Week 11 filled with critical contests for area teamsPublished 4:58pm Thursday, October 31, 2013
Week 11 of the regular season kicks off tonight and the conference races are coming down to the wire.
With a 64-30 victory over Jones Senior in Week 10, Northside is still in the running for a Coastal Plains Conference title, but first it must get past East Carteret tonight.
Plymouth, the defending 1-A champs and No. 2 ranked team in the state, will look to win its 22nd straight game, and if it can do so it will clinch an Atlantic Conference title.
With three wins on the season, Southside is all but guaranteed to make the playoffs and will jockey for playoff seeding during its final two games of the year, while a one-win South Creek team is hoping than a victory against North Edgecombe will put them on the right side of the bubble.
Here’s a look at the matchups.
East Carteret (4-5, 1-2 Coastal Plains) at Northside (5-4, 2-1 Coastal Plains) at 7p.m.
One game behind Coastal Plains leaders Lejeune with two games to go in the regular season, the Panthers head into a critical matchup with a feisty East Carteret team that is coming off a 42-22 victory over Southside and sits one game behind Northside.
The Panthers, who will play Lejeune in their season finale, scored a critical 64-30 victory over Jones Senior last Friday and will need to top the Mariners tonight to keep their hopes of winning the conference alive.
“Morale-wise and conference standings-wise it was really good to get that win,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “We went from a hard loss against Pamlico to getting back on track. We’re sitting at 2-1 and we’re still in control of our destiny.”
The Panthers will look to maintain that grip on their fate tonight when they take on spunky East Carteret team.
“They’ve been in every game that they’ve played and they play hard,” Boyd said. “They execute well on offense and have some size and speed.
“We feel like it’s going to be a battle. We feel like it’s going to come down to who makes the least amount of mistakes.”
Each team likes to move the chains with a power running game and which ever team controls the line of scrimmage will likely be the victors.
“Both teams are similar in what we run, so the key is going to be who’s the most physical team; who’s going to win the battle up front on the offensive and defensive line,” Boyd said.
Lejeune (8-1, 3-0 Coastal Plains) at Southside (3-6, 1-2 Coastal Plains) at 7 p.m.
The Seahawks’ struggle to climb up the Coastal Plains Conference ladder continued last week as they fell 42-22 to East Carteret and now sit in a tie for fourth place in the division with the Mariners.
As Southside heads down the home stretch of the regular season there’s not much sunshine as it must face Coastal Plains leaders Lejeune tonight before it plays its regular season finale against a tough Pamlico team.
The last leg of the Seahawks schedule greatly threatens their playoff seeding, but coach Jeff Carrow said that is a concern for another day and that his focus right now is on tonight’s matchup with the Devil Pups.
“I’m just looking at things game by game,” Carrow said. “Right now we’re just focused on Lejeune.”
Lejeune is in the midst of a stellar season. The Pups lost their season opener 36-8 to Swansboro, but have won every game since, with their last one being an 8-0 victory over Pamlico to move into sole possession of first place in the conference.
“They are very fundamentally sound,” Carrow said. “They’re not going to do anything that’s going to surprise you. They have a very good tailback and a pretty good fullback. They’re going to toss it and get it into those guys’ hands. They’re just a sound team.”
In order for Southside to be successful it must contain Lejeune’s ground attack and execute its own.
“We have to string out their run game. The tailback can’t get the corner on us,” Carrow said. “Then, we have to be able to maintain drives and eat up some clock and punch it in when we get there.”
Manteo (6-3, 4-1 Atlantic) at No. 2 Plymouth (8-0, 4-0 Atlantic) at 7:30 p.m.
New conference, same nemesis. The Vikings scored a critical 54-12 victory over Camden last Friday to secure sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Conference. Plymouth can clinch the conference tonight, but first it must knockout its old sparring partner, Manteo.
Over the past few years the Vikings-Redskins battle has been one of the best around as the two teams continuously fought for Four Rivers Conference crowns before being realigned this year.
Though they may be in a new neighborhood, the rivalry has not lessened and with a conference title on the line, tonight’s game should be an intense one.
“The players get up a little bit extra when they know we’re playing Manteo,” Plymouth coach Robert Cody said. “Manteo is a team that has won a lot of football games and we have to be ready to come out and play.”
Last week Plymouth needed to get past Camden for the second time this season to take the driver’s seat and Cody said his players responded with their best game of the season so far.
“Anyone that came to the game last week will tell you that Camden played a good football game, but we played about as well as we can play,” Cody said. “If we can play that well every Friday night we can win a lot of football games between now and December 14th.”
The Vikings have been winning a lot of football games, 21 in a row to be exact. The streak is believed to be the second-longest in the state and is the longest of Cody’s career.
“To win 21 straight football games is incredible. I would have never dreamed it would happen,” Cody said. “I thought Edenton or Riverside was going to get us, but we got lucky and we just kind of stayed on a run.”
North Edgecombe (4-4, 1-2 Two Rivers) at South Creek (1-8, 0-3 Two Rivers) at 7:30 p.m.
South Creek’s snake bit season continued last week as the Cougars had three players hurt in their 38-16 loss to Rocky Mount Prep.
The year began with Brandon Battle, the Cougars starting QB, missing a few games due to an injury and since then South Creek’s roster has been severally hampered by the loss of players each week.
“We started out the game with six receivers and by the middle of the second quarter we had three,” South Creek coach Jeremy Jones said. “… You start out the season with limited numbers in 1-A football and every time you turn around you got guys out for a couple of weeks here and there. We’ve been constantly trying to plug holes.”
To make matters worse, of those three receivers that were on the field against Rocky Mount, one of them, Aaron Little, could not be thrown to because was playing with an injured hand.
The Cougars, who are in the midst of an eight-game slide, will look to turn it around tonight against a North Edgecombe team that has dropped two straight.
Jones said that despite the slump, the team has not thrown in the towel on the season.
“The guys we have that played want to play football. They won’t quit. That’s been the most remarkable thing about the season,” Jones said. “(Last) Saturday I was thinking ‘what am I going to tell these guys on Monday,’ but as I showed up they were all dressed and ready to go saying ‘come on coach let’s go get it.’ They stepped on the field with some enthusiasm.”