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CarolinaPreps Week 11 preview: Season ends with rivalry games

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It’s the week we've been waiting for all season, the game’s that will be remembered for a lifetime and talked about by future generations.

What week of the high school football season could we possibly be talking about? It’s rivalry week in North Carolina.

For many schools across the state, the final week of the season is reserved for some of the most prestigious rivalry games, many of which will determine conference championships and even playoff seeding.

We can’t talk about any rivalry in the state without starting with the granddaddy of all rivalries in North Carolina. A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis will travel about seven miles to face Concord in their annual "Battle for the Bell" game. This is the state’s longest continuous rivalry game that will be playing for the 82nd consecutive time.

Concord leads the series 39-38-4 in the regular season, but with playoff games combined the series is tied at 40-40-4.

The Wonders will have their hands full against Shrine Bowl-bound quarterback B.J. Beecher. The potent Spider passing offense will be looking to reclaim the victory bell that was donated by Southern Railway back in 1950. Concord last defeated Kannapolis in 2009.

Concord dominated the early history of the rivalry but Kannapolis leads the series 24-10 over the last 34 years.

Scotland at Richmond
The headline game at the 4A level is certainly the annual battle between arch-rivals Richmond and Scotland. For many years, Richmond has dominated the Fighting Scots but Scotland ended the dominance last year en-route to their first ever state championship.
Both teams are firmly ranked in the Top 10 polls and the winner will go into the playoffs as one of the top seeds.

If you plan on attending the game in Rockingham, you must arrive early as nearly 10,000 fans will pack Raider Stadium.

Butler vs. Independence
This has turned into one of the premier rivalry games in the state over the past decade and will add another exciting chapter this week as they once again clash in Uptown Charlotte at Memorial Stadium. This game will attract thousands of fans and will also determine the outcome of the Southwestern 4A championship.

Butler is the undefeated top-ranked team in the state while Independence has cracked the Top 10 and looking to spoil the Bulldogs' perfect season. The winner will be one of the top seeds in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs brackets when they’re released on Saturday.

Swain County at Murphy
This battle in the far western corner of the state will be an epic battle in the 1A ranks. This is not only a huge rivalry game, but a battle of defending state champions as Swain won the 1AA championship and Murphy won the 1A championship a year ago.

Most of the 1A fans in the state will have one eye on this battle against the top-ranked team Maroon Devils and the third-ranked Bulldogs.

James Kenan at Wallace-Rose Hill
This is another 1A game that will certainly be a battle. These two teams and fan bases are simply the definition of rivalry. There should be a packed house in Wallace, creating one of the best atmospheres you will ever find for a football game.

Unless you arrive very early, you’ll find yourself standing around the sidelines tonight.

New Hanover at Hoggard
This is the best game in town tonight in Wilmington and one of the best rivalries in the eastern part of the state. Both of these programs are among the elite in the 4A ranks and both have hopes of advancing deep in the 4A playoffs in the coming weeks.

Here is a list of some of the other top rivalry games being played tonight in the state:
• Asheville at Clyde Erwin
• Apex at Middle Creek
• Mitchell at Avery County
• Hertford County at Bertie County
• Mount Pleasant at Central Cabarrus
• West Henderson at East Henderson
• Northside-Jacksonville at East Duplin
• East Rutherford at Chase
• Ayden-Grifton at Goldsboro
• New Bern at J.H. Rose
• Polk County at Hendersonville
• Sun Valley at Porter Ridge
• Mooresville at Lake Norman
• Purnell Swett at Lumberton
• Monroe at Forest Hills
• Hobbton at Midway
• Hillside at Northern Durham
• Southside-Beaufort at Northside-Beaufort
• Triton at South Johnston
• Albemarle at South Stanly
• Leesville Road at Wake Forest-Rolesville
• Starmount at Wilkes Central
• South Creek at Riverside-Martin
• Fike at Hunt

Stay tuned to CarolinaPreps.com and News 14 Carolina for news on the release of the NCHSAA football playoff brackets on Saturday. Follow CarolinaPreps.com and @CarolinaPreps1 on Twitter for the latest news, scores, and updates on high school sports across North Carolina.

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