Opinion: The Whole Nine Yards
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AT A LOSS: The area’s top two teams, No. 1 Orange and No. 2 Northwood head into the playoffs with a bad taste in their respective mouths. The Panthers squandered an opportunity to finish with their first perfect regular season in 50 years, falling to Southern Durham in a 55-41 shootout.
Northwood, meanwhile, lost a shot at gaining a home playoff opener with its 55-14 rout at the hands of Cardinal Gibbons. The Chargers secondary, which has been spotty at times this season, struggled containing quarterback Sean Stankavage, who led his team into the postseason by passing for seven touchdowns.
Orange still earned a first-round playoff game at home vs. Rocky Mount, whom the ‘Crush’ should handle. Northwood hits the road to take on Eastern Alamance, which boasts an identical 8-3 mark as the Chargers.
FOUR SCORE: Chapel Hill came within a play or two of recording big wins over Orange and/or Northwood, but with Friday’s 30-28 conquest of an improving Cedar Ridge program the Tigers still made the playoffs.
Chapel Hill, among a few 4-7 teams to gain an at-large playoff berth, travels to Durham to face a powerhouse Southern squad. The Tigers have displayed offensive fireworks at times this season and staunch defensive play at others. They’ll need both sides of the ball to be nearly perfect, however, to pull off an upset Friday.
: Despite losses by teams at the top of the WCHL/Chapelboro.com
‘Super Six’ and better play by programs at the bottom it isn’t likely much upheaval will take place with No. 1 Orange and No. 2 Northwood leading the way. Chapel Hill is a solid No. 3, as well.
No. 4 Carrboro, despite falling apart with losses in seven of their last eight games, still chalked up early-season wins over Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill in a 3-0 start. That seems like ages ago, right? And how the heck did the Jaguars beat the Tigers anyway?
No. 5 East Chapel Hill, which defeated Jordan Durham 14-7 and No. 6 Cedar Ridge deserve credit for finishing the regular season with improved play, but they could be stuck at the bottom of the poll.
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Find out for sure as Matt Oakes and Matt Paul review the week’s action and preview the playoff picture Friday night
on “The Grid With Matt & Matt”. The show airs at 6pm
on WCHL 97.9 FM with a listener link available on chapelboro.com