Williamston set to collide with Creswell

Published 12:50 pm Friday, November 28, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
Many area football fans might be surprised to see Creswell make it all the way to the sectional round of the NCHSAA 1A playoffs and, to be honest, so was Creswell coach Wayne Rodgers.
Kind of.
After the second-seeded Tigers (10-1) knocked off the 10th seeded Perquimans Pirates (7-5) 20-18 last Friday, Rodgers said he is still relishing the win and that he is happy to see his team play to its potential.
Creswell hails from the often-overlooked Tideland Conference. Rodgers said that because his team plays in the Tideland, many teams have underestimated his club. However, he feels that by making it this far in the playoffs the element of surprise will be gone when Creswell hosts the third-seeded Williamston Tