Plenty at stake in Anchor Bowl

Published 8:51 am Friday, November 7, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
There’s a lot more than a trophy and bragging rights at stake at this year’s rendition of the Anchor Bowl.
Tonight, Northside (2-8, 0-6) and Southside (0-10, 0-6) will square off in the 20th Annual Anchor Bowl with the final playoff spot from the Atlantic Conference up for grabs.
Northside defeated Southside 32-7 in the 2007 Anchor Bowl behind a pair of touchdowns from D.J. Satterthwaite and William Rushton.
They’d like to be able to repeat that performance again tonight.
Overall, Southside holds a 5-2 series lead.
The Panthers are 6-13 in Anchor Bowl appearances after winning four times in 12 Anchor Bowl appearances against Washington from 1989-2000.
The Seahawks and Panthers will both be looking to end long losing skids.
Southside has lost 21 straight contests since winning the 2006 Anchor Bowl, 27-8 over Northside. Meanwhile, after starting 2-2 this season, the Panthers have dropped six straight ball games.
Southside is thinking the same thing.
The two teams bring opposing styles into tonight’s contest. The Panthers want to pound the ball and keep team’s honest by passing on a few occasions. On the other hand, the Seahawks have found a lot of success in their passing game in recent weeks.
Northside is led by Satterthwaite and Dakuan Mackey on the ground. Satterthwaite has rushed for more than 600 yards on the season.
Southside, which is coming off a 47-21 loss to Williamston — its highest offensive production in two years under Hines — has had a successful passing attack late in the season. Quarterback Kevin Sparks is closing in on a school record for passing yards after eclipsing the 700-yard mark for the season last week. He’s also thrown six touchdown passes, including two to Willie Ruffin last week.
On the ground, Lonnie Williams and Dash Spruell have both rushed for more than 400 yards on the year.
Another key to the contest will be turnovers. Both the Panthers and Seahawks have had trouble holding onto the ball.
With so much on the line, both coaches expect to pull all the rabbits out of their hats tonight.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Northside.