Northwest Halifax

A pair of Northwest Collegiate and Technical Academy linemen drill during practice on Sept. 2. The Vikings make their 2021 regular-season debut on Friday at home versus Bear Grass Charter.

Although somewhat difficult to believe, the fourth week of the Valley’s 2021 prep football campaign is here.

Soon enough, fall.

But before we get manic about the business of exchanging shorts for sleeves and heat waves for holidays, let us kick about Friday’s docket — beginning with a delayed season-opener in Littleton.

Bear Grass Charter (1-2) at

Northwest Collegiate (0-0)

7 p.m.

To date, Bear Grass Charter has played three games, traveling 242 round-trip miles in the process — meaning the outfit won’t be bothered, in all likelihood, by this week’s 65-mile junket to the Hilltop, where untested Northwest Collegiate and Technical Academy awaits.

And here’s the skinny.

Over its last two games, BG has struggled to find pay dirt, scoring just 12 points, while NCTA will be playing its first live downs this season — the result of a COVID-19 spike within the program in late August.

At any rate, these pages extend a hearty welcome back to the Vikings, who last hosted a regular-season game on Nov. 8, 2019.

Columbia (0-1) at

Northeast Academy (0-0)

7 p.m.

Columbia’s first steps into the much-different world of 8-Man football didn’t really go to plan last week, as the Wildcats fell in 48-6 fashion to tradition-rich Bethel Christian Academy.

Mercy.

So, in the words of Bill Belichick, the team is on to Lasker, where it will find a Northeast Academy fanbase eager to see if its promoted junior-varsity stars — which captured a Colonial Carolina Conference championship last fall — can duplicate the effort on a larger, perhaps speedier, stage.

It should be a good one, folks, and the only 8-Man contest on this week’s slate.

Southeast Collegiate (0-2) at

Washington County (0-2)

7 p.m.

Something’s gotta give.

That could very well be the tag line for Friday’s showdown between Southeast Collegiate Prep Academy and Washington County, who have combined to register a total of just 39 points through four games.

Suffice to say, don’t expect an offensive ‘rager in Plymouth.

The scrape will maintain some degree of back-and-forth drama, however, and is likely to be determined by which quarterback has greater command of his respective huddle — and which platoon can survive what are sure to be a few dicey down-and-distance situations.

Washington (2-0) at

Northampton County (1-1)

7:30 p.m.

Northampton County displayed a keen sense of urgency last week, billing Washington County for 365 yards of total offense during a 44-0, bother-me-not triumph.

A snoozer, indeed.

Friday evening’s guest will present a much greater challenge, however, as the Pam Pack have outscored their first two opponents by 90 — yes, 90 — points.

Ouch.

Which means, of course, that the Jags — who produced an interception and two fumble recoveries last week — must be sharp in their defense of Washington’s Hayes Pippn, Terry Moore and Ryan Spruil, who have accounted for 82% of the team’s yards and 79% of its touchdowns this season.