Conference play starts this week for most of Union County’s high school football teams, and this week’s marquee matchup sees Porter Ridge traveling to Marvin Ridge.
The Pirates improved to 3-0 on the season with a win over Ardrey Kell, 25-14, on Sept. 17. Porter Ridge has defeated its opponents by an average of 24 points per game this season.
Head coach Michael Hertz’s offense is led by senior running back O’Marion Taylor, who has carried the ball 52 times for 303 yards and two touchdowns. Senior quarterback Myles Carroll has completed 24-of-33 passes (72.7%) for 376 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Stephan Zayachkowsky, a junior safety, leads the team in tackles with an average of 8.3 tackles per game and senior end Malachi Howell has been the Pirates’ top pass rushers with two sacks and 13 quarterback hurries. Senior Tristan State, a 6-foot-5, 200 pound defensive back, has three of Porter Ridge’s five interceptions this season.
Marvin Ridge, meanwhile, is 3-1 and coming off a 42-8 win over Alexander Central two weeks ago. Mavericks sophomore quarterback Evan Medders has thrown for 604 yards and five touchdowns against three interceptions while also running for 220 yards and four more scores already this fall.
Sophomore linebacker Nate Rawls is averaging a team-high 9.3 tackles for the Mavericks, while seniors Brady Villa and Devin Reed share the team lead in sacks with five each.
Marvin Ridge and Porter Ridge have played nine times since 2007. The Pirates lead the series, 5-4, and won the last meeting between the teams, 21-10, on Sept. 20, 2019.
Weddington at PiedmontWeddington begins Southern Carolina Conference play at Piedmont. The Warriors are 4-1 on the season, with their only loss coming against Ardrey Kell, 38-21 on Sept. 10.
The Warriors have been more balanced offensively than in years past. So far this season, Weddington senior quarterback Grady Brosterhous has thrown for 1,062 yards and nine touchdowns against three interceptions. On the ground, the Warriors have totaled 675 rushing yards on 179 carries (3.8 yards per carry).
Piedmont (2-3) has already won more games this season than it did in each of the past two seasons. The Panthers’ top player this season has been junior Layton Duke, who currently leads all county players with 571 rushing yards to go with two rushing touchdowns.
Piedmont senior end Bryson Williams has a team-best three sacks and junior cornerback Devine Stevenson tops the team in interceptions with two.
Weddington has won the past seven games its played against Piedmont. The last time these two teams faced, the Warriors were victorious by a score of 50-0 back on Oct. 11, 2019.
Cuthbertson at Sun ValleyThe Sun Valley football team will look for its second straight victory Friday as it hosts Cuthbertson. The Spartans’ win over Central Pageland last week was the Spartans’ first victory since defeating Piedmont in November 2019.
The Spartans (1-4) have done a lot of their damage on the ground thanks to the junior duo of Toney McFadden and Jaden Goeller. Sun Valley has scored above 20 points in a game just twice this season.
Cuthbertson (2-3) is coming off a 27-6 win over Jay M. Robinson a few weeks ago. The Cavaliers’ top offensive player this season has been A.J. Colombo, who has thrown for 395 yards and four touchdowns against four interceptions while also carrying the ball 38 times for 274 yards and three other scores.
Cuthbertson defeated Sun Valley the last time these two teams played — a 31-21 Cavaliers victory on Sept. 25, 2019. Before that, Sun Valley had won three straight over Cuthbertson.
Forest Hills at ParkwoodParkwood hosts Forest Hills on Friday in both teams’ Rocky River Conference opener. The Wolf Pack are coming off a 50-21 victory over Buford last Friday that saw junior quarterback Cam Enos throw for four touchdowns.
Forest Hills, meanwhile, is 3-2 overall and on a two-game winning streak. Through five games, the Yellow Jackets have held their opponents to 13.8 points per game. Offensively, Forest Hills has three players with at least 130 rushing yards this season.
Parkwood has won three of the past four meetings between the two teams, including a 49-7 victory back on Sept. 6, 2019.
Monroe at AnsonMonroe opens Rocky River Conference play Friday on the road against Anson. The Redhawks are 2-1 on the season and are coming off a 60-21 win over Sun Valley on Sept. 17.
Through three games, Monroe junior QB Khamoni Robinson has thrown for 652 yards and seven touchdowns against two interceptions. Sophomore Nate Crosby leads the ground game with 316 yards and four touchdowns on just 41 carries this season.
The last time Monroe was in the Rocky River Conference — back in 2016 — the Redhawks went 12-3 overall and 5-0 in RRC play. That season Monroe eventually lost to Shelby in the fourth round of the 2A state playoffs.
Odds and ends ...... Union Academy hosts North Stanly on Friday. The Cardinals are currently 0-6 on the season and have lost their six games by an average of 48.5 points per game.
... Metrolina Christian Academy (4-1) hosts Trinity Christian on Friday night. The Warriors defeated SouthLake Christian Academy in their last game on Sept. 17.