The defending 3A state champs are ready for a repeat.

The defending 3A state champs are ready for a repeat.

"I think we’re playing our best football right now," Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said. "I think we’re starting to peak at the right time. The last two weeks, the first halves of the games have been as good as any team I’ve ever coached."

Top-seeded Havelock (10-1) takes on Currituck (3-7) in the first round of the state playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Havelock High. The Rams beat the Knights 62-36 in the third round last year.

"They’re more of a spread, shotgun throw it 30 times a game team now than they were from a run it 30 or 40 times a game team last year," Bryant said.

Currituck has lost five straight games, but beyond that, the area was heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Students returned to classes for the first time on Wednesday.

Havelock enters the game averaging 47 points per game. The Rams scored five touchdowns in the first quarter of last week’s 44-7 victory over West Craven.

"You like getting a big lead, but you pull your starters after the second quarter, and it weighs on conditioning and staying sharp," Bryant said. "Going into the playoffs, it’s kind of a two-edged sword."

Tickets for the game are $7 and can be purchased in advance at the school. The state prohibits the use of regular-season passes for the playoffs.