Observer prep writers pick their top 3 players to watch
↑Chester, SC: Cyclones, No. 10 in the Sweet 16, beat Aiken 52-6 to extend its win streak to 16 games. That’s the longest in school history.
↑Charlotte Christian: NCISAA Division I state champs won their 22nd straight game Thursday, beating Sun Valley 35-13.
↓Mother Nature: Thunderstorms and lightning wreaked havoc with the schedule Thursday. It pushed back the start of the Sun Valley-Christian game nearly two hours and ultimately forced Butler and Hough to postpone a game in progress. It may be time for the Charlotte Kickoff Classic to play two games over two days after weather has pushed back or canceled the nightcap in back-to-back years.
↓Mother Nature II: The National Weather Service is forecasting an 80 percent chance of rain and a chance for thunderstorms in the Charlotte-area Friday night, when most teams kick off.
Butler-Hough going to Day 2
Butler and Hough got their highly anticipated game started late Thursday and the teams didn’t finish. The game was postponed just after midnight with Butler leading 14-7.
The Bulldogs, No. 8 in the Sweet 16, blocked three Hough kicks: two punts and a field goal. The Bulldogs scored after both punt blocks. One was recovered at the Hough 3 and the other at the Hough 5.
Hough is No. 7 in the Sweet 16.
Both teams will have to return to the Matthews Sportsplex Friday to finish the game. It will resume at 5 p.m. There will be about a minute left in the third quarter.
Gates open at 4 p.m.
Christian looks strong, Colorado powerhouse awaits with a McCaffrey
Charlotte Christian had to wait a little while before its season-opening 35-13 win over Indian Trail’s Sun Valley High Thursday, but the result still felt good.
A pregame thunderstorm forced a near two-hour delay, so instead of kicking off at 5 p.m., the teams didn’t begin until nearly 7 p.m.
Christian quickly jumped out to a 21-0 lead, however, and won easy at the annual Charlotte Kickoff Night Classic.
Knights star JB Awolowo had 13 carries for 83 yards and two scores. He was 3-for-3 passing for 43 yards and a score. Knights receiver Logan Jones caught three passes for 65 yards and a score.
This was the second straight season that weather affected this event. Last season, Butler and Scotland County were scheduled in the first game of a doubleheader that featured a nightcap between Dutch Fork and Mallard Creek.
Weather issues pushed back the start of the first game by 90 minutes at Charlotte’s Memorial Stadium. Due to a late Saturday night start time, which would’ve bled over into Sunday morning -- against state association regular-season rules -- the Mallard Creek-Dutch Fork game was not played.
There were no such issues Thursday, however, and Charlotte Christian won its 22nd straight game. The Knights last loss was 19-14 to Charlotte Catholic in August 2017.
That streak will be tested next week when Christian faces Valor Christian of Highlands Ranch, Colo, at home. Valor Christian is ranked No. 1 in the state of Colorado by MaxPreps. Last season, Valor Christian won the Colorado 5A state title, the school’s eighth and the first for rookie coach Ed McCaffrey.
Ed McCaffrey’s son, Christian, is a star running back for the Carolina Panthers.
Valor Christian has won five of the past seven 5A state titles in Colorado.