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NC high school football news for Charlotte, Raleigh, beyond

East Forsyth's Lawrence Riggs III (9) breaks open for a long run in the first quarter ahead of Rolesville's Reggie Love (3) on Friday, August 26. 2022 at Rolesville High School in Rolesville, NC

East Forsyth’s Lawrence Riggs III (9) breaks open for a long run in the first quarter ahead of Rolesville’s Reggie Love (3) on Friday, August 26. 2022 at Rolesville High School in Rolesville, NC

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The most eye-catching detail of this 2022 NC high school football season’s Week 2 retrospective includes losses by No. 1 ranked teams in all four NC High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) classifications.

In 4A, Chambers of Charlotte dropped a 26-20 decision to Highland Springs of Virginia. Dudley, of Greensboro, the reigning 3A state champion, was stopped by intra-Guilford County rival Southeast Guilford, 23-7. Perennial 2A power Reidsville fell at Page, of Greensboro, 22-14. Tarboro, last fall’s 1A state champion, was two points short in a 56-54 decision at Hertford County.

Of note: All four classifications’ top placeholders competed against either an out-of-state opponent or a larger classification’s opponent, and the four winning teams have all played in state finals.

This week could prove to be an integral contributor to teams’ long-term development, with coaches using Week 2 results to see how their teams will bounce back.

Here are some notes and observations from around North Carolina:

EAST FORSYTH STATEMENT

No. 2 East Forsyth scored 47 first-half points in a 47-0 win at No. 3 Rolesville, despite five holding penalties — one of which negated a touchdown that became a field goal. Eagles quarterback Jaylen Alexander-Raynor threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more.

Alexander-Raynor, an Arkansas State commit, has tallied 11 total touchdowns through East Forsyth’s first two outings.

CLEVELAND CLASHES CONTINUE

Cleveland County continues to delight its fans with another season of high-level football. This season’s torchbearers, though, are turning tables.

Burns (Lawndale) and Kings Mountain — each with one pre-21st century state final appearance in their programs’ histories — already have stopped 10-time finalist (and six-time champion) Crest (Boiling Springs) and 15-time finalist (and 11-time champion) Shelby this season.

Burns’ 35-12 win Friday at Crest came one week after Kings Mountain survived host Shelby’s comeback attempt, 28-26.

Something will give Friday when 2A Burns visits 3A Kings Mountain in a battle of 2-0 teams.

CRAVEN COUNTY MIRROR IMAGES

New Bern (4A) and Havelock (3A) — both among their classification’s top 10 teams — tallied 61-0 road wins Friday against Willow Spring and West Carteret, respectively.

Havelock sophomore Lebron Sharpe rushed for 249 yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries.

New Bern has outscored its two opponents 101-3, while Havelock has done likewise, 103-0.

Havelock will host New Bern on September 16.

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Football players run drills during practice at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, NC, Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. Alex Slitz [email protected]

“WESTSIDE” HONORS STILL MEAN SOMETHING

West Charlotte coach Sam Greiner spoke last week about winning the unofficial “Westside” community championship by defeating nearby intra-city rivals.

The Greiner-led Lions took a step toward that goal Friday with a 40-6 win over Harding. Greiner led Harding to the 2017 3A state championship.

West Charlotte opened its new Senior Drive campus for this school year. Lions home football games, though, are being played at the former Waddell campus while West Charlotte facilities details, specifically parking, are completed.

EAST SURRY SURVIVES MOUNT AIRY

These perennially strong Northwest NC rivals battled to a 14-12 East Surry win. The victorious 2A Cardinals accounted for all of their scoring in the first half, and survived 12 second-half points by the 1A Granite Bears to cement the outcome.

CLEVELAND RAMS KEEP MOVING

Johnston County’s Cleveland team — with a Clayton address — is undefeated in its first two games of the post-Omarion Hampton and Skyler Locklear era.

The 4A Rams, fall 2021 state quarterfinalists, defeated visiting Rose (Greenville) 43-28 Friday. Cleveland sophomore quarterback Jackson Byrd has passed for 503 yards (29-of-47 completions) and nine touchdowns (to one interception) thus far.

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Millbrook quarterback Mason Fortune (11) runs for yardage ahead of Wake Forest’s Max Hines (5) during the first half. The Millbrook Wildcats and the Wake Forest Cougars met in a football game in Raleigh, NC on October 29, 2021. Steven Worthy newsobserver.com

TRENTINI TWO-FER

Wake Forest, known for its outstanding defense in its three consecutive 4AA state championship teams (2016-18) was one step better in its second game — both at home in the newly renovated, historic Trentini Stadium.

The Cougars shut out Clayton, 26-0, one week after their first team defense allowed zero points to Southern Durham in a 26-8 win.

Wake Forest will welcome Hoggard (Wilmington) next Friday. Hoggard (2-0) has surrendered just 24 points this season, and upended visiting Scotland County 18-8 Friday.

MILLBROOK’S LEACOCK LEAPS FORWARD

Nathan Leacock has adjusted seamlessly to being Millbrook’s (Raleigh) leading wide receiver (following Wesley Grimes’ graduation). Leacock, a 6-foot-4 Tennessee recruit, has four touchdown receptions among 11 catches and 287 total receiving yards for the 2-0 Wildcats.

Mason Fortune, Millbrook’s 11th grade quarterback, is 32-of-52 passing for 608 yards.

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Providence Day’s Jadyn Davis (1) passes the ball over the Weddington defense during a game at Providence Day in Charlotte, NC, Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. Alex Slitz [email protected]

DAVIS MENTIONED ALONGSIDE LEAK

Among conversations relative to last week’s games, Providence Day junior quarterback Jadyn Davis was spoken of favorably within the perspective of Chris Leak.

Leak, who led Independence (Charlotte) to three consecutive NC 4A state championships (2000-02) went on to lead Florida to an NCAA Championship. Leak redefined the standard for NC high school signal callers in the 21st century.

Davis is 6 feet tall and near the 200-pound mark like Leak was in high school. Davis completed 22-of-30 passes for five touchdowns in the Charger’s 52-32 win at 4A power Weddington (Matthews) Friday. Overall, Davis is 37-of-49 for 698 yards and 10 touchdowns (to one interception) through two games — and two wins.

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