Butler will play Richmond Senior for the fifth straight year Friday. And, as usual, it will be one of the premier games in North Carolina.
In the past nine seasons, the teams have combined to win four state championships. And when they play each other, the games have often been high scoring. Butler has won three of the previous four meetings. In 2016, the Bulldogs won 42-41. In 2014, Richmond won 55-54 in overtime.
This season, both teams suffered early losses -- Butler fell 42-9 in its opener against Mallard Creek two weeks ago. The Bulldogs (0-1) have had two byes in the first three weeks, mainly because they couldn’t find an opponent. Richmond (2-1) lost 38-13 to reigning N.C. 4AA champion Wake Forest in its second game, but rebounded to win its third game, 40-14 over Pine Forest Monday.
Ardrey Kell (0-3) at No. 3 Charlotte Catholic (3-0), Fri, 7:30 p.m.: The Knights nearly upset another Sweet 16 top 10 team, Myers Park, two weeks ago before losing by a field goal in overtime. Catholic’s defense appears to be among the area’s best. The Cougars have allowed six points in the past two weeks and held Charlotte Christian to 14 points. Christian has averaged 58.5 in its remaining games.
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Statesville Christian (3-0) at Charlotte Latin (2-0), Fri, 7 p.m.: The N.C. Independent Schools Division III state champs from Statesville have outscored teams 145-6. Charlotte Latin, the reigning N.C. Independent Division I state champion, has won 15 straight regular-season games.
Clover (3-0) at No. 14 Belmont South Point (2-0), Fri, 7:30 p.m.: Clover, a 5A school, averages 46 points per game. The Blue Eagles started 5-0 last season but such starts have been rare at the school. South Point, a 2A school, steps up in class after beating 3A power Crest 22-14, 2A Lincolnton 59-6 and 3A Forestview 42-0.