Sophomore Riley Ferguson showed glimpses of how good he may be in the future. Butler showed glimpses of how good it may be this year.
Ferguson went 10-of-20 for 230 yards with one touchdown and one interception Matthews (N.C.) Butler, No. 23 in the RivalsHigh Top 100 football rankings, rallied from an early deficit to record a 27-14 win at Winston-Salem (N.C.) Mount Tabor.
It was the 16th straight victory for Butler, the defending 4A state champion, but the first with Ferguson in charge. The team was led last year by Christian LeMay, the No. 3 ranked quarterback in the country who is sitting out this season because of a lengthy suspension.
"To tell you the truth, our kids miss Christian being a part of our football team," Butler coach told Charlotte Observer columnist Scott Fowler. "But like I've told our kids, we're going forward. ... It's unfortunate Christian can't be out here with us, but Riley is our quarterback. And we're going to win a lot of football games."
Not to be overlooked should be the play of Deion Walker, who scored three touchdowns for Butler.
RivalsHigh take: Butler obviously would be better with LeMay, but there's a reason top schools already are looking at Ferguson - he can play. This team will be fine and is deserving of its lofty ranking.
In other games involving Top 100 teams Friday night:
No. 15 Bingham 51, Viewmont 0: How overwhelming was this victory? Consider this. Harvey Langi led South Jordan (Utah) Bingham in rushing with just 89 yards - but that was 50 more yards than Bountiful (Utah) Viewmont had in total offense for the game. Inoke Taufalele (two short TD runs) and Josh Smith (21-yard reception and a 72-yard punt return) were the offensive stars. Bingham led 34-0 at half.
RivalsHigh take: Despite being on the rise it can be tough finding tough competition in Utah every week.
Cook 15, No. 35 Colquitt County 9: Moultrie (Ga.) Colquitt County had over 400 yards of offense - but over 100 yards of penalties with an 80-yard touchdown run and punt return to the Cook four-yardline called back and three turnovers. That's a recipe for disaster, or at least a season-opening loss.
RivalsHigh take: One game at a time ... one game at a time. Hate to say it, but Colquitt County may have been looking forward to next week's battle with No. 5 Batesville (Miss.) South Panola.
No. 47 Warren Central 49, Merrillville 14: Anthony Davis went 66 yards for a score on the first play of scrimmage. That's pretty much the way it went for Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central, whick took a 42-14 halftime lead and rolled up 566 yards of total offense.
RivalsHigh take: The Bulldogs did not have much problem dispatching of Merrillville. That may be a reoccurring theme as the season progresses. This is not a typical Indiana football team.
No. 57 Madison Central 51, Hattiesburg 0: Tobias Singleton had 194 yards of total offense and three scored three different ways (a 57-yard reception, 15-yard run and a 97-yard kickoff return to open the second half) as Madison Central rolled.
RivalsHigh take: This is a good start for a Jaguars team who lost a lot off of its defensive front. The competition wasn't the highest level, but knocking the rust off sure feels good when you can get a win and get in the second teamers as well.
No. 58 Lowndes 34 def South Gwinnett 28: Hard to get a handle on this one. Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes rushed out to a 21-0 lead and had over 400 total yards in the game (led by Tony Braswell's 188 yards rushing and two TDs on 12 carries). And though its defense was solid, Snelville (Ga.) South Gwinnett managed to score four TDs in the fourth quarter, two coming on special teams plays (a blocked punt returned for a score and a 70-yard fake punt for a score).
RivalsHigh take: Hate to say it (and we've been saying it) but this may be another example of how football is down a bit in Georgia this season.
No. 67 Jack Britt 44, East Wake 7: Quarterback Anthony Riggin threw for a score and ran for another and Julius Ingram had three touchdowns as Fayetteville (N.C.) Jake Britt rolled.
RivalsHigh take: Britt was one of the highest scoring teams in the nation, let alone North Carolina, in 2009 so having them hang 44 is more expected than surprising to open the season.
No. 85 Richmond County 31, Providence 21: Rockingham (N.C.) Richmond County rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat Charlotte (N.C.) Providence. Walter Ellerbe rushed for 122 yards on 19 carries and was at his best when the game was on the line. After Providence took a 21-17 lead with 8:36 left in the game, Ellerbe brought Richmond County back with two TD runs.
RivalsHigh take: Tough to judge some teams on their openers, so we'll give Richmond a W and watch them more closely next week.
No. 89 Alcoa 64, Middleboro 0: Vanderbilt Hambrick, Darrell Warren and Ezekiel Koko each ran for two touchdowns as Alcoa (Tenn.) High rolled to victory in Middlesboro, Ky.
RivalsHigh take: Alcoa didn't break 50 one time last year, so to go hand Middleboro a 64-0 loss is a bit surprising.
No. 95 Center Grove 21,Meridian 7: Dillon Dallas returned a fumble 62 yards for a score and Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove added two more scores to handle Meridian.
RivalsHigh take: Center Grove was supposed to be a team in Indiana that could challenge Warren Central. Give some leeway for it being early in the season but this squad didn't appear to be ready to take on Warren Central.