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Southern Nash climbed to its highest spot yet in The Associated Press high school football 3-A rankings for North Carolina as the Firebirds finished No. 2 in the last poll of the season while SouthWest Edgecombe remained at No. 5 in the 2-A rankings.
Southern Nash, which wasn’t even ranked at the beginning of the year, capped its third unbeaten regular season in four years with a 49-20 victory over Franklinton on Friday night to win its fourth straight Big East Conference title in unbeaten fashion. The Firebirds, one of five 11-0 teams in the 3-A poll, collected 88 votes, second only to top-ranked Weddington, which swept the No. 1 votes. Southern Nash was No. 4 but leaped over Lee County (11-0), which dropped from third to fourth in the shakeup that started with then No. 2 Northwest Cabarrus’ loss to unranked Concord Cox Mill on Friday. Eastern Alamance (11-0) climbed two spots as well to No. 3 while Statesville (11-0) moved up one to No. 5.
SouthWest Edgecombe (10-1) couldn’t move up despite an impressive 60-22 defeat of Beddingfield to win the Eastern Plains Conference outright, giving the Cougars all or part of five consecutive conference championships. However, there was no movement in the top six of the 2-A poll with top-ranked Shelby (9-1) leading Randleman (10-0), Reidsville (10-1), Lenoir Hibriten (10-1), SouthWest and Clinton (9-1).
The other two polls remained the same at the top with Charlotte Mallard Creek holding its grip on the 4-A rankings and Tarboro completing a wire-to-wire run atop the 1-A poll.
Newcomers this week were No. 9 Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons and No. 10 Charlotte Ardrey Kell in the 4-A rankings and Anson County at No. 10 in the 2-A poll.