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1. South Point As stated in the video last week, I along with many others, think the Red Raiders are the team to beat in the Big South 2A/3A Conference. The ‘red bone’ option offense is averaging 469 yards and 44 points per game. Tyler Bray, Jaquan Brooks and Diontrea King are three powerful weapons that the Red Raiders can deploy in various ways. Some teams can stop one or two of them and thus far it has proven to be impossible to consistently stop all three on the same night. On the other side of the ball, Deion Jones, Daishon Davis and Tanner Muse anchor a defense that is giving less than 17 points per game. They take a 5-0 record into conference play this week with their most impressive wins against AC Reynolds, Crest and Shelby.

2. Forestview The Jaguars are putting up some pretty impressive numbers as well. Quarterback Logan Bradley’s stats are the best in the county and he should exceed the 1000 yard mark in passing this week and most likely add to his 11 touchdown passes. Mykelti Armstrong has been one of his favorite targets with nearly 400 receiving yards and 5 TD’s. Forestview enters conference play with a 3-1 record with wins over Kings Mountain, East Lincoln and Clover, SC; their lone loss came on opening night against Nations Ford, S.C.

3. Ashbrook The Green Wave got off to a rough start but has bounced back with two wins for a 2-2 record. Ashbrook has one more out of conference game against Cuthbertson this week and a win on Friday night will give them some momentum for the tough conference battles in the coming weeks.

4-5. TIE: Hunter Huss & North Gaston The Huskies take a 1-3 record into conference play but those losses were against above average 4A teams and a loss to a top 10, 3A team, the Burns Bulldogs. Those games, even though they were losses will be good preparation for Big South Conference play. Kerrion Moore is the Huskies most gifted athlete but he doesn’t have enough support for the Huskies to climb much higher than somewhere in the middle of the pack. Although I have them tied with North Gaston for the fourth spot I have to give Huss the slightest edge because of scheduling. Nonetheless, one will rise above the other this week after they go head to head this Friday evening.

The North Gaston Wildcats have made some great strides in improvement this year just by their ability to win the close games. The Wildcats are 4-0 with a 3-point win over Lincolnton, a 1-point win over East Rutherford and two blowouts over 1A teams Bessemer City and Cherryville. Wins are good for confidence but I’m not sure how much these will help on Friday night when they will have to step it up a notch to pull off their first conference win and go to 5-0.

6. Bessemer City carries a 2-3 record into their BYE week. Their wins came against conference foe Cherryville (although it was not a conference game) and Highland Tech.

7. Cherryville has a1-4 record with their only win coming against East Gaston last week. They lost to Bessemer City by just six points and if they can make a few plays and cut out some mistakes they could still make some noise in the Southern Piedmont 1A Conference race.

8. East Gaston At 0-4, the Warriors are an injury riddled team that has been forced to dip into the JV pool to keep a team on the field. Injuries aside, turnovers have kept the Warriors out of the win column this year and when the opponents are outscoring you by a 2 to 1 ration you can’t give them extra possessions. They must find a way to hold onto the ball if they expect to win in conference play.

9. Highland Tech The Rams, also at 0-4 have managed only 19 points in those four losses while giving up 140 points to the opposition. If Tech can post a win this year it will be a cause for celebration.

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