Firebirds rise to No. 6 in final AP 3-A poll

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A 60-7 walloping of Franklinton to clinch its second straight 3-A Big East Conference championship allowed Southern Nash to move up two spots to No. 6, the Firebirds’ highest ranking of the season in the final Associated Press high school football poll of the season.

Southern Nash (10-1) was just one of eight teams to move in the 3-A poll in a tumultuous final Friday night. Charlotte Catholic (11-0) remained No. 1 and Havelock (10-1) stayed at No. 5 but the rest of the 3-A poll had quite a few changes. Western Alamance (11-0) rose from seventh to third with a 33-0 whipping of Northern Guilford while Lee County (11-0), the recipient of the only other first-place vote, jumped from fourth to second after beating Southern Lee 24-3. Meanwhile, New Hanover (10 -1) switched places with Lee County after the Wildcats lost in overtime to Wilmington Hoggard and Waxhaw Marvin Ridge (10-1) was sent from No. 3 to No. 7 with its 42-21 loss to Charlotte Catholic.

Greensboro Dudley (9-2) plummeted from sixth to ninth with a 17-14 loss to Winston-Salem Mount Tabor (9-2), which re-entered the rankings. That came at the expense of D.H. Conley, which dropped from a ninth-place tie to unranked despite a 78-43 thumping of South Central to win the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference title.

Clayton (11-0) moved from its ninth-place tie to alone at No. 8.

4-A Wake Forest (11-0), 2-A Belmont South Point (11-0) and 1-A Tarboro (11-0) held onto the No. 1 rankings in their respective classifications. Wake Forest, which handed Southern Nash its only loss, drilled then No. 3 Wake Forest Heritage 38-14, while South Point delivered a 35-15 defeat to then No. 2 Shelby.