GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The NC High School Athletic Association released its state football playoff pairings for all four classifications on Saturday. A whopping 30 schools in the WNCT coverage area made it to the postseason.
There is one less round this year and only four classifications, a change from the eight that have been played over the last several years. Games will start this Friday and conclude with the state finals on Dec. 10-11.
Instead of using MaxPreps rankings, the NCHSAA used a RPI formula to determine the seeds. Confernce champs got an automatic bid with the second-place team in a league with six or more teams also getting an automatic bid. The rest of the spots were filled by at-large teams based on the RPI.
Tarboro, the top team in the Touchdown Friday Top 9 poll, is the No. 1 seed in the East in Class 1-A. Northside-Pinetown is No. 2. Both won their respective conference championships.
East Duplin is the highest seeded Class 2-A team in our area, placed as the No. 2 seed. J.H. Rose (No. 6), which won the 3-A portion of the Big Carolina Conference title, is the highest seeded team in the area in that classification.
New Bern, which won the Big Carolina title outright, is seeded No. 4 in Class 4-A.
There will be some intriguing matchups in the first round. South Creek and Southside will square off in the first round in Class 1-A. The Seahawks beat South Creek 44-16 on Sept. 3.
Also in 1-A is Lejeune at Pender, a game the Patriots won 24-0 in the season opener for both teams on Aug. 20. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has hit Lejeune, meaning the team had to forfeit its game, meaning Pender County advances to the second round of the state playoffs.
There are two interesting matchups in the Class 2-A with North Lenoir at West Craven, two teams separated by about 30 minutes, along with SouthWest Edgecombe at Wallace-Rose Hill.
In 3-A play, Croatan goes to J.H. Rose and Rocky Mount tangles with Havelock, two teams who have squared off in the state playoffs before.
Below are the pairings for the teams in the WNCT coverage area.
No. 1 Tarboro bye
No. 25 Northwest Halifax at No. 8 Perquimans
No. 24 Chatham Central at No. 9 Riverside
No. 20 Warren County at No. 13 Pamlico County
No. 19 North Duplin at No. 14 Gates County
No. 6 Pender County won by forfeit over No. 27 Lejeune
No. 22 Bertie County at No. 11 West Columbus
No. 26 South Creek at No. 7 Southside
No. 23 Jones Senior at No. 10 KIPP Pride
No. 2 Northside bye
No. 17 Kinston at No. 16 Eastern Wayne
No. 25 Southwest Onslow at No. 8 Nash Central
No. 39 Camden County at No. 4 Whiteville
No. 30 East Carteret at No. 3 Northeastern
No. 19 North Pitt at No. 14 John A. Holmes
No. 27 Greene Central at No. 6 Cummings
No. 22 South Columbus at No. 11 Washington
No. 26 North Lenoir at No. 7 West Craven
No. 23 SouthWest Edgecombe at No. 10 Wallace-Rose Hill
No. 31 West Bladen at No. 2 East Duplin
No. 17 Rocky Mount at No. 16 Havelock
No. 21 White Oak at No. 12 Southern Nash
No. 20 Western Alamance at No. 13 Jacksonville
No. 27 Croatan at No. 6 J.H. Rose
No. 22 Terry Sanford at No. 11 Currituck County
No. 26 Cape Fear at No. 7 West Carteret
No. 28 D.H. Conley at No. 5 Hillside
No. 29 Wakefield at No. 4 New Bern