The 32 No. 1 seeds all advanced in the first round of the NCHSAA football playoffs Friday, but that doesn't mean there weren't upsets.
Nine No. 2 seeds lost, including 2A unbeatens Starmount (Boonville) and South Iredell (Statesville) and 4A top team Ben. L Smith (Greensboro), while three-time defending 2-AA state champion Reidsville also fell.
Meanwhile East Columbus (Lake Waccamaw) and Carrboro won playoff games for the first time in program history, while Charlotte Country Day was crowned state champion in the independent division. Click here to view MaxPreps' North Carolina football playoff brackets.
Here are the details from the first playoff weekend in North Carolina: NEW CHAMPION IN 2-AA
After three straight 16-0 seasons culminating in 2-AA state titles — a streak that gave Reidsville a nation's-best 55-game active winning streak earlier in the season — the Rams were beaten 38-35 by Randleman
The Tigers — who hadn't won a playoff game in the past decade, according to Media General News Service — drove 80 yards in the final four minutes to win. Kyle Farlow
hit T.J. McGee
for 46 yards on 4th-and-12 and hit Chase Causey
for an 18-yard touchdown.
Reidsville never punted, but five of its drives ended in turnovers, including four lost fumbles which led to 21 points for the Tigers.
"It was 14-3, and we turned the ball over three or four times in a row," Rams coach Doug Roberton told the Winston-Salem Journal. "Defensively, we weren't good enough to overcome that."HEARTBREAK FOR SOUTH IREDELL
In 1992, South Iredell went unbeaten for the first time but lost its playoff opener. Eighteen years later, the Vikings finished unbeaten for the second time in school history, and the same thing happened.
As reported in the Stateville Record & Landmark, Jared Lee threw his third touchdown pass to Jamal Little with six seconds left, and then Lee found Little again for a gutsy 2-point conversion that gave Forest Hills (Marshville)
the 31-30 win. ANOTHER UNBEATEN FALLS
Starmount was one of four undefeated teams in 2A, never winning by less than 21 points in the regular season thanks to an offense that scored 575 points in 11 games. But the Rams were stymied by East Rutherford (Forest City)
in a 24-14 loss.
The Cavaliers scored on their opening possessions — putting Starmount behind for the first time all season, according to Yadkin Valley Sports — and took the lead for good in the third quarter on a halfback option pass from T.J. Watkins
to Zachariah Price
Despite a pair of 100-yard rushers, Israel Murphy and M.J. Byrant, the Rams turned the ball over three times in the red zone.FIRST-TIME WINNERSEast Columbus (Lake Waccamaw)
won a postseason game for the first time on its seventh try, while Carrboro (Chapel Hill)
won for the first time in the program's four-year history.
East Columbus beat Red Springs 22-19, avenging a six-point defeat from last month. The winning points came on Derrick Young's 56-yard run — his second score of the game — with four minutes left.
Carrboro broke open a tie game at halftime and defeated Whiteville 55-33 behind five touchdowns from quarterback Torrell Farrar.COUNTRY DAY WINS INDEPENDENT TITLE
While the NCHSAA playoffs just got started, the state Independent Schools Athletic Association has crowned a champion. Charlotte Country Day
defeated Charlotte Latin 45-17 as quarterback Morgan Roberts accounted for 318 yards and five touchdowns.
The Charlotte Observer reported that it was Latin's eighth straight final, including three against Country Day — a 2006 overtime win for Latin, and a 2004 win for the Buccaneers, which was the last time the program won the title.EXTRA POINTS
While none of the top seeds lost, the team that came closest was A.L. Brown (Kannapolis, N.C.)
. After taking a 21-3 lead, the Wonders needed to make two stops inside their 10 in the fourth quarter to preserve a 21-18 win over Hickory Ridge (Harrisburg). The Salisbury Post wrote that Hickory Ridge had the ball inside the Brown 10-yard line five times and scored just 10 points. ... After opening the season with 10 straight wins for the first time since 1973, Ben L. Smith (Greensboro) ended the year with back-to-back losses. High Point Central
beat the Eagles 28-22, avenging an overtime loss in mid-September. Tyreek Sparks
, who had two interceptions for High Point Central, told the Greensboro News-Record: "You can't beat the Bison twice. It's as simple as that." ... Besides Smith, Starmount and South Iredell, the other No. 2 seeds that lost were 4AA Garinger (Charlotte), 3AA Western Alamance (Elon), 2A Hertford County (Ahoskie) and Southern Guilford (Greensboro) and 1AA Red Springs and Cherryville.Harold Gutmann covers the state of North Carolina for MaxPreps.com. He lives in Durham and can be reached at email@example.com.