Football Night: Game Previews for Aug. 19


Time: 7 p.m.

Records: Franklin 0-0, Charlotte Christian 0-0

Last meeting: In 2010, Charlotte Christian traveled to Franklin and took a 31-20 victory to improve its record to 4-1.

Players to watch: Franklin: senior tight end/defensive end Colin Bittner, senior offensive/defensive lineman Nolan Hall and senior lineman/defensive end Nick Fiorentino; Charlotte Christian: junior quarterback Eric Lynch, junior receiver/cornerback Dez Lawrence, sophomore receiver Jeb Blazevich, receivers/defensive backs Will Grigg and Sam Dexter

The skinny: Last season, Franklin, a Class 3A public school, had a 7-5 record, while Charlotte Christian was 6-5. Franklin has the edge in experience, as 20 of their 22 starters are seniors. Christian’s going through a youth movement, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t talented. Lawrence is a bona fide playmaker, and the 6-foot-5 Blazevich also is a big-play threat. The chief concern for Christian this week will be defense, as it goes against a team that thrives on running the ball, so ends Adrian Robinson and Mike Potthast must keep Franklin runners from getting outside.

– C. Jemal Horotn


Time: 7 p.m.

Records: Garinger 0-0, Myers Park 0-0

Last meeting: In 2010, Myers Park pulled out the season-opening nail-biter, 10-8.

Players to watch: Garinger: receiver John Brockington, running backs Elijah Edwards and Tyrone Connors; Myers Park: quarterback Ross Jeffries, receiver/defensive back Kennedy Barkley, running back Shaquore Harrington, linebackers Garrett Gysel, Matt Blanton and Mychal Turner

The skinny: Though last year’s contest was close, the Mustangs have the firepower – and now the experience – to start the season strong. The biggest difference will be felt along the Mustangs’ lines, as they return everyone who saw any substantial playing time last season. Garinger needs to replace do-it-all Ronnie Stinson, who led the Wildcats in both rushing and passing last season. To do so, the Wildcats will run more than in seasons past, but will have to face one of the top linebacker corps in the county. With an obvious advantage at the skill positions, Myers Park has the ability to jump out early and end this one by halftime.

– Aaron Garcia


Time: 7 p.m.

Records: Providence 0-0, Hopewell 0-0

Last meeting: In 2010, Providence won 41-21.

Players to watch: Providence: offensive tackle Bentley Spain, running back Austin Rea, cornerback Xander Maddox and quarterback James Haigh; Hopewell: running back Denzel Heath, quarterback Chandler Chase, defensive lineman Anthony Orr, center Juwan McKenzie and wide receiver Dominique Heath

The skinny: Last season, Providence was 6-6, and Hopewell was 8-5. Both teams will have new starters at quarterback this year. Maddox is a versatile senior who could wind up at several places on the field, including quarterback and return man. Hopewell, debuting under new coach David Johnson, likely will alternate Tijuan Sifford and Chandler Chase at quarterback. The Titans have installed a new Spread offense and have several tall, speedy receivers. Providence, a playoff team last season, returns six offensive starters. Hopewell has been a playoff team each of the past six seasons. There should be a great deal of excitement in Johnson’s debut in Thunder Valley, which is known for its enthusiastic crowds.

– Cliff Mehrtens


Time: 7:30 p.m.

Records: South Mecklenburg 0-0, Charlotte Catholic 0-0

Last meeting: In the 2010 opener, Catholic took a 40-25 win.

Players to watch: South Mecklenburg: running back/defensive back Adam Nix, lineman Casey Blaser, quarterback Alex Adams, receiver C.J. Thompson; Charlotte Catholic: lineman Mark Harrell, running backs Elijah Hood and David Herlocker, linebackers Matt Cincotta and Jackson Krone

The skinny: The latest edition of this rivalry is shaping up to be a good one. South Meck returns all of its starting offensive linemen, which is vital, considering the Sabres’ Double-Wing rushing attack thrives on getting a push up front. Despite plugging in new starters, Catholic’s line has surprising size and looks up to the challenge. Both sides have explosive backs who should lighten the load on their first-year starting quarterbacks. Whichever team can move the ball through the air with some consistency will have a huge advantage, but this one will come down to which team can limit mistakes and extend possessions with several two-way players on the field.

– Aaron Garcia


Time: 7:30 p.m.

Records: East Mecklenburg 0-0, Waxhaw Marvin Ridge 0-0

Last meeting: First meeting

Players to watch: East Meck: receivers Sam Shisso and Sport Frazier, running back Lawrence Pittman, linebacker Jacques Ikolo and safety Richie Fan; Marvin Ridge: quarterback Tyler Chadwick, running back/kick returner Jacob Henderson

The skinny: Last year, the Eagles were hamstrung by a thin roster and inexperience, but they’ve had nearly twice as many players in camp this summer. Eagles coach Jeremy Buck loves the power-running game, but he’ll have to rely on Frazier and Shisso on the outside to keep the Mavs’ from overloading the box. For East Meck to win, the Eagles must dominate the line of scrimmage, especially defensively, as the Mavs return only two starters along their offensive line. Marvin Ridge’s Chadwick is scrappy and a threat both through the air and on the ground. Henderson could be the key to this one as the sophomore is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

– Aaron Garcia

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