High-SchoolNorth-Carolina: FOOTBALL Weekly Rankings

Final North Carolina football rankings: Greensboro Page is No. 1

December, 5, 2011
The road was anything but easy. Standing in Greensboro Page's way was two-time defending champ Butler, top-ranked Mallard Creek and a juggernaut in Garner. With each test, though, the Pirates plowed through the competition all the way to the Class 4AA title, the state's final No. 1 rankings and the No. 20 spot in the POWERADE FAB 50.

In the final, Page downed Garner, 35-21, behind dual-threat QB James Summers, who earned championship game MVP honors after throwing for two touchdowns and totaling 247 yards. Five first-half penalties did in the Trojans, who outgained the Pirates 156-83 in the first half but fell behind by 14 points and never recovered.

Coming in a close second is Scotland, which was nothing short of dominant in the 4A playoffs. Culminating with a 42-16 championship win against Porter Ridge, the Fighting Scots outscored their postseason opponents, 248-66.

Scotland did have mount a comeback after falling behind 13-0 in the first half to Porter Ridge, but behind fourth-down conversions and a pick-six, the Scots scored 42 of the game's next 45 points to secure their first title.

In other championship games: Northern Guilford beat Crest in the 3AA title game for the second straight year, Havelock dethroned three-time defending Class 3A champ West Rowan, and Tarboro won its third straight 2A title with a 39-36 win against Lincolnton behind Todd Gurley's 242 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Here are how the final state rankings shake out:

1. Greensboro Page (15-0)
Earned top spot after downing two-time defending champ Butler, previous No. 1 Mallard Creek and finally, powerhouse Garner in the Class 4AA title game by the score of 35-21.

2. Scotland (15-0)
Capped undefeated season and dominant Class 4A playoff title run with 42-16 win against Porter Ridge.

3. Garner (15-1)
Trojans came up short in Class 4AA title game, falling 35-21 to Greensboro Page.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina football rankings

Two new teams in final North Carolina football regular season rankings

October, 31, 2011
Believe it or not, it's been 11 weeks since Mallard Creek and Butler faced off in a makeshift championship game for the season opener. Now it's playoff time and plenty of teams have emerged with the Mavericks and Bulldogs as prime contenders the state crown.

Leesville Road and Havelock entered the final regular season rankings with dominant performances to cap their undefeated regular seasons. Leesville Road easily downed previously ranked Wake-Forest Rolesville to win the Cap 8 title, but it lost QB Austin Berrios to a knee injury on the game's opening kickoff, potentially making the road to a state title a bit tougher. Havelock, which beat Burns earlier this year for its signature win, appears to be the favorite in 3A after outscoring opponent by an average of 48.6 to 14.3.

The rankings will return after the postseason for one final evaluation of the season, but stay tuned to ESPNHS North Carolina for playoff updates.

Click here for a full playoff pairing list from the Charlotte Observer.

Nationally, Mallard Creek moved up to No. 20 while Butler stood pat at No. 32 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here are the final regular season rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 10-0 (1)
Jela Duncan scored five touchdowns as the Mavericks beat Hough, 51-14, and won their third straight I-MECK title. The No. 2 seeded Mavericks will begin the 4AA playoffs against South Mecklenburg.

2. Butler (Matthews) 9-1 (2)
The Bulldogs beat Independence, 38-26, to earn the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. They will host Hoke County this week in the 4AA playoffs.

3. Scotland 10-0 (3)
The Fighting Scots continued their dominance, beating previously ranked Richmond, 42-7. Top-seeded 4A squad will take on Harnett Central in first round of playoffs.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina football rankings

Scotland, Porter Ridge move up in Week 10 NC football rankings

October, 24, 2011
Results as of Sunday, October 23

As we head into the final week of the regular season, there's some movement in the North Carolina football rankings.

The first comes as Scotland leapfrogs Greensboro Page into the No. 3 spot. The Pirates did their part by winning again (a 21-0 victory against Dudley), but the Fighting Scots have proven invincible against a tougher schedule. Scotland will get another test when it faces Richmond in the finale, but in the last two weeks, they've outscored solid Hoke County and Lumberton squads by a count of 82-7. Hard to ignore that sort of dominance.

The second shake-up comes lower in the rankings, as Porter Ridge overtook Richmond for the No. 8 slot. Ever since the Raiders fell to Hoke County, they've struggled to fully bounce back, winning their last three games against Purnell Swett, Lumberton and Pinecrest by an average margin of nearly four points. Mind you, the Raiders won their first five games by nearly 30 points each.

