4A: Southern Alamance (6-5) at Knightdale (9-1)
Need to know: It’s Knightdale’s second straight year in the smaller 4A bracket, but the Knights are hosting a playoff football game for the first time.
The Patriots lost four of their last five games, including a 52-20 loss at Greensboro Page in their regular-season finale. It’s Southern’s first trip to the playoffs in seven years.
Southern players to watch: Patriots quarterback Johnathan Lloyd (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) is one of the state’s top 15 recruits who has verbally committed to Duke, where he may end up a wide receiver.
Lloyd has passed for more than 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns against seven interceptions this season.
Best Win: Southern Alamance, 54-40 over Eastern Alamance; Knightdale, 48-45 over Garner.
Worst Loss: Southern Alamance, 54-40 to Greensboro Grimsley; Knightdale, 23-22 to Heritage.
The winner meets: Clayton (7-4) or Durham Hillside (8-2).
3AA: Corinth Holders (7-4) at West Brunswick (3-7)
Need to Know: It’s the second consecutive season a Johnston County team makes the trek to Shalotte for a first-round playoff game. Cleveland did it last year and came away with a 40-33 victory.
West comes into the postseason after a 34-26 win over 4A Wilmington Ashley in its regular-season finale. The Trojans finished up with the Wilmington gauntlet of 4A squads: New Hanover, Hoggard and Ashley, going 1-2.
West Brunswick Players to Watch: Tavon Stanley and Dylan Darguzas have split most of the work in the Trojan backfield this season. Sophomore Quinlyn Moore is the threat through the air. Sean Hewett, a defensive back, leads West in tackles this season.
Best Win: Corinth Holders, 21-10 over Bunn; West Brunswick, 34-26 over Wilmington Ashley.
Worst Loss: Corinth Holders, 31-28 to South Johnston; West Brunswick, 34-7 to North Myrtle Beach (S.C.).
The winner meets: Fayetteville Terry Sanford (4-7) or Wilson Hunt (8-3).
East Wake head coach
“I told the kids our biggest handicap right now is the weight room. We’re playing a lot of underclassmen on the line and need to invest a lot of time in the weight room and be able to drive a sled. We should be solid on the defensive line (next year), and have a couple linebackers that are going to be in place for one more year. That should become one of our strengths next year. If we can remain where we are offensively, we should be much improved.”
Two Rivers 3A
Greater Neuse River 4A