Nationally ranked Mallard Creek is back in a familiar spot – No. 1 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll.
One of Mallard Creek’s biggest rivals, Butler High, is in at No. 2. Mallard Creek beat Butler 24-10 Aug. 28, getting a clinching touchdown during the final minute.
The teams have dominated N.C. football over the past seven seasons. Since 2009, Mallard Creek and Butler have combined to win five of the six N.C. 4AA championships.
Mallard Creek, which has won back-to-back 4AA state championships, has dominated the top spot in the Sweet 16 for most of the past three seasons. Mallard Creek dropped to No. 2 last week after falling 31-29 to nationally ranked Byrnes in Duncan, S.C. But Friday, Rock Hill’s South Pointe High came to Charlotte and beat Vance 41-34. Vance had risen to No. 1 for the first time. This week, Vance fell to No. 5.
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Butler moved up a spot after going to Rockingham and whipping 4A power Richmond Senior 32-13 Friday.
There is one new team in the poll this week – Union County’s Monroe High.
Monroe, which reached the N.C. 2AA title game in 2013, beat Weddington 45-38 in overtime Friday. Weddington, which reached the N.C. 3AA championship game in 2014, lost for the first time and dropped two spots to No. 10.
Monroe entered the Sweet 16 at No. 15.
▪ There are several big games that could affect next week’s poll on tap for Friday: No. 6 Hough will visit No. 2 Butler, No. 7 Rock Hill Northwestern will play No. 4 Rock Hill South Pointe, and No. 1 Mallard Creek will face Maryland power McDonogh. McDonogh (2-0) is the No. 4-ranked team in Maryland by MaxPreps, regardless of class.
Observer Sweet 16
1. Mallard Creek (4A)
2. Butler (4A)
3. Char. Catholic (4A)
4. Rock Hill
South Pointe (3A)
5. Vance (4A)
6. Hough (4A)
7. Rock Hill
8. A.L. Brown (4A)
9. South Meck (4A)
10. Weddington (3A)
11. Ardrey Kell (4A)
12. Mooresville (4A)
13. East Lincoln (2A)*
14. Davidson Day (IND)
15. Monroe (2A)
16. Cuthbertson (3A)
Dropped out: Statesville (3A, 3-1). Also receiving consideration: Charlotte Latin (IND, 3-0); York (4A, 3-1); Concord (3A, 3-1); Charlotte Christian (IND, 2-2)
*-East Lincoln was scheduled to finish a game Monday with Gastonia Forestview. The game started Friday night and was suspended because of weather.