Hough (4-3, 3-0 I-Meck 4A) at North Mecklenburg (1-6, 0-3), 7 p.m. – The Huskies are improving each week, and the defense, led by LB Jack Shryock, is a big reason. They held a tough Lake Norman team to seven points last week.
No. 1 Mallard Creek (6-0-1, 3-0 I-Meck 4A) at Hopewell (3-4, 1-2), 7 p.m. – Mallard Creek QB Dustin Noller has passed for more than 1,600 yards, with WR Elijah Metcalf accounting for 674 of those. The Mavericks are eyeing a high playoff seed and don’t want a slip-up.
No. 4 Vance (5-1, 2-1 I-Meck 4A) at West Charlotte (4-3, 1-2), 7 p.m. – Vance is allowing 6.3 points per game and needs a victory to remain in the title race. West Charlotte will try to control the tempo with its ground game.
Berry Academy (1-5, 0-2 SoMeck 7 4A) at West Mecklenburg (3-3, 1-1), 7 p.m. – Berry’s defense faces a tough test. Hawks’ RB J’mari Taylor has nearly 800 rushing yards and anchors an offense producing almost 400 yards per game.
Harding (3-4, 0-2 SoMeck 7 4A) at South Mecklenburg (0-8, 0-3), 7 p.m. – Rams’ QB Jarrett Robinson and receivers like Dekerius Thompson and Maleik Faust are capable of putting up points in a hurry. South Mecklenburg played well at times in last week’s 24-14 loss to Providence.
Olympic (6-2, 3-0 SoMeck 7 4A) at No. 14 Ardrey Kell (6-1, 3-0), 7 p.m. – The conference title probably is at stake here. Olympic RB Cameron Smith has rushed for 1,277 yards this season. Ardrey Kell’s defense is led by Kaci Seegars (78 tackles, 11 sacks) and Cedric Gray (78 tackles, including nine for lost yardage).
No. 15 Butler (4-3, 2-1 Southwestern 4A) at Independence (4-3, 2-1), 7 p.m. – This neighborhood rivalry will decide which team continues to chase powerhouse Myers Park in the league race. Patriots’ QB Arnold Taylor has passed for more than 1,100 yards. Injuries are becoming a growing problem for Butler.
No. 13 Harrisburg Hickory Ridge (6-1, 3-0 Southwestern 4A) at No. 2 Myers Park (7-0, 3-0), 7 p.m. – Hickory Ridge’s loss was to one of the state’s best 3A teams, Northwest Cabarrus. Now the Ragin’ Bull defense – led by Charlie Blazi (60 tackles) and Tyrell Davis (four interceptions) – tests one of the state’s top 4A teams and its powerful offense.
Indian Trail Porter Ridge (4-3, 1-2 Southwestern 4A) at Garinger (1-6, 1-2), 7 p.m. – RB Brandon Perry (684 rushing yards, 10 touchdowns) leads the Pirates against a Garinger team coming off its first victory of the season.
Charlotte Latin (7-0, 1-0 Big South) at Charlotte Christian (4-2, 0-1), 7 p.m. – A victory here clinches at least a conference title tie for the Hawks, who have made the most of a small (31-player) roster. Charlotte Christian is recovering after a rough start, with receivers Logan Jones and J.B. Awolowo as key weapons.
Arden Christ School (4-2) at Charlotte Country Day (7-1), 7 p.m. – Christ School LB Jasper Thomas is averaging 15 tackles per game. He’ll get a test against a Buccaneer rushing attack that averages about 180 yards a contest.
Providence Day (5-2) at Fayetteville Trinity Christian (5-1), 7 p.m. – Trinity Christian RB Chavon McEachern has run for more than 1,100 yards this season. The Chargers prefer to throw it, behind the arm of QB Cody Cater.
Unionville Piedmont (1-5, 0-3 Southern Carolina 3A) at Charlotte Catholic (3-3, 2-1), 7:30 p.m. – RB Paul Neel (606 yards) has taken over the load of the ground attack for the Cougars with the departure of Lamagea McDowell. Piedmont runs the ball on 80 percent of its offensive snaps, with Connor Purser as the workhorse.
Newton-Conover (5-2, 3-0 South Fork 2A) at Lake Norman Charter (1-6, 0-3), 7 p.m. – The visiting Red Devils hope to stay atop the standings in a very tough South Fork 2A. Lake Norman Charter must stop a strong passing attack, led by QB Justice Craig (1,238 yards).
Mount Holly Mountain Island Charter (5-2, 3-1 Southern Piedmont 1A) vs. Community School of Davidson (4-3, 3-3), at Mallard Creek High, 7 p.m. – The visiting Raptors feature explosive RB Elijah Burris (1,184 rushing yards, 15 touchdowns). The host Spartans counter with RB Baker Westmoreland, averaging 23 carries and 125 rushing yards per game.
High Point Christian (6-2, 2-0 Piedmont Athletic) at Southlake Christian (6-2, 1-1), 7 p.m. – Can the Southlake passing combination of sophomore QB Matthew Lutzel (1,207 passing yards) and his senior brother Luca (33 receptions) move the ball against a Cougar defense averaging eight tackles for loss and six sacks per game?
Hickory Grove Christian (0-6) at Covenant Day (2-6), 7 p.m. – Covenant Day’s big defensive front could be bad news for a Hickory Grove team that has scored only 22 points all season.
VC/NC Royals (2-4) at Harrells Christian (6-2), 7 p.m. – The Royals’ challenge is to slow down a Harrells Christian rushing offense that averages nearly 250 yards per game.
No. 16 Gastonia Huss (5-1, 2-0 Big South 3A) at Boiling Springs Crest (6-2, 3-0), 7:30 p.m. – Two excellent defenses square off. Hunter Huss knocked off top-ranked (3A) Kings Mountain last week, picking off two of Ethan Reid’s passes. Crest is led by DB Keyez Jefferies, who has 60 tackles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
No. 7 Northwest Cabarrus (7-0, 2-0 South Piedmont 3A) at Central Cabarrus (5-2, 1-0), 7:30 p.m. – Northwest Cabarrus averages about 400 yards offense per game. Central Cabarrus has a balanced attack, with RB Deandre Boykins (eight rushing touchdowns) leading the way.
No. 8 Clover (7-0, 2-0 S.C. Region 3 5A) at Rock Hill (5-2, 1-0), 7:30 p.m. – Clover’s title hopes face a threat here, as Rock Hill has won five in a row after two losses to state title contenders.