Grimsley vs Eastern prep football (copy)

Grimsley's Sincere Burnette says a little prayer in the locker room before the Whirlies' 55-21 win over Eastern Guilford on Sept. 6. Burnette, a junior linebacker, has amassed 10 tackles for losses, three fumble recoveries, two sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble in five games.

The News & Record’s Joe Sirera looks at some high school football players who will be in the spotlight in this week's games:


Knightdale has gone 5-0 by averaging 287 yards per game on the ground. But the Knights haven't faced a defense as good as the Grimsley unit that is holding opponents to an average of 9.2 points per game. If the Whirlies are to get to 6-0 heading into a showdown with 2018 NCHSAA Class 4-A champion East Forsyth on Oct. 4, they will need another strong game from Burnette (10 TFLs, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble) and Williamson (36 tackles, 6 TFLs, fumble recovery).

TREVON HESTER, sophomore, RB, Northeast Guilford

The Rams knocked off Eastern Alamance 29-15 last year and the unbeaten Eagles remember that trip to McLeansville well. Eastern Alamance brings a high-powered offense (50.8 ppg) led by QB Austin Bryant into Friday's rematch in Mebane, and a key for Northeast will be running the ball and the clock with Hester (82 carries, 407 yards, 2 TDs), who has emerged as a workhorse back. 

LIONEL LONG, senior, RB, Reidsville

The Rams' aerial circus has been flying high this year with junior QB Kyle Pinnix at the controls, but Long has led a ground game that is nearly as potent heading into Friday's showdown with unbeaten East Surry. After playing a key role in last year's NCHSAA Class 2-A championship, the senior has 366 yards and 10 touchdowns on 38 carries. He's also been part of the passing attack, with seven catches for 109 yards and three touchdowns.

MILAN SUMMERS, junior, LB/RB, Dudley

When you're part of the same Panthers defense that features four-star linemen Myles Murphy and Payton Page, it's easy to get overlooked. But Summers has grabbed the spotlight with 11 tackles for losses, 6½ sacks and a forced fumble in four games. He's also rushed for 121 yards on only 14 carries. He should add to those stats against a South Iredell team that is struggling.

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Contact Joe Sirera at 336-373-7034, and follow @JoeSireraNR on Twitter.

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