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Vikings to battle Redskins for East Regional championships

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
PLYMOUTH — Their first meeting resulted in a final score of 44-14 and, if Plymouth coach Robert Cody gets his wish, the next meeting between the Vikings and Redskins will end the same way.
Plymouth is taking nothing granted as it heads into its rematch with the Redskins. The Vikings are choosing to remember the halftime score as opposed to the final one. Roanoke trailed only 14-0 going into the break, and were sunk by a few big plays in the second half.
Also, a lot has changed since their Week 7 battle. The No. 7 seed Redskins (10-4) have clawed through the post season and arrive at the East Regional battle-tested.
Meanwhile, the top-seeded Vikings (14-0) sailed through the playoffs by outscoring opponents, 116-0.
The big question is who benefited more from its respective playoff route. Does Roanoke have the advantage because it has been involved in closer games, or does the confidence Plymouth has gained from its blowouts give it the mental edge?
The answer will come tonight.
Cody said his biggest concern is the athletic ability of the Redskins.
Roanoke will have to tackle extremely well if it wants to walk away with a win. Plymouth running backs Andre Mitchell and Tobias Clagon have both had monster seasons.
The duo has rushed for over 3,000 yards this season, while tallying over 40 TD’s. While they don’t pass much, the Vikings they have been effective when they do.
Like Redskins’ QB Alonza Higgs, Plymouth quarterback Dasheen Perry is a threat to run and throws very well on the move. Perry also has deep threat Angelo Sharpless, who is nearly impossible to cover one-on-one.
Roanoke is no slouch on offense either. Though they are not as prolific as the Vikings, the Redskins, led by running back Savion Hudson, can put up some points.
Heading into tonight’s game, Cody said his main concern is containing the Roanoke rushing attack.
So far the Vikings’ defense has been flawless. Led by linebacker Perry, defensive lineman Reginald James and Sharpless (DB), the Plymouth defense has been stout all season.
Cody said that the team’s senior leadership and ability to stay healthy have been huge.
Experience aside, Cody said that the key to winning will be execution.
The two teams will battle for the right to play in the NCHSAA 1-A state championship tonight at 7:30 in Plymouth.
Redskins looking for an upset
By KEVIN TRAVIS
Sports Editor
ROBERSONVILLE — While Plymouth has rolled past its three opponents in the playoffs, the Roanoke Redskins have advanced thanks to six-point wins in each game.
It doesn’t matter the point spread as the Redskins are playing for a NCHSAA Class 1-A East Regional championship tonight in Plymouth.
The Redskins (10-4), a No. 7 seed, have done it with just 24 players. That small, but tight-knit group has picked up playoff victories of 52-46 over Northside, 26-20 in overtime against Williamston and 24-18 over Perquimans.
Paschal, 30-23 at Roanoke and 70-67 in 11 years that includes seven seasons at Washington High School, knows tonight’s game against top seed and fourth-ranked Plymouth (14-0) won’t be easy. The Vikings posted a 44-14 victory over the Redskins in the regular season.
Paschal said the key will be how the linemen do.
Roanoke will be looking for its first win since a 48-7 nod over Plymouth in 2005.
The winner will play No. 1 seed North Duplin (13-0) or No. 3 seed Salemburg Lakewood (10-4) in the 1-A state championship game Saturday, Dec. 8, at Raleigh’s Carter-Finley Stadium.
Paschal is making his first trip as head coach to an East Regional championship, and would like to take the next step to the state championship game next week.
He was the offensive coordinator at Williamston High School when the Tigers won the East Regional championship and then the state title in 1995.