The Orange Panthers has received the #2 Mideast Seed in the 3A state playoffs and will face 6-5 WIlson Fike from the Big East Conference.
The bracket can be found here.
It’s the first time that Orange has been in the 3-A bracket. For the past three years, the Panthers have been in the 3-AA playoffs. In 2013 and 2014, the Panthers made it to the 3rd round. Each time, the Panthers lost to eventual state champions: Southern Durham (2013) and Northern Guilford (2014)
The irony of being in the “smaller” playoff is Orange will likely face tougher competition, at least if you trust the Associated Press High School Football Polls.
Of the top ten teams ranked in 3A football, seven will compete in the 3A playoff. In fact, Orange may face Havelock, ranked 5th in the state, in the 2nd round.
Orange is #3 in the state. Also in the 3-A playoffs: Lenoir Hibriten, ranked #1 in the state; Southern Nash, who earned the #1 Mideast seed (#2 in the state); West Craven (#4); Havelock (#5); Rocky Mount (#7); and Canton Pisgah (#9).
The seeding was changed this year by the NCHSAA to reduce the possibility of conference opponents facing each other in the opening rounds of the playoffs. Teams were divided into Mideast and East and were matched up against each other. Orange received the #2 seed in the Mideast behind Southern Nash. Each squad finished 11-0. Southern Nash received the tiebreaker advantage because they were higher ranked on MaxPreps.
The 3-A State Championship game will be held on December 16th or 17th at a location to be determined.
All Orange playoff games can be heard here on HillsboroughSports.com