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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Big week ahead for both sets of unbeaten Warriors

Hunt's thrilling triple-overtime, come-from-behind 37-31 defeat of Nash Central in Friday's N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-AA football playoffs put it where no Warriors edition has ever been: 12-0.

Hunt will shoot for lucky 13 next Friday against Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons, which knocked off Triton 25-15 in the second round. Curiously, the Hunt boys soccer team may face Cardinal Gibbons this week as well. If the Warriors win at Jacksonville on Saturday night and Gibbons gets past Northern Guilford, the Crusaders will host the Warriors, also unbeaten, in the 3-A Eastern final, probably Wednesday. Of course, beating Jacksonville would be a tall order for Hunt, which has been ousted by the Cardinals the last five seasons.

Another football victory for Hunt will send the Warriors back to the 3-AA Eastern final, which they lost to Northern Guilford 28-20 last season. The defending 3-AA champion Nighthawks visit unbeaten Fayetteville Douglas Byrd in the Mideast bracket final Friday. Twenty-eight years ago, the Warriors, with current head coach Randy Raper in his second season as an assistant coach and offensive coordinator Stevie Hinnant as a Skoal-dipping, 150-pound middle linebacker, hosted Byrd in the 4-A Eastern final the day after Thanksgiving. Byrd, coached by former Fike coach Bob Paroli and with such future NFL players as Donnell Woolford and Brad Edwards, spotted the Warriors seven points before going onto a 35-14 win.

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