Mallard Creek (12-2) at East Forsyth (14-0)
Only one Mecklenburg County Class 4A team has ever qualified for three straight state championships: Independence went to eight finals in a row from 2000-07. So Mallard Creek can make some history Friday. East Forsyth has only allowed 16 points in the playoffs and will pin its hopes for a first state title berth since 1992 on that dominating defense.
Charlotte Catholic (13-0) at Greensboro Dudley (13-1)
Catholic is in the regional finals for the third straight season. The Cougars are trying for back-to-back N.C. 4A championship appearances. In 2013, Dudley stopped a late Catholic drive to perserve a 20-15 win and move onto the 4A state finals. This is Dudley’s third 4A regional finals appearance since 2009.
Crest (14-0) at Concord (13-1)
Concord has won 13 straight games since losing to 4A A.L. Brown to start the season. To return to the state finals, Concord must stop a Crest team that is making its fifth straight regional finals appearance. Crest is led by QB Willie Green II, who has thrown for more than 3,000 yards and 28. He is the son of former NFL wide receiver Willie Green. Green, who played with Carolina in 1995 and ’96, won two Super Bowls in Denver.
Kings Mountain (12-2) at South Point (12-2)
These two teams have lost only to Crest and Shelby, two teams also playing in regional finals Friday. Kings Mountain has won six straight, allowing just 19 points in five weeks. The Mountaineers defense will be challenged by South Point’s “RedBone” rushing attack. The Red Raiders have won 11 straight games and scored at least 40 points in five of the past six weeks.
East Lincoln (14-0) at Monroe (14-0)
East Lincoln All-American QB Chazz Surratt (elbow) is done for the season, so East Lincoln’s hopes to return to the state finals for a second straight season rest with freshman Marcus Graham, who had more than 250 total yards offense last week. Monroe is averaging 54.3 points in the playoffs.
Lincolnton (12-2) at Shelby (13-1)
Lincolnton has won eight in a row and allowed just 22 points in the postseason. Shelby, the 2A reigning state champ, has only lost to 3A Crest.
Robbinsville (11-2) vs. Community School of Davidson (13-2) at North Mecklenburg
Community School looks for its first state title. Robbinsville hunts its 15th. Robbinsville is 13-1 in state finals all-time.