Week 8 outlook: Nine UC teams opening league play

Oct. 10, 2013 @ 02:57 PM

The conference season starts for nine of the 11 Union County teams in Week 8.
The Southern Carolina 3A Conference kicks off with three games tonight, including Piedmont at Sun Valley, Marvin Ridge at Cuthbertson and Weddington at Anson County.
Weddington and Sun Valley were co-champs of the league last season.
The Rocky River 2A Conference also begins with three matchups, including Monroe at Central Academy, West Stanly at Parkwood and Forest Hills at Mount Pleasant.
The Redhawks are back-to-back defending champs in the RRC.
Porter Ridge and Union Academy are also in action in their respective conferences.
The Pirates host Garinger while the Cardinals take on North Moore at home.
Here's a closer look at all eight games involving UC teams tonight:

Piedmont (5-1) at Sun Valley (3-3)
Last year's meeting: Didn't play
Streaks and trends: The Union County schools, both built in 1960, haven't met since 2008, when the Spartans rolled to a 48-10 victory. Three of Piedmont's five wins this season have been by 10 points or less. Sun Valley is 1-1 against UC teams in 2013.
Noteworthy: SV sophomore QB Drew Swoope has started five of his team's six games and has 520 passing yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions. ... Piedmont junior Aaron Braswell has rushed for a team-high 475 yards and five scores and also starts at safety on defense.
What they're saying: "They're a really physical team and they do a lot of things well," said Panthers senior lineman Ethan Pierson of the Spartans. "We always feel like we can find the holes in the other team's defense no matter who we're playing and what look they give us. We just have to go out and execute, and move the ball without turning it over."

Marvin Ridge (1-5) at Cuthbertson (2-4)
Last year's meeting: Marvin Ridge 31, Cuthbertson 13
Streaks and trends: The Cavaliers have dropped four straight since starting the season with wins over Parkwood (24-14) and Hickory Ridge (32-22). Marvin Ridge is trying to snap a three-game losing streak.
Noteworthy: Mavs senior receiver Jacob Henderson has 11 catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns this season. Cuthbertson senior receiver Ryan Kendall, who leads UC with 30 receptions (378 yards).
What they're saying: "They've gone through a lot with injuries, but they're still a good team and we can't under mind them at all," said Cavs senior DB Kyler Vela. "Jacob's a big threat and he can make plays, so we have to make sure he doesn't get out in the open field."

Monroe (4-2) at Central Academy (3-3)
Last year's meeting: Monroe 48, Central Academy 9
Streaks and trends: The Redhawks are 6-0 all-time against the Cougars. All four of Monroe's wins in 2013 are by double-digit margins. CATA is 0-3 at home and 3-0 on the road.
Noteworthy: Monroe junior tailback Chase Byrum has rushed 97 times for 469 yards and five touchdowns. CATA's defense is giving up just 13.2 ppg. Cougars senior LB Vito Pugliese is averaging 10.2 tackles and has four sacks in five games.
What they're saying: "We've had some time to get healthy, which has been real big," said Monroe senior safety Tre'Shun Wynn, whose team is coming off a bye. "Everybody that's had injuries is either fully recovered or pretty close. Everybody was real happy about the Sun Valley win and that gave us a lot of confidence, but we've got to get focused for the conference season."

West Stanly (1-5) at Parkwood (3-3)
Last year's meeting: Didn't play
Streaks and trends: The Rebels, coming off a bye week, are seeking their first winning season since 2008 (7-5). West Stanly has lost four straight, including a 34-26 decision to Piedmont last Friday.
Noteworthy: Parkwood senior quarterback Grey Wyrick has thrown for 740 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions in six games. West Stanly senior Ryan McCormick has 345 yards rushing and five scores.

Garinger (0-6, 0-2 SWC) at Porter Ridge (4-2, 1-0 SWC)
Last year's meeting: Didn't play
Streaks and trends: Three of Porter Ridge's games have been decided by four points or less. The Wildcats have been outscored 353-8 in six games and have given up 65 points or more in their last four.
Noteworthy: Pirates senior end Donnie Warren has a team-high five sacks. Porter Ridge has three receivers with more than 300 receiving yards, including senior Luke Bayly (27 receptions for 433 yards), senior Casey Hardison (18 for 392) and junior Andre Barrett (21 for 327).
What they're saying: "We don't want to gloat too much on last week's win," Bayly said. "We talked about keeping our foot on the gas pedal and not taking (Garinger) lightly. They've gotten off to a rough start, but they're still an athletic football team you have to prepare for."

Weddington (5-1) at Anson County (3-3)
Last year's meeting: Weddington 31, Anson County 6
Streaks and trends: The Warriors have held four of their opponents to seven points or less. The Bearcats are coming off a 56-27 loss to Richmond County.
Noteworthy: Weddington senior quarterback Jeff Welch is 70-of-125 for 1,260 yards with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions. Anson senior back Jekev Robinson has rushed for 504 yards and eight touchdowns. He's eclipsed the 100-yard mark three times this season.

Forest Hills (1-5) at Mount Pleasant (2-4)
Last year's meeting: Didn't play
Streaks and trends: Forest Hills has given up 28 or more points in all six games this year. Mount Pleasant's last three games have been decided by seven points or less.
Noteworthy: Yellow Jackets senior quarterback Jared Lee has passed for 646 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 396 yards and nine scores. Tigers junior back Denzal Gilmore leads the team with 559 yards and four TDs on the ground.
What they're saying: "Our mindset right now is to win each conference game that we have," said Lee. "We have to come out and get some momentum early on Friday and do all we can to get the 'W'."

North Moore (1-6, 1-3 YVC) at Union Academy (3-3, 2-2 YVC)
Last year's meeting: Didn't play
Streaks and trends: North Moore ended a six-game losing streak with a 41-0 victory over South Davidson last week. Union Academy is giving up an average of 2.3 points per game in its three wins and 37.3 ppg in its three losses.
Noteworthy: Cardinals junior Christian Almeida has forced five fumbles and recovered four fumbles this season. He ranks second on the team in tackles with 42. Cards senior receiver Maliq Pando has 19 catches for 376 yards and seven touchdowns.