High School Sports

Gameday: Here are 7 prep football matchups to watch on Friday

(Observer Sweet 16 rankings are noted)

No. 5 Hough (9-1, 5-1 I-Meck 4A) at No. 4 Vance (9-1, 5-1), 7 p.m.: Two best I-Meck teams not named “Mallard Creek” meet to decide second place, and it features a pair of stellar quarterbacks – Hough’s Kennique Bonner-Steward and Vance’s Nigel Summerville. Hough is coming off a 26-10 loss to Mallard Creek.

No. 16 Mooresville (6-3, 4-3) at No. 1 Mallard Creek (9-0, 6-0), 7 p.m.: Mooresville, with QB Hunter DeBerardino (1,865 passing yards and 20 touchdowns), is the next (and last) I-Meck power to test the Mavericks. Mallard Creek showed last week that it can run the ball, in addition to passing, gaining 461 yards on the ground at Hough.

No. 12 West Mecklenburg (8-1, 5-0 SoMeck 7 4A) at Providence (5-4, 4-1), 7 p.m.: West Meck QB Preston Brown has thrown for more than 2,200 yards this season. Providence is a team of streaks, winning its opener, dropping the next five, and then winning it last four games.

Arden Christ School (10-1) at No. 2 Charlotte Christian (10-0), 7 p.m.: The private schools’ Division I state title is up for grabs. Christ School QB Navy Shuler, son of former Tennessee and NFL quarterback Heath Shuler, has phenomenal passing numbers this season – 3,798 yards. It’s perhaps the toughest test for the Knights’ powerful defense.

Charlotte Country Day (6-5) at Charlotte Latin (6-4), 7 p.m.: This private schools’ Division II state title game is a rematch of a contest two weeks ago, which Latin won 31-16. It’s also a rematch of last year’s Division II championship, also won by Latin.

Statesville (7-3, 3-1 North Piedmont 3A) at East Rowan (6-4, 3-1), 7:30 p.m.: Each team has won its past three games, and the winner joins South Iredell as conference co-champion.

Walhalla (7-3) at No. 9 Rock Hill South Pointe (9-1), 7:30 p.m.: The Stallions open a bid for a repeat S.C. 4A state championship. Walhalla has lost three of its past four and fell 63-0 in its last game, two weeks ago.

Steve Lyttle