Knights to face Bulldogs in second round showdownPublished 7:10pm Thursday, November 21, 2013
The Knights advanced to tonight’s second round NCHSAA 1-AA playoff matchup against Wallace-Rose Hill thanks to a masterful 44-0 victory over No. 6 Perquimans last week.
The running back tandem of sophomores J.J. Wilson and Malik Smith continued to carry the load for No. 3 Riverside (8-4) offensively, as the duo combined for 326 yards and three touchdowns in the romp.
Wilson exploded for 163 yards and a score on nine attempts, while Smith racked up 163 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries.
“The kids did a good job of executing the game plan,” Riverside coach Asim McGill said. “They did everything we talked about all week.”
Quarterback Clay Wagner completed six of his 13 attempts for 87 yards and threw touchdown passes to Dequante Brown and Ross Byrd to complete a sound effort offensively.
Not to be outdone, the Knights defense threw its second shutout of the season. Brown and linebacker Daniel Everett each picked off a pass, while D.J. Beach and Everett lead the team with five tackles each.
“Defensively we have that bend but don’t break mentality,” McGill said. “In the first quarter (Perquimans) came out and got a long gain on a screen pass that took them to about the 10-yard line, but the kids did a good job of executing and keeping them out of the end zone.”
McGill said he has had several players step up on the defensive side of the ball.
“Daniel Everett has done a good job for us at Mike linebacker. He makes the calls and gets us into the right defense,” McGill said. “We also got a kid that’s about 5-2, 120 pounds and probably shouldn’t even be out there playing football, but he makes a lot of plays for us in Jakil Bond.”
The Knights will have to have all phases of their team functioning at a high level again tonight as they take on a traditionally strong No. 2-seeded Wallace-Rose Hill (10-2) team that is coming off of a 70-6 beat down of No. 7 Gates and has a strong home field advantage.
“The people in that town pack that place out,” McGill said. “There will be people lined up and standing in the end zone. It’s a real Friday night lights atmosphere.”
The Bulldogs run a wing-T offense and are led by running back Alex Lisane, who’s racked up 800 rushing yards and 11 TDs on the season.
While Wallace’s offense has been strong, so has its defense, which is led by a sturdy line that will play a key factor in tonight’s game.
“Defense is kind of what they take pride in,” McGill said.
The Bulldogs use a 50 front and McGill is hoping that his spread offense can neutralize a strong Wallace defensive line.
“In the conference they played in a lot of teams run the ball. I’m not sure how used to defending the spread they are so hopefully that’s an advantage to us. … I think offensively we can do some things that hopefully causes some problems.”
The winner of tonight’s game will advance to the third round where it will meet the winner of the No. 1 Tarboro-No. 4 Camden matchup.