High School Sports

Football playoffs’ third round features high-scoring Vance at defensive-minded Butler

Vance receiver Jaylin Carr (right) pulls away for a touchdown after catching a pass from Kingsley Efedi in October against Mallard Creek. Friday, Vance and its high-scoring offense will visit Butler in the N.C. 4AA playoffs.
Vance receiver Jaylin Carr (right) pulls away for a touchdown after catching a pass from Kingsley Efedi in October against Mallard Creek. Friday, Vance and its high-scoring offense will visit Butler in the N.C. 4AA playoffs. dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Vance (12-1) at Butler (12-1), 7:30 p.m. (4AA): Quarterback Kingsley Ifedi leads high-scoring Vance against a Butler defense that has been stingy since early September. Butler’s offense came alive in last week’s second-round win against Mallard Creek, ending the Mavericks’ three-year reign as state champions. If Vance can move the ball against the Bulldogs, this game might resemble September’s 42-41 Butler win against Richmond Senior.

Charlotte Catholic (12-1) at East Forsyth (12-1), 7:30 p.m. (4A): The host Eagles have lost only to 4AA power Greensboro Page and are a high-scoring team, which is led by quarterback Brandon Bullins (2,222 passing yards, 23 touchdowns) and running back Christian Beal (1,392 rushing yards, also 23 touchdowns). Catholic has won 12 in a row, and its defense has allowed only 11 points a contest in the past six games.

Weddington (10-3) at Asheville Reynolds (11-2), 7:30 p.m. (3AA): The host Rockets lost their first two games – to 4AA West Forsyth and 2AA Shelby (both still alive in the playoffs). Reynolds has become an offensive power behind quarterback Nathan St. Onge (1,790 passing yards, 20 touchdowns). Weddington has held its past 10 opponents to an average of 8.9 points a game.

Marvin Ridge (8-5) at Hickory Ridge (11-2), 7:30 p.m. (3AA): Hickory Ridge went on a hot streak late in the regular season. Marvin Ridge waited until the playoffs. Both have high-scoring offenses, and Marvin Ridge seeks to knock off a Cabarrus County power for the third consecutive week.

West Rowan (10-3) at Hibriten (13-0), 7:30 p.m. (3A): Fans of both schools are comparing this matchup to the 2010 playoff game, which West Rowan won 20-14. Hibriten, the state’s No. 1-ranked 3A team, averages 49 points. West Rowan is led by its defense, which held Crest scoreless until the final minutes last week.

Canton Pisgah (12-1) at South Point (9-4), 7:30 p.m. (3A): Alabama-bound running back Michael Parrott leads a ground-oriented Pisgah attack against red-hot South Point, which has limited its past six opponents to an average of 2.3 points.

Hunter Huss (10-3) at Shelby (13-0), 7:30 p.m. (2AA): Outside of a two-point win against rival Crest a month ago, Shelby’s smallest victory margin has been 21 points. But Huss is having a dream season. After losing its opening three games to strong competition, the Huskies have won 10 straight. This is a meeting of two strong defenses.

East Lincoln (11-2) at Monroe (11-2), 7:30 p.m. (2AA): The host Redhawks recovered from the loss of their starting quarterback early in the season, and sophomore Trey Shepherd has stepped in, throwing for more than 1,100 yards. But East Lincoln sophomore Malcolm Graham has passed for 2,200 yards, run for another 945 and accounted for 38 touchdowns.

South Pointe (11-1) at Belton-Honea Path (11-1), 7:30 p.m. (S.C. 4A): The host Bears are most effective on the ground, averaging about 230 yards a game. South Pointe has rolled through its playoff competition and is averaging 50 points in its last five games. South Pointe beat Belton-Honea Path in overtime two years ago in the plahyoffs.

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