Cougars join Firebirds in AP state rankings

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Southern Nash inched even higher in The Associated Press high school football 3-A poll to No. 4 with a 61-26 thumping of Franklinton last week. But the Firebirds, who had been fifth for six weeks, have some company from The Wilson Times readership area as SouthWest Edgecombe debuted at No. 9 in the 2-A rankings.

SouthWest Edgecombe (9-1) clinched the Eastern Plains Conference title with a 39-14 victory at Beddingfield. The Cougars’ ascension sets up a battle of state-ranked teams Friday against 1-A top-ranked Tarboro in Tarboro in a game that was postponed by Hurricane Florence in September.

Also entering the 2-A poll was Kinston (9-0) at No. 10. The Vikings will visit Greene Central on Friday in hopes of capturing the Eastern Carolina Conference title.

Southern Nash (8-0) was able to move up when top-ranked Havelock thumped then No. 2 Jacksonville (7-1), sending the Cardinals tumbling to sixth place. Havelock, which rose to 10-0 when Hunt was forced to cancel and forfeit Friday’s game, will likely be the top 3-A East seed in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs.

Northern Durham entered the 3-A rankings at No. 10.

Remaining at No. 1 in their respective polls were 4-A Wake Forest and 2-A Lenoir Hibriten.

Princeton climbed a spot to No. 9 in the 1-A rankings.