SWAC Friday football games
Middle Creek (4-2, 2-0)
at Panther Creek (5-1, 2-0)
The “Battle of the Creeks” has increased in interest over the past few years, but this year it looms larger than it ever has. Panther Creek is playing like a team that is built for a deep playoff run, as preseason questions about its offensive production have been answered. Middle Creek’s defense has regrouped in the last two games, allowing just two offensive touchdowns. Panther Creek enters this week ranked fourth in The News & Observer rankings, while Middle Creek is sixth.
All-time series: Middle Creek leads 6-1.
Fuquay-Varina (3-3, 0-2)
at Green Hope (4-3, 1-2)
The margin of error for Fuquay-Varina has been small. The Bengals have been in three games decided by seven points or less and were tied with Apex going into the fourth quarter last week before losing by 10. Green Hope has played well enough to win all of its games this year, but the Falcons must buck a recent trend: three straight games allowing a special teams or defensive touchdown.
All-time series: Fuquay-Varina leads 11-2.
at Holly Springs (3-3, 2-0)
Cary has shown a lot of fight this year, but preseason concerns about depth and experience are coming to fruition in conference play. Holly Springs, which rolled up 631 yards of offense last week, is looking to win its fourth straight game for the second time in school history.
All-time series: Cary leads 3-1.
at Apex (2-4, 1-1)
The Apex defense has been sneaky good this year, even if the yards-allowed average suggests it’s been a bend-but-don’t-break unit. The Cougars have only allowed more than 24 points once in regulation – and that came to Braxton Berrios and Leesville Road. Athens Drive has been hit-or-miss this season. The Jaguars have scored no more than 12 points in any of their four losses but are averaging 30.3 points per win.
Last 10 meetings: Series tied 5-5.
All SWAC game times are 7:30 p.m.
Other local games
No. 8 Southern Durham (4-2) at 11 Cardinal Gibbons (5-1), 7 p.m.
Cary Christian (2-4) at Lawrence Academy, 7 p.m.
Ravenscroft (3-4) at Wake Christian (3-4), 7:30 p.m.
Local player of the week
Holly Springs sophomore running back Tray Staten ran 21 times for 212 yards and three touchdowns against Athens Drive in a 48-12 win. He also had 20 yards receiving.
|T1. Panther Creek||2||0||5||1|
|T1. Middle Creek||2||0||4||2|
|T1. Holly Springs||2||0||3||3|
|5. Athens Drive||1||2||3||4|
|6. Green Hope||1||2||4||3|