On the other hand, Porter Ridge has been nothing short of impressive during its 9-0 run, winning all but one its games by at least 24 points. The Indians will face a formidable opponent in Sun Valley this week, but their performance up to this point deserves a bump up in the rankings.

Nationally, Mallard Creek stood pat at No. 21 and Butler moved up to No. 32 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here's how this week's state rankings shake out (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 9-0 (1)
Mavericks D led the way in 42-0 win against West Charlotte, scoring on two of its four forced turnovers. Next up: Hough.

2. Butler (Matthews) 8-1 (2)
Riley Ferguson threw four touchdowns as the Bulldogs racked up 504 yards in a 52-14 win against South Meck. Next up: rival Independence.

3. Scotland (Laurinburg) 9-0 (4)
The Fighting Scots move up a spot after passing yet another stiff test with a 35-7 win against Lumberton. Next up: No. 9 Richmond.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina rankings
Results as of Saturday, Oct. 15

Sophomores aren't supposed to play like Elijah Hood did in last Friday's big game between Charlotte Catholic and Berry Academy. Too bad for Berry Academy that Hood didn't get that memo.

The Cougars running back continued his impressive campaign, rushing for 179 yards and four touchdowns to push his team to a 48-26 win in MEGA 7 play. The effort was enough to overcome 187 all-purpose yard by Berry Academy receiver/kick returner Germone Hopper and position the Cougars for a conference title showdown in the season finale against Olympic.

Meanwhile, Richmond looked like its old self after an up-and-down two weeks. The Raiders knocked off previously undefeated Lumberton, forcing three late turnovers to pull out the 27-22 win.The outcome also revives the intrigue surrounding the season finale between Richmond and No. 4 Scotland on Oct. 28.

Nationally, Mallard Creek and Butler both moved up one spot in this week's POWERADE FAB 50, with the Mavericks taking over the No. 21 slot and the Bulldogs now at 35th.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 8-0 (1)
Mavericks easily took care of Hopewell by the score of 65-6. Next up: West Charlotte.

2. Butler (Matthews) 7-1 (2)
After trailing 10-7 early, the Bulldogs reeled off 35 straight points in 42-10 win against Providence. Riley Ferguson threw for five touchdowns. Next up: South Mecklenburg.

3. Greensboro Page 8-0 (3)
The Pirates put together their best offensive output of the season, blanking Southern Alamance, 70-0. Next up: Dudley.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina football rankings.

Wake-Forest Rolesville moves up in Week 8 NC football rankings

October, 10, 2011
After games of Saturday, Oct. 8

A few top teams got quite a scare this past week. You already know about Butler's wild win against Ardrey Kell last Thursday, and Wake Forest-Rolesville and Richmond endured similar cardiac comebacks.

Wake Forest-Rolesville saw it fall behind 13-0 in the first half of a contest against a talented Wakefield squad. But a renewed focus on the run game as well as a blitzing defense to throw off Wakefield QB Connor Mitch got the Cougars rolling in the second half for a 14-13 victory.

On the other hand, Richmond was the early aggressor in the its matchup with Purnell Swett, but the Raiders' 14-point halftime lead vanished behind an explosive Rams offense that ran just three plays in the third quarter and scored 21 points. The two teams went back and forth until Steve Houston saved the day. The Raiders DB stuffed Juwan Jones at the goal line on the Rams' two-point try as time expired to preserve Richmond's 42-41 win and avoid a second straight loss.

Although the outcome was the same for both, the fact that Wake Forest-Rolesville beat a 6-2 Wakefield squad while Richmond struggled with a 3-4 Purnell Swett team is why the Cougars move up a spot in this week's rankings.

Nationally, both Mallard Creek and Butler moved up in the POWERADE FAB 50, as the Mavericks are now at No. 22 while the Bulldogs sit at No. 36.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 7-0 (1)
The Mavericks posted their second shutout in three weeks, this time blanking North Mecklenburg, 63-0, behind Jela Duncan's five touchdowns. Next up: Hopewell.

2. Butler (Matthews) 6-1 (2)
The Bulldogs survived a scare against Ardrey Kell, using a last-minute drive that ended with a Zach Ferguson touchdown to pull out a 43-40 victory. A matchup with Providence is up next.

3. Greensboro Page 7-0 (3)
The Pirates just keep on rolling, as they beat Ben L. Smith, 42-12, last week. Next up: Southern Alamance.

Click here for the full POWERADE weekly North Carolina football rankings.

South Point debuts, Richmond falls in Week 7 NC rankings

October, 3, 2011
After games ending Sunday, Oct. 2.

