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Shorthanded North Iredell to entertain undefeated Statesville
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Shorthanded North Iredell to entertain undefeated Statesville

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North Iredell football

North Iredell defensive linemen get ready to rush when the ball is snapped during this season’s 34-0 win over Fred T. Foard. The Raiders host undefeated Statesville on Friday. The Greyhounds average 36 points per game.

It’s Week 9 of the high school football season. Highlighting Friday’s matchups is Statesville (6-0, 4-0) at North Iredell (2-4, 2-2). Kickoff is 7 p.m.

Both teams made up games Monday. Statesville dominated in a 56-7 win over West Iredell, and North Iredell struggled in a 48-0 loss at Hickory.

“I’m glad (North) played tonight as well,” Greyhounds coach Randall Gusler said Monday, noting the shorter week of preparation. “There’s no disadvantage there.”

The Raiders need all hands on deck to upend unbeaten Statesville. And unfortunately for them, that might not be possible.

North Iredell played without seven starters Monday “against a really underrated Hickory team that is getting better every week,” Raiders coach Andy Howell said.

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The list of those sidelined included offensive weapon John Jackson Jr., who turned in a five touchdown performance Sept. 17 when the Raiders romped to a 34-0 win over Fred T. Foard to end a 25-game losing streak.

“We hope to have three of them back to play a really good, dangerous Statesville team,” Howell said.

ELSEWHERE FRIDAY

Hickory (4-3, 3-1) at West Iredell (1-4, 1-3), 7 p.m.: It’s the Warriors’ final home game. They close the season with back-to-back road games at North Lincoln and North Iredell. Hickory seems on a collision course with Statesville to decide the Western Foothills Athletic Conference championship in the season finale Oct. 29. West Iredell would love to play spoiler. The Red Tornadoes can ill-afford a slip up here.

South Iredell (2-5, 1-2) at Kannapolis A.L. Brown (3-4, 0-4), 7:30 p.m.: Kannapolis Memorial Stadium isn’t flooded with fond memories for South Iredell football. Perhaps the Vikings can exercise the demons from the 50-6 loss there in the opening round of the 1999 state playoffs. To be fair, the Wonders were the top-ranked 3A team in the state at the time. They’re hardily that touted presently. Kannapolis is coming off of a 19-18 loss to West Cabarrus. The Vikings beat West Cabarrus 21-17. This is a winnable game for South Iredell.

Lake Norman (5-2, 2-1) at Cox Mill (4-3, 1-2), 7:30 p.m.: The Chargers downed Kannapolis 16-3 on Oct. 1 and have had two weeks to get ready for this one. Lake Norman looks to bounce back after being shut out 27-0 last week by Greater Metro Conference frontrunner Hickory Ridge. The Wildcats need this one, especially with tricky rivalry games at South Iredell (Oct. 22) and versus Mooresville (Oct. 29) ahead to close out the regular season.

Mooresville (3-4, 2-1) at West Cabarrus (3-4, 2-2), 7:30 p.m.: The Blue Devils seem poised to make a run at a runner-up finish in the Greater Metro Conference. The Wolverines have allowed more than three touchdowns in a game only once this season. If the Blue Devils can hit their average (24 points) they should have a great chance to win.

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