NCHSAA Second Round Playoffs Preview: West Mecklenburg @ Page – Wyatt Smith Reporting

Friday night’s matchup between the third-ranked West Mecklenburg Hawks and the second-ranked Page Pirates has the possibility to be one of the most high-scoring games of the year for the Pirates. Page will look to their defense to hold the Hawks’ offense in check and let their offense do the scoring.

West Mecklenburg is averaging more than 37 points per game this season and has the ability to put up the offensive numbers that the Pirates are capable of. The Hawks are led by senior quarterback Richard Latimer who has thrown for just shy of 3,200 yards and 38 touchdowns so far this season. He has an array of receivers to connect with that will test the Pirates’ secondary.

Page will look to their senior quarterback Will Jones and his receivers to contribute offensively, possibly more than usual, depending on the health of running back Javon Leake. Leake is still recovering from a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for three games at the end of the season. In Leake’s return last week, he rushed for three touchdowns before tweaking his ankle late in the third quarter and sitting out the rest of the game. If the Pirates struggle to spread things out offensively, this could be a difficult test.

No matter what, I believe that Page will prevail. They are battle-tested this season, and, with the exception of their season-opening loss to Davie County, they have risen to the challenge at hand. Don’t be one bit surprised if Page comes out and plays lights-out defense Friday night as well.