An upset that few saw coming as well as a powerful squad that keeps on coming highlight this week's POWERADE ESPNHS North Carolina football rankings.

Let's start with the upset. In 34 prior meetings, Richmond had never lost to Hoke County. But that all changed Friday, as the Raiders fell 24-21 in their Southeastern Conference opener. Hoke County forced two fumbles and held the Raiders to just 14 plays in the first half. Richmond held a 21-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter, but the Bucks went ahead for good on a David Walrath touchdown. Just like that, Richmond went from having Hoke County's numbers to looking up at the Bucks in the conference standings.

Also on Richmond's heels is a surging South Point squad, whom I mentioned last week was on the cusp of entering the top 10. Led by fullback Troy Leeper, the Red Raiders have won their last three games by an average of nearly 41 points, outscored opponents 349-88 and downed a solid Burns program during a 7-0 start. Plus, during last week's 56-7 win against Ashbrook, they unleashed another weapon in quarterback Patrick Horne, who threw for 414 yards and ran for another 159 and two scores. With that type of power (along with the fact that former No. 10 A.L. Brown lost its lone game to a ranked team by 28 points), it's impossible to keep the Red Raiders out of the top 10 any longer.

Nationally, Mallard Creek continued its move up the POWERADE FAB 50 by securing the No. 24 spot while Butler stood pat at No. 39.

Without further ado, here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 6-0 (1)
Mavericks avenged last year's loss in the 4AA West region semifinal, easily beating Vance 55-20 behind quarterback Andrew Goodman's five touchdown passes. The state's top team will play North Mecklenburg this Friday.

2. Butler (Matthews) 5-1 (2)
The Bulldogs posted their first shutout of the season, downing East Mecklenburg, 45-0. Riley Ferguson threw for three touchdowns, two of which went to older brother, Zach. An intriguing matchup against surging Ardrey Kell is up next.

3. Greensboro Page 6-0 (4)
After resting up on their bye week, the Pirates rolled to a 49-0 win against Grimsley and, amid Richmond's loss, cemented their new No. 3 spot. Next up: Ben L. Smith.

Click here for the full POWERADE North Carolina weekly football rankings.

Burns, South Point on cusp of Week 6 NC rankings

September, 26, 2011
After games ending Saturday, Sept. 24

The rich seem to keep getting richer in North Carolina. Mallard Creek and Butler continued to establish their dominance with routes of Lake Norman and Rocky River, respectively. Meanwhile, Richmond, Page, Scotland and Porter Ridge all had time to rest before looking to continue their undefeated runs this week. Thanks to heavy rain showers, No. 8 Garner also got some rest before facing East Wake on Monday, but the Trojans now have two games in one week.

All of these teams should keep a watchful eye on their rearview mirror, though. A.L. Brown appears to be back on track, shutting out its second straight opponent in Central Carrabus. Plus, Burns looked impressive in a 27-26 win against previously undefeated Freedom while South Point continues to roll behind star fullback Troy Leeper.

On the national front, Mallard Creek moved up to No. 27 while Butler re-entered the top 40 at No. 39 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 5-0 (1)
Behind Jela Duncan's 192 rushing yards and four touchdowns, the Mavericks blanked Lake Norman, 55-0. Next up: Vance.

2. Butler (Matthews) 4-1 (2)
Sparked by Uriah LeMay's 56-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game, the Bulldogs racked up 312 rushing yards en route to a 52-6 win against Rocky River. A matchup with East Mecklenburg is next.

3. Richmond (Rockingham) 5-0 (3)
The surging Raiders got some time to regroup during their bye week before facing Hoke County this Friday.

Click here for the full POWERADE North Carolina weekly football rankings.

NC rankings stand pat as Mallard Creek and Butler roll in Week 4

September, 19, 2011
At least for this week, North Carolina's top football teams played as expected, with every top-10 squad winning in convincing fashion. Mallard Creek, Butler and Richmond all solidified their spots with blowout victories while Porter Ridge showed its for real in a tough 10-7 win against Providence Day. Also, A.L. Brown bounced back from last week's loss to Porter Ridge in a big way, beating Robinson by a count of 48-0.

Four of the top 10 teams have a bye this week, but watch out for bubble teams like Hillside, which bet Southern Durham behind Khris Francis' 184 yards and three touchdowns, as well as Douglas Byrd and South Point.

Nationally, Mallard Creek continued its move up the rankings by taking over the No. 30 spot while Butler stood pat at No 43 in the POWERADE FAB 50.

