Seahawks, Panthers to battle in Anchor BowlPublished 5:12pm Thursday, October 10, 2013
Expect the intensity to kick up another notch tonight as Week 7 marks the beginning of conference play for four of the five area football teams.
While tonight’s calendar is filled with great games, there is no bigger contest then the one that will be played in Chocowinity, as Southside hosts rival Northside in an Anchor Bowl matchup that also serves as their Coastal Plains Conference opener.
Riverside, who is coming off of a bye, will begin its Two Rivers Conference schedule on the road against Northampton, while fellow Two Rivers members South Creek will hit the road to take on Tarboro.
Plymouth, the No. 2 ranked 1-A team in the state according to the latest AP Poll, began its Atlantic Conference play in Week 5 with a win over Columbia and will emerge from a Week 6 bye to face Creswell on the road.
Here’s a look at the matchups.
Northside (3-3, Coastal Plains) at Southside (2-4, Coastal Plains) at 7 p.m.
The Panthers and Seahawks will collide for the second time this season and this time the stakes are high.
In their Week 3 nonconference matchup, Northside held a 13-0 lead fourth quarter lead before Southside stormed back with 12 unanswered points and came a two-point conversion away from winning a fumble-filled contest.
This time around, there will be little margin for error as tonight’s game marks the beginning of conference play and the right to take home the anchor.
“It’s a crosstown rivalry so the kids are excited about and I would imagine both schools are excited about it,” said Northside coach Keith Boyd.
The Panthers, who have lost two straight, have not held possession of the anchor for three years and are looking to change that tonight.
“It would be nice for some of these seniors because I don’t think they have won an Anchor Bowl,” Boyd said. “They’re excited about the opportunity to try.”
Southside enters the contest having won two straight and is hoping that momentum will extend another week.
“It’s a big week for us,” said Southside’s first-year coach Jeff Carrow. “We want to be able to open up conference play on the right foot … (The Anchor Bowl) is a big deal to the school and the players. Our kids get exciting about playing it and I’m sure Northside’s do too.”
In their Week 3 matchup ball security played a big role and both coaches felt that will be a key factor in the rematch.
No. 2 Plymouth (5-0, 1-0, Atlantic) at Creswell (2-4, 1-2 Atlantic) at 7:30 p.m.
After routing Columbia 57-0 in its Atlantic Conference opener, the Vikings took a much-deserved rest in Week 6 and will look to win their 19th straight game on the road tonight against Creswell, who topped Cape Hatteras 34-14 last week.
“We had a lot of knick-knack injuries so I think the bye really helped us out. It could not have come at a better time,” said Plymouth coach Robert Cody. “We were able to get a lot of people healthy and we worked on our blocking and tackling a whole lot. Our tackling has been good the last few games, but it’s always something we want to work on.”
While the streaking Vikings are favored tonight, Cody said he and his players are not overlooking the Tigers.
“I think Creswell is going to be really strong, so we have to go down there and take care of business. We have to make sure that we’re ready to go,” Cody said. “I think the big key for us is to play really good defense and hold on to the ball.”
South Creek (1-4, Two Rivers) at Tarboro (4-2, Two Rivers) at 7:30 p.m
The Cougars face a stiff challenge in their Two Rivers Conference opener, as they must faceoff against 2012 2-A state runners up Tarboro on the road.
“(Tarboro) is going to do what they do: they’re going to run the T right at us and we’re going to put eight in the box and try and stop the run. We’re going to be aggressive,” South Creek coach Jeremy Jones said.
Since it’s season opening win over Perquimans, South Creek has hit a slide and dropped four straight, with its last one coming at the hands of Southside.
The recent skid has led Jones to reevaluate his roster.
“We’re looking to find the guys that come to play,” Jones said. “That’s the biggest thing. It’s not as much of an execution problem as it is just an effort thing. Something happens in a game and we have guys that are falling apart. So we’re looking for guys that are willing to give effort on every play.”
The Cougars will get some added firepower back this week as wide receiver/running back/returner Rondrell Andrews is back in action after missing a week due to injury, along with starting OL/LB Malik Gilbert, who is a welcomed edition on both sides of the ball.
Jones said his team is well aware of Vikings’ legacy and challenged his players to match their intensity.
“They know who Tarboro is and what they bring,” Jones said. “But we talked them about how this game is an opportunity to step up to it. They have an opportunity to make some plays against a big time team.”
Riverside (3-3, Two Rivers) at Northampton (5-1, Two Rivers) at 7:30 p.m.
Riverside will return from a bye tonight to face a stiff challenge in its Two Rivers Conference opener as it hits the road to take on conference leaders Northampton, who won five straight before falling 19-7 to Bunn last Friday.
The Knights dropped two in a row before their off week and know that if they want to stop the skid they must stop a tough Jaguars’ wishbone offense.
“Their quarterback is the real deal,” said Riverside coach Asim McGill. “We’ve seen him some at camps, he’s a sub 4.4 guy and he’s going to run the ball,” McGill said. “He carries them. (The Jaguars) remind of Washington last year with Jimmy Williams. If you didn’t stop Jimmy you weren’t going to beat Washington.”