Posted: September 08, 2016
1. Shelby (3-0) - Shelby's defense put to rest any doubt of how great they are by shutting out South Point last Thursday. Make no mistake, Shelby is the real deal and looks like they are heading for another state title. Shelby opens conference play with R-S Central.
2. Lincolnton (3-0) - Lincolnton moved a spot up with their dominant 61-34 win over North Gaston and Kings Mountain's 28-0 loss to Forestview. Lincolnton will face East Gaston this Friday before starting conference play. The Wolves are still favored to win their conference.
3. East Lincoln (3-0) - East Lincoln is coming off two big shutout wins, a 69-0 win over Christ the King and a 48-0 win over North Lincoln. Now, the Mustangs will get a much stiffer test this week from visiting Forestview (ranked below). East Lincoln escaped in their first game against Hunter Huss 14-13. Will the Jaguars be a taller mountain for the Mustangs to climb?
4. Forestview (2-1) - Following a heartbreaking 19-13 loss to Clover, Forestview made a statement last week in their 28-0 win over Kings Mountain. The Jaguars forced five Mountaineer turnovers in the win. They will travel to East Lincoln Friday and are looking to wrap up their nonconference schedule with a winning record. A win over East Lincoln will be a huge momentum boost heading into conference play.
5. Kings Mountain (2-1) - The Mountaineers fell for the first time this year and they fell hard against the Jaguars. Kings Mountain is still a very dangerous team but if they are to contend, they will need to do away with the turnovers especially if they want to run with Shelby and have the upper hand against Crest.
6. South Point (1-2) - The Red Raiders sufferred not only their second loss in a row, but a big shutout against Shelby. Make no mistake, the Red Raiders are not dead. South Point has another test as they travel south of the border to take on Clover. A win will move them up.
7. Burns (3-0) - It was really a tossup between Burns and Crest for the #7 spot. But since Burns is still undefeated, I ranked them just above Crest. Burns will open conference play against Chase. The Trojans are coming off a 7-0 win over Bessemer City but the Bulldogs will be a stiffer challenge for Chase.
8. Crest (1-1) - Crest is coming off a bye week. The Chargers are hoping to rejuvenate their offense after a slow start. They have averaged 13 points in their first two games. They scored 12 in their 27-12 loss to South Point and 14 in a 14-7 victory over Ashbrook the following week. They should have no problem against their conference opener, Draughn, this week.
9. Bessemer City (2-1) - The Yellow Jackets fell for the first time last week as they were defeated by Chase 7-0. Bessemer City will host Stuart Cramer. The Storm is ranked just two spots below the Yellow Jackets. Look for this game to be a big defensive struggle.
10. Mountain Island Charter (2-1) - After suffering a 16-0 loss to Bessemer City, the Mountain Island Charter Raptors made a statement by whipping Thomas Jefferson 31-13. With the Raptors losing to Bessemer City and playing one less conference game than them as they don't play Cherryville, it is highly unlikely they will win the conference title but they are on the move up this year. The Raptors are off this week.
11. Stuart Cramer (2-1) - After struggling on offense the first two weeks, the Storm came alive offensively by scoring 35 points in a 35-7 win against West Iredell. Cramer has not allowed any more than 7 points in the first three contests. Their only loss was a 6-0 defeat to R-S Central. This could be a low scoring game between the two.
12. Hunter Huss (0-3) - Another week, another narrow loss for the Huskies. This time they fall 17-14 to Porter Ridge in a game that Huss was intercepted six times by the Pirate defense. The Huskies have lost three games by a total of nine points. Huss travels to play Hickory this Friday. The Red Tornadoes are 0-3 and have not been anywhere near as competitive as Hunter Huss. Look for the Huskies to get their first win of the season.
13. Ashbrook (0-2) - Ashbrook is coming off a bye week. Before that bye week, however, Ashbrook looked like a Jekyll and Hyde team. The Green Wave was trounced 48-13 by Clover in week 1. But in week 2, Ashbrook only suffered a 14-7 loss to Crest. Their next opponent is Garinger. The Wildcats have not won a game since 2011 and that was a season finale 16-14 win over Harding. Ashbrook should dominate early and often in this game.
14. Thomas Jefferson (1-1) - Thomas Jefferson started the season with a 56-0 victory over Hickory Grove Christian but came back to Earth last week as they fell hard to Mountain Island Charter 31-13. The Gryphons travel to take on Christ the King on Friday. The Gryphons should win that one easily.
15. West Lincoln (2-1) - The Rebels are coming off two straight wins after their season opening loss to Draughn. The two teams they beat, however, are North Lincoln and Cherryville. Both of them are ranked near the bottom. West Lincoln welcomes Fred T. Foard, another team that is 2-1 on the season. West Lincoln could move up a spot with a win.
16. East Gaston (0-2) - East Gaston's bye week probably came at great time. The Warriors have had it rough to start the season with lopsided losses to Bessmer City and Kings Mountain. However, coming off the bye week they will have to face 3-0 Lincolnton. The Wolves just trounced North Gaston 61-34. It will probably get worse before it gets better for East Gaston.
17. North Gaston (0-3) - The Wildcats were crushed 61-34 last week against Lincolnton. However, the Wildcats did put up a fight for a while. They were down 27-20 at some point, but the Wolves pulled away in dominant fashion. North Gaston will host Cherryville, another team that is 0-3. The winner of this game could move up the rankings.
18. North Lincoln (0-3) - With three lopsided losses to start the season, a bye week could not have come at a better time for North Lincoln. The Knights were shut out by East Lincoln last week 48-0.
19. Cherryville (0-3) - Cherryville was also held scoreless last week as they fell 21-0 to West Lincoln. Cherryville will travel to North Gaston. The Ironmen have only scored 12 points on the year so far.
20. Highland Tech (0-2) - Highland Tech travels to face Lake Norman Charter. The Rams ended up with a bye week last week as the school they were scheduled to face dropped their football program. Lake Norman Charter is 3-0 on the season. The Rams have been shut out in both of their contests.