PERK'S PICKS FOR THE 3A & 3AA WEST NCHS FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PAIRINGS-FIRST ROUND
By: Anthony Perkins
#1 Crest (9-2) vs. #16 Erwin (5-6): Crest by 35
#8 Freedom (7-4) vs. #9 West Rowan (7-4): Freedom by 6
#5 Charlotte Catholic (7-3) vs. #12 Forestview (6-5): Charlotte
Catholic by 28
#4 Hunter Huss (8-2) vs. #13 Monroe (6-5): Hunter Huss by 12
#3 A.C. Reynolds (9-2) vs. #14 Hickory (4-7): AC Reynolds by 28
#6 Northeast Guilford (9-2) vs. #11 Parkwood (7-4): Parkwood by 3
#7 West Henderson (9-2) vs. #10 Kings Mountain (9-2): KM by 38
#2 Statesville (11-0) vs. #15 North Buncombe (7-4): Statesville by 35
#1 Weddington (11-0) vs. #16 South Iredell (5-6): Weddington by 40+
#8 Parkland (7-3) vs. #9 Alexander Central (8-3): Alexander Central by
#5 Northwest Cabarrus (10-1) vs. #12 Marvin Ridge (6-5): NW Cabarrus
#4 Cox Mill (7-4) vs. #13 Northern Guilford (7-4): Cox Mill by 13
#3 Dudley (9-2) vs. #14 Southwest Guilford (6-5): Dudley by 28
#6 Mount Tabor (7-4) vs. #11 Central Cabarrus (7-4): Mount Tabor by
#7 T.C. Roberson (5-6) vs. #10 A.L. Brown (7-3): TC Roberson by 6
#2 Watauga (10-1) vs. #15 Cuthbertson (5-6): Watauga by 21
I literally see 6 proverbial "coin flips" among the 16 3A and 3AA games.
West Rowan at Freedom has the makings of a barn burner. Like you, I'm picking Freedom, but Freedom will have trouble moving the ball against the Falcon's defense.
Parkwood has played a tough schedule and has produced some stellar results. Northeast Guilford has not played as tough as a schedule as the Rebels, but they have not lost a game since losing a late September conference game against Eastern Alamance by a 42 to 28 score. Northeast Guilford will pound the ball, and so far this season, no team has really contained their rushing attack. Parkwood has an evenly balanced offensive attack, and as such, they will be tough to defend. I believe depth will be a factor in this game, and Parkwood's depth and seasonal experience should prevail in a squeaker.
Alexander Central at Parkland should be a very tight game. Can Parkland stop Alexander Central's rushing attack? To me, that is the biggest question. I also see Alexander Central squeaking by Parkland.
Before last Friday night's game, I thought Northwest Cabarrus would head to the 3AA West regional final championship. After losing to a very impressive Cox Mill, I was not quite as sure. Marvin Ridge is a very strong team playing in a very tough 3A conference. I think Northwest Cabarrus's offense, a team that is 50/50 mix between pass and run, will prevail. However, Marvin Ridge can capitalize on any mistakes made by the opposition.
Central Cabarrus has played some really tough opponents throughout the year, and overall, they have a good rushing attack, a good defense, and can make a secondary pay through the air. Mount Tabor has a very stingy defense, but their offense can occasionally lose rhythm. The keys to the game is whether Central Cabarrus can contain Mount Tabor's rushing attack and who will win the turnover battle. I could go either way with this game, but I think Central Cabarrus might have a chip on their shoulder after being seeded 11th. I'll take Central Cabarrus in a close one.
The A.L. Brown Wonders will have to travel to the mountains to play in the first round. T.C. Roberson has an explosive offense that can run and pass with equal efficiency. While the Wonders probably have more depth, I think their defense will struggle. However, the Wonders have better depth and a championship winning coach. I'll take the Wonders to pull this one out.