. 1-ranked Mallard Creek.
The Spartans are too good to not overcome the early struggles, boasting running back JaDarius Williams, wideout Jody Fuller and quarterback Ryan Smith. They have a week off before hosting Garinger.
Williams, a two-time conference Player of the Year, was held to just 18 yards in the opener but bounced back with 22 carries for 160 yards and a touchdown against Mallard Creek.
Fuller, a South Carolina commit, has rushed for 76 yards and two touchdowns and caught 10 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns so far. Smith finished with 227 yards and two touchdowns in the opener but threw three interceptions against the Mavericks.
With the strong quarterback play and talent at the skill positions, the SCC is going to have a competitive year, especially at the top.