Here's this week's state rankings:

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 4-0 (1)
Coming off a bye week, Mavericks didn't skip a beat, routing Mooresville 45-3 by forcing seven second-half turnovers. Next up: Lake Norman.

2. Butler (Matthews) 3-1 (2)
The Bulldogs showed no mercy to Myers Park, beating the former 3-1 squad by a count of 77-14. A road contest against Rocky River is next on the schedule.

3. Richmond (Rockingham) 5-0 (3)
The Raiders continued their rampage, defeating West Forsyth 41-13. Richmond is now averaging 47.2 points and held opponents to just 17.8 points per contest. Next up: a bye week, followed by a battle with Hoke County.

Click here for the full POWERADE North Carolina weekly rankings.

Porter Ridge enters top 10 after big win

September, 12, 2011
The bottom half of the rankings saw quite a shakeup, as Jack Britt fell to surging Scotland and Southern Durham lost its second straight game. As a result, Garner, which has piled up a ton of points during a 4-0 start, and Porter Ridge, which silenced many doubters with a 41-13 rout of A.L. Brown, made their debut in the top 10 this week.

On the national scope, Mallard Creek moved up five spots to No. 33 during its idle week while Butler rejoined the POWERADE FAB 50 in the No. 43 slot.

Here's how things shake out after a pretty wild weekend (Last week's ranking's are in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 3-0 (1)
Mavericks return from bye week with matchup against Mooresville.

2. Butler (Matthews) 2-1 (2)
Almost let big lead slip away in win against Vance, but Bulldogs appear to be hitting their stride. Next up: 3-1 Myers Park.

3. Richmond (Rockingham) 4-0 (3)
Raiders keep on winning and keep on scoring, easily defeating South View 36-21. A bout against West Forsyth is up next.

Click here for full POWERADE State Weekly Rankings

Charlotte Catholic moves into top 10

September, 7, 2011
Jack Britt reversed its downward trend in the polls with a 42-28 win against Southern Durham, while Charlotte Catholic debuted in the polls. The Cougars have looked strong in their three wins, leading some to believe that this year's bid for a 3AA title won't end prematurely as it did in 2010.

Other than that, not much changed in this week's rankings. Mallard Creek kept up its winning ways to move to No. 38 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and No. 13 in the Southeast regional rankings.

(Last week's rankings in parentheses)

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 3-0 (1)
After thunderstorms pushed their contest to Tuesday, the Mavericks turned a 7-0 lead into a 42-18 win against Berry Academy, further strengthening their hold on the top spot. Next up: a bye week, followed by a Sept. 16 tilt against Mooresville, which ended West Rowan's 46-game win streak earlier this year.

2. Butler (Matthews) 1-1 (2)
Bulldogs return from bye week for home matchup against Vance on Friday.

3. Richmond (Rockingham) 3-0 (3)
Raiders have breezed through their first three games, averaging 53 points per contest after a 45-20 win against Anson. A road matchup against South View is up next.

4. Greensboro Page 3-0 (4)
The Pirates have also looked unbeatable, outscoring opponents by an average of 40-10 following last week's 45-9 victory over High Point Central. Their first test could come at 3-0 Ragsdale this Friday.

5. Scotland (Laurinburg) 3-0 (5)
Have looked solid in first three games, but a test of the Fighting Scots' mettle will come Friday when it hosts No. 7 Jack Britt.

6. A.L. Brown (Kannapolis) 3-0 (9)
The Wonders continue to be just that behind the ridiculously productive Damien Washington, who now has nine touchdowns in three games. A tough Porter Ridge squad is up next.

7. Jack Britt (Fayetteville) 2-1 (7)
The Buccaneers recovered in a big way last week, beating Southern Durham. A move back up the rankings could be in the cards should they be able to knock off Scotland on Friday.

8. Charlotte Catholic 3-0 (Unranked)
The Cougars, who didn't lose until the 3AA semifinals last year, have earned their way into the rankings, outscoring opponents 109-35. After Friday's win over Charlotte Country Day, the Cougars face another rival in Charlotte Latin.

9. Wake Forest-Rolesville 2-1 (8)
After a tricky loss to East Wake, the Cougars looked like their old selves in a 37-19 win against Northern Durham. Next up: Southeast Raleigh.

10. Southern Durham 2-1 (6)
The Spartans were tripped up by Jack Britt last week, but have time to recover in a contest against Dunbar (Washington, D.C.) before facing defending 4A champ Hillside.

