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Nick Stevens

Nick Stevens

Nick Stevens, a Raleigh native, is the senior editor of HighSchoolOT.com. Nick has covered high school sports for WRAL since 2006, and helped create what is now HighSchoolOT.com. In his blog, Nick provides insight and analysis on area high school sports teams, players and topics. He also provides his opinion on numerous issues surrounding high school sports. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStevensHSOT. You can contact Nick by clicking here or by sending an e-mail to nstevens@wral.com.

Streaks come to an end in week two


Aug 31, 2014

Isaiah Totten (#5) of Apex High School runs with the ball.  Apex High School defeats Leesville Road 44 to 14 at Apex High School on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Photo By: Beth Jewell)

Isaiah Totten (#5) of Apex High School runs with the ball. Apex High School defeats Leesville Road 44 to 14 at Apex High School on Thursday, August 28, 2014. (Photo By: Beth Jewell)

It's fair to say that this is going to be an interesting season of high school football.

We've seen some teams who have been down in recent years get off to hot starts. But we've also seen some teams who we are used to being near the top take early falls.

There are a number of storylines and talking points that we could tackle this week, but the streaks seem to be a consistent theme, and it wasn't limited to just Friday. We saw a number of these themes reveal themselves on Thursday.

Peak City on the rise?

Quick. When was the last time Apex won its first two games of the season? If you guessed 2008 you are correct.

In 2008, the Cougars beat Holly Springs (35-24) and Broughton (28-24) in the first two weeks of the season. That was also the last time Apex had a winning season. The Cougars finished 10-5 overall and 7-1 in the conference, all leading to a third-round appearance in the state playoffs.

Heck, the last time Apex won more than

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Alumni Watch: Todd Gurley has big opening week


Aug 31, 2014

Fans in Tarboro remember Todd Gurley well (as do Tarboro's opponents).

He scored dozens of touchdowns and helped bring state titles back to Tarboro before he committed to the University of Georgia. Now he's scoring lots of touchdowns for the Bulldogs.

On Saturday evening, Gurley ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries against No. 16 Clemson. He also added a 100-yard kickoff return for another touchdown.

12th-ranked Georgia went on to defeat Clemson 45-21, moving to 1-0 on the season.

In his first two seasons at Georgia, Gurley rushed for 2,374 yards and 27 touchdowns on 387 carries. He also caught 53 passes for 558 yards and six touchdowns.

Georgia returns to action on Sept. 13 when it visits No. 9 South Carolina at 3:30 p.m.

NC State gets help from a couple locals

Former Wakefield kicker Niklas Sade drilled home a 41-yard field goal in the first quarter for NC State, bringing the Wolfpack within 7-3 of Georgia Southern.

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Nick's Last Minute Picks: Week 2


Aug 29, 2014

Quarterback Kendall Hinton (2) keeps the ball for himself. Southern Durham defeated Capitol Christian Academy (MD) 41-0 in the season opener on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (Photo By: Nick Stevens/HighSchoolOT.com)

Quarterback Kendall Hinton (2) keeps the ball for himself. Southern Durham defeated Capitol Christian Academy (MD) 41-0 in the season opener on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. (Photo By: Nick Stevens/HighSchoolOT.com)

Does it seem like there are fewer games to pick this week? Well, there are.

A few people decided they needed to play Thursday night football this week, so we aren't picking those games (you know, since they happened yesterday). Although, if I did pick those games today, I would likely get them all right. Maybe I should reconsider.

Week one certainly didn't disappoint, did it? We had a lot of great games and I think we're going to have some more big ones this week.

Here are my last minute picks for week two.

Ayden-Grifton @ *D.H. Conley*

Ben Smith @ *Lee County*

*Cape Fear* @ Westover

*Carrboro* @ East Chapel Hill

Cary @ *Cardinal Gibbons*

*Cedar Ridge* @ Southern Vance

Chatham Central @ *Jordan-Matthews*

Corinth Holders @ *Clayton*

Douglas Byrd @ *Pinecrest*

East

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Plenty of storylines as we enter week two


Aug 25, 2014

Durham Hillside's #10 runs the ball as New Bern defeats Durham Hillside 12 to 0  at Durham Hillside High School Friday August 22, 2014. (Photo by Jack Tarr/WRAL contributor.)

Durham Hillside's #10 runs the ball as New Bern defeats Durham Hillside 12 to 0 at Durham Hillside High School Friday August 22, 2014. (Photo by Jack Tarr/WRAL contributor.)

Each weekend I sit down and start mapping out the week to come. It's something everyone in the media has to do at some point.

We have a lot of storylines to cover this week, and they're not all in football.

Here are a few:

Wake County Cup continues Monday

There are four boys soccer teams left in the winners bracket of the 2014 Wake County Cup, and the semifinals are slated for Monday evening.

Apex will take on Sanderson at 5:00, followed by Millbrook and Cardinal Gibbons at 7:00. Both games will be played at Cardinal Gibbons High School.

Rain and lightning caused problems for the Wake County Cup last week, so hopefully Mother Nature will be a little bit nicer on Monday night.

Thursday night football

If you've followed HighSchoolOT.com for a while, you know I cannot stand the thought of varsity football games on a Thursday night. But a handful of schools just won't listen to me, I don't know why?! 

We

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Five things to take away from opening week


Aug 24, 2014

Elijah Perry #4.  Garner travels to Middle Creek for the 2014 season opener.   Middle Creek holds on to win 28 to 21.  (Photo by:  Suzie Wolf)

Elijah Perry #4. Garner travels to Middle Creek for the 2014 season opener. Middle Creek holds on to win 28 to 21. (Photo by: Suzie Wolf)

Week one of the high school football season is in the books and it was one of the more entertaining opening weeks that I can remember.

We had several great games, several great finishes, some comebacks, and more great individual performances than I could possibly name in this column. It's a good thing we still have 16 weeks of the season left.

Here are five of my takeaways from week one.

If this is a hint of things to come, it's going to be a fun season:

Think about all the close games, all the thrillers that went right down to the wire, and all the games that were decided in the final minutes.

I had one of them. Cleveland led Clayton by 17 points in the second half, but the Comets stormed back and took a four-point lead with less than two minutes left in the game. I learned long ago you never leave a Cleveland game early though because often times there are some crazy things about to happen. That was the case on Friday night. With less

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