ROCKINGHAM — The phrase of “on any given Sunday, any team in the NFL can beat any other team” can be changed to any given Friday, any team can beat any other team.
In the first round of the playoffs, 24 higher seeded schools were sent packing. The teams in the Class 4AA state football playoffs did the best job avoiding the upset bug in the opening round.
Of the 16 contests, only Hough, the No. 3 seed in the West pod, was knocked off last weekend and it wasn’t even close. West Mecklenburg cruised into the second round with its 45-10 victory to set up a matchup with Olympic.
In the Class 4A playoffs, four higher seeded teams were upended, even though two of those can be classified as minor upsets. In the East and West pods, the fifth seeds went on the road and won. Hoggard edged Southern Durham, 28-26, to earn a rematch with the East’s top seed New Bern. The Bears routed the Vikings in Week 8, 39-7.
Sun Valley, which lost to Richmond 56-28 in the season opener, slipped past T.C. Roberson 37-31. The Spartans will battle South Caldwell, the No. 1 seed in the West.
Hillside was one of eight No. 3 seeds in the playoffs to be eliminated in the first round. The Hornets, the third seed in the Mideast, fell to Southeast Guilford 17-14. In the Midwest pod, No. 7 seed Mt. Tabor upset second-seeded High Point Central 15-12. The Bison were just one of three No. 2 seeds to be knocked out.
The Class 1A playoffs featured the most upsets in the opening round, including a top seed getting bounced. Princeton, which had two wins entering the postseason, beat the Mideast’s No. 1 seed North Duplin 28-21. The pod also saw the second and third seeds upset as well. Jones, the No. 7 seed, stopped No. 2 Southeast Halifax 7-6, while No. 6 Rosewood downed No. 3 Lejuene 34-20.
The East pod’s fifth seed Southside blanked Creswell 34-0. Roseman, the West’s No. 5 team, got past Thomas Jefferson 26-14.
There were three upsets in the Class 1AA, 2A, 2AA and 3AA playoffs. The majority of these surprises were of the No. 5 teams beating the No. 4 seeds variety. But in the 3AA East pod, top seed Triton was bounced out of the postseason by D.H. Conley 33-0. The No. 2 seed in the 2A Midwest pod, Wilkes Central, was eliminated by Lincolnton 41-21.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.