Dropped out of top 10: No. 10 Berry Academy 2-1

On the bubble: Asheville, Berry Academy (Charlotte), Burns (Lawndale), Douglas Byrd (Fayetteville), Garner, Havelock, Hillside (Durham), Hoggard (Wilmington), Independence (Charlotte), Leesville Road (Raleigh), Lumberton, Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem), Middle Creek, New Bern, Northwest Guilford (Greensboro), Porter Ridge (Indian Trail), Ragsdale (Jamestown), Southeast Raleigh, South Point (Belmont), West Rowan (Mount Ulla)

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Mallard Creek Takes Over Top Spot

August, 29, 2011
As expected, Mallard Creek is the new top squad in North Carolina and also made its way into the POWERADE FAB 50 rankings. Fresh off a win against previous No. 1 Butler and a solid Sun Valley team, the Mavericks check in at No. 41 in the nation.

Without further ado, here's how the state rankings shake out after two weeks of play (last week's rankings in parentheses):

1. Mallard Creek (Charlotte) 2-0 (2)
With big win against Butler and a follow-up victory against Sun Valley, the Mavericks are the top dog in NC. And they could distance themselves even more Friday at Berry Academy.

2. Butler (Matthews) 1-1 (1)
After opening loss to Mavericks, Butler bounced back with big, 70-6 win against Olympic. Next up: Bye week followed by Vance on Sept. 9.

3. Richmond (Rockingham) 2-0 (3)
Raiders looked good in first two games, outscoring opponents 114-27. Next up: Anson on Friday.

4. Greensboro Page 2-0 (5)
Won big in first two games, including 35-4 victory against Northern Guilford. Next up: High Point Central on Friday.

5. Scotland (Laurinburg) 2-0 (9)
Lived up to hype surrounding squad, totaling 74 points in first two contests. Next up: Marlboro County (S.C.) on Friday.

6. Southern Durham 2-0 (8)
Showed mettle in last week's 35-32 win against Middle Creek; faces big road test on Friday against Jack Britt.

7. Jack Britt (Fayetteville) 1-1 (4)
Lost heartbreaker in overtime to Lumberton, but has a chance to bounce back with Friday's contest against Southern Durham.

8. Wake Forest-Rolesville 1-1 (6)
Fake field goal doomed against East Wake in 20-17 loss. Don't count out the Cougars, though, who will seek redemption against Northern Durham on Friday.

9. A.L. Brown (Kannapolis) 2-0 (Unranked)
Wonders have looked, well, wonderful, thanks to Damien Washington, who has scored seven (!) touchdowns in their first two games. Next up: Rocky River on Friday.

10. Berry Academy (Charlotte) 2-0 (Unranked)
The Cardinals survived a scare last week, mounting a 16-10 comeback win against East Meck. Just how solid this team and the duo of Germone Hopper and Nick Dawson are will surface in Friday's big game against Mallard Creek.

Dropped out of Top 10: No. 7 West Rowan (Mount Ulla) 1-1, No. 10 Hillside (Durham) 1-1

On the Bubble: AC Reynolds (Asheville), Burns (Lawndale), Cary, Charlotte Catholic, Crest (Shelby), Garner, Hillside (Durham), Independence (Charlotte), Leesville Road, Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem), New Bern, Northwest Guilford (Greensboro), Porter Ridge (Indian Trail), Ragsdale (Jamestown), Southeast Raleigh, Tarboro, Wakefield (Raleigh), West Rowan (Mount Ulla)

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Butler, Mallard Creek lead the way

August, 21, 2011
The first weekend of football proved to be a wild one, filled with a clash between the state's top two teams, upsets and broken streaks. Check out our weekend recap for a look back at what went down.

Fortunately for those victims of defeat, since the national high school football scene doesn't officially get underway until this coming weekend, our weekly POWERADE FAB 50, regional and state rankings won't get going until next Monday.

So for the time being, here's a look at our North Carolina preseason football rankings:

1. Butler (Matthews)
2. Mallard Creek (Charlotte)
3. Richmond (Rockingham)
4. Jack Britt (Fayetteville)
5. Greensboro Page
6. Wake Forest-Rolesville (Winston-Salem)
7. West Rowan (Mount Ulla)
8. Southern Durham
9. Scotland (Laurinburg)
10. Hillside (Durham)

On the Bubble: AC Reynolds (Asheville), Berry Academy (Charlotte), Crest (Shelby), Davie (Mocksville), Garner, Middle Creek (Apex), Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem), New Bern, Northwest Guilford (Greensboro), Ragsdale (Jamestown), Seventy-First (Fayetteville), Southeast Raleigh, Sun Valley (Monroe), Tarboro, Wakefield (Raleigh), West Forsyth (Clemmons)

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.