Area teams ready for Week 2Published 8:30pm Thursday, August 23, 2012
The prep football season began with a bang last week as Northside put an end to its losing streak with a 30-6 win over Creswell while Plymouth continued its winning ways by crushing Farmville Central 52-20.
Both teams will be back in action tonight as the Panthers will hit the road to take on Pamlico, while the Vikings will ride the bus over to Northampton.
For Southside, South Creek and Riverside, the 2012 season did not begin the way they wanted it to as each earned opening day losses, but all showed signs of strong play and will look to get back on track tonight.
The Seahawks will play their home opener against Creswell, while South Creek will host North Pitt and Riverside will entertain Edenton.
Here’s a look at the matchups:
Northside (1-0) at Pamlico (0-1)
Last week the Panthers put an end to one streak and this week they will look to start a new one.
After going 0-9 in 2011, Northside squashed its losing skid with a convincing 30-6 win over Creswell in both team’s season opener and as the team heads into Week 2 of the prep season coach Keith Boyd is hoping that the momentum carries over when it travels to Pamlico (0-1, Coastal Plains).
Due to a scheduling quirk, the Panthers, who played on the road last week, will be away from home for their first four games of the season, which means their focus has to be at a maximum.
“When you play at other places you have to be at least a touchdown better because you just never know how things are going to get called, plus there’s the atmosphere and crowd at different places,” Boyd said. “You just have to go out and maintain your focus.”
Northside was focused last week as Austin Gambrel, Kentrell Washington, Antonio Woods and Noel Howson each scored touchdowns for the Panthers in their win over Creswell.
Like Northside, Pamlico, who lost 21-0 to Croatan in Week 1, sports a young team and Boyd said the battle should be a good one.
“It’s going to be a barn burner,” Boyd said. “The team that wins is going to be the team that makes the least amount of mistakes. We just can’t turn the ball over, I think that’s what it’s going to come down to.”
Creswell (0-1) at Southside (0-1)
Southside stumbled out of the gate last week as it fell 48-14 to North Duplin in its 2012 debut and will look to get back on track tonight when it plays its home opener against a Creswell team that lost 30-6 to Northside in Week 1.
The Seahawks have dedicated plenty of time preparing for the reigning Tideland Conference champions, but Southside coach DeWayne Kellum said his focus this week will be internal.
“(Creswell coach) Wayne Rodgers always has a great football team and that’s evident by his record and how many conferences he’s won but we’re going to look at what we do,” Kellum said. “I want us to be aggressive and confident in what we do and everything else will take care of itself.”
Offensively, Southside got scores from its dangerous RB duo of brothers Rokeem and Donshae Miller and will need another strong effort from its backfield tonight. On defense, the Seahawks must prepare for a versatile Tigers’ attack.
“They run I, wing-T, off balance, trips and shotgun, they run a little bit of it all,” Kellum said. “We’ve watched it on film for two days. Everybody knows your alignments. We just have to be prepared, we should be ready for everything you throw at us. That’s what the summer is for and the preseason.”
Plymouth (1-0) at Northampton County (1-0)
The Vikings began the 2012 season in dominant fashion as they sailed past Farmville Central 52-20 in Week 1.
Plymouth rushed for over 400 yards in the win as Carl McCray scored two touchdowns, while Demetrius Price, Quadree Pettiford, Kendrick Pitt, Deandre Phelps and Devonte Spruill each scored once.
The Vikings will look Xerox that effort tonight as they take on a newly-formed Northampton County team, which is comprised of Northampton-East and Northampton-West, that looked explosive in its 58-0 win in its season opener against Kestrel Heights.
“They run spread, they go shotgun and read the option and they looked really good last week,” Plymouth coach Robert Cody said.
The Vikings didn’t look so bad themselves in their first contest of the season.
“Well, we didn’t turn the ball over and we tackled really we defensively for most of the game,” Cody said. “If we don’t turn that ball over we can be pretty good.”
Cody said keeping the TOs to a minimum will be one of the major keys in tonight’s contest.
“We can’t turn the ball over,” Cody said. “We have to make sure that we can take care of their passing attack and rushing attack, then we have to take the ball and be able to run it.”
Edenton (1-0) at Riverside (0-1)
Riverside faced a stiff challenge in Week 1 as it clashed with 2011 1-AA state runner up Ayden-Grifton and fell 28-21. However, Knights’ coach Asim McGill was encouraged by his team’s play.
“After I looked at the film I felt it just came down to a couple of big plays that could have gone either way,” McGill said. “We had a controversial call (go against the Knights) but despite that we still had our chance to win the game and just came up a little short.”
The key call in the Knights’ loss came in the fourth quarter when the officials ruled that QB Matt Wisniewski had fumbled after being hit, which led to an Ayden scoop and score. Wisniewski’s helmet came off on the play, which Riverside claims should have forced the officials to blow the whistle and stop play, which did not happen.
Tonight, the Knights will look to rebound against an Edenton team that cruised to a 63-21 win over Corinth Holders last week.
McGill said he expects special teams to play a big role in tonight’s matchup.
“Once again, I think the kicking game will be big,” McGill said. “Last week we gave up seven points in the kicking game and the final score was 28-21. We can’t turn the ball over and we must be sound in our kicking game.”
North Pitt (0-1) at South Creek (0-1)
Though they lost 18-14 to North Edgecombe in their season debut, the Cougars showed plenty of signs of potential.
Defensively, South Creek was strong as the only time the unit yielded points was when it was faced with a short field as two of the Warriors’ scoring drives were shorter than 20 yards.
Offensively, first-year starting quarterback Brandon Battle scored a touchdown, and though the team only scored 14 points, the young passer appears to be gaining a firm grip on coach Jeremy Jones’ offense.
South Creek will take on a tough North Pitt team (0-1, Eastern Plains) that fell behind 21-7 to Washington in the first half of its season opener but finished strong as the Panthers rallied but eventually lost 28-20 to the Pam Pack.
“I told our guys that North Pitt top to bottom has got some quality at every position,” Jones said. “They have size and they have athletic big guys. They’re not just big, they move pretty good too. It will be quite a battle for us.”
Jones said the key for the Cougars is to fight hard till the final whistle blows.
“I told the guys we have to stay in the ball game until the fourth quarter,” Jones said. “We have to stay in the ball game and do what we do and control the clock as much as we can. We don’t want to get into a big shootout with them because they have a lot of weapons. We want to hang around until the fourth quarter and have a shot at winning.”