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Top-ranked teams collide when North Stanly travels to Tarboro

According to the formula used by MaxPreps.com, the football teams rated highest overall in the 1A class will meet Friday night.

North Stanly, ranked second and seeded fifth in the 1AA Eastern Region, travels to Tarboro, No. 1 in seed and rank, for a third-round matchup.

Setting Records

The Comets feature three individuals whom are all over the 1,000-yard plateau in terms of their respective positions. Senior quarterback Bailey Baker has thrown for 1,126 yards this season (78-of-128) with a 59.4 completion percentage. He has thrown 18 touchdown passes to just four interceptions and his quarterback rating is 114.8.

North’s ground game has put up big numbers as well. The Comets have rushed for 3,155 yards and 54 touchdowns, averaging 242.7 yards per game and 9.9 yards per rushing attempt. North has scored a school-record 590 points this season.

Senior running back Cameron Davis has 1,352 yards on the ground this season with 24 touchdowns, averaging 104 yards per game and 10.2 yards per carry. Davis has the school record for most touchdowns in a career on the ground and overall, while also breaking a school record for longest run from scrimmage, a 99-yard touchdown.

His teammate in the backfield, Damon Rhone Jr., has amassed 1,234 yards this season and scored 19 touchdowns, averaging 102.8 yards per game and 11.5 yards per rush.

Defensively, North has allowed 83 points in 13 games, an average of 6.4 per contest. The Comets have posted eight defensive shutouts and take an active streak into Friday’s game of having not allowed any points in 19 straight quarters of play.

Linebacker Drew Little, a Shrine Bowl selection, and defensive lineman Garrett Clark lead the North defense in tackles with 115 and 112, respectively. The Comets also have 37 sacks on the season as a team; Wes Reynolds leads in that stat with 12 sacks.

One player who will not be in the lineup for North is 290-pound defensive lineman C.J. Clark. The Shrine Bowl selection and N.C. State verbal commit has missed the past few games with a torn labrum in his shoulder.

The Reigning Champs

Tarboro runs a T-formation offense using double tight ends the majority of the time and has used that scheme to win 27 games in a row. As a team, the Vikings have rushed for 4,062 yards in 12 games, averaging 11.5 per carry and 338.5 yards per game. Of Tarboro’s 97 touchdowns scored this season, 80 have been on rushing attempts. In 12 games, Tarboro has outscored its opponents 668-45.

The Vikings have four senior athletes who are in double digits in rushing touchdowns and have rushed for more than 600 yards each this season: Keon Caudle (791 yards, 10 TD); Jyron Albritton (744 yards, 16 TD), Jaquez Edge (733 yards, 16 TD) and Clifton Joyner Jr. (634 yards, 12 TD).

North head coach Scott Crisco said the Vikings “are fast and quick up front. They run the T extremely well.” He added Tarboro does “not have many weaknesses all around. We will have to play our best game of the season.”

Crisco said he feels North’s defense “can match (Tarboro) with physicality.” He also said keys to a win for North include controlling the ball and line of scrimmage and North having a balanced offensive attack.

“It will come down to defense for both team,” Crisco said.

Friday’s game in Tarboro will kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio was the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press from 1999-2001 and has currently served in the same capacity since 2008. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also been honored twice by the North Carolina Press Association.

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