1. Myers Park ready to make a run: The Mustangs have never won a state title and haven’t had an unbeaten season since 1965 (when Myers Park won the N.C. 4A Western Regional title, but no state final was played). This year’s Mustangs, who play rival South Meck Friday, have a real shot at 16-0 - and that elusive state title.
2. Richmond Senior at Butler will be a shootout: Friday, these state title contenders meet for a sixth straight season. The lowest combined point total was in 2017 when Butler won 27-21 (48 combined points). The series has included Butler’s 42-41 win in 2016, Richmond’s 55-54 win in 2014 and Butler’s 49-32 in 2013.
3. Charlotte Catholic will figure out this offensive problem: This was supposed to perhaps be Catholic’s best team ever. But the Cougars, who returned 18 starters from an unbeaten state champion, were shut out for the first time since 2001 by Charlotte Christian to start the season and trailed 3-0 to a 1-2 Charlotte Country Day team deep into the third quarter last week. Problem? Too many turnovers.
4. Independence about to make a run: The Patriots are averaging 46 points per game. Yes, it’s early but that’s the most since 2004, when the Patriots - then known as the Big “I” - were in the midst of eight straight state finals appearances.
5. North Meck at Rocky River will be fun, and a spectacle: North Meck’s unbeaten (2-0) and Rocky River (2-1) should be ready to go after a humbling 51-0 loss to Vance last week. The teams will play in the annual Patriotism Bowl, which will include a skydiving exhibition and a helicopter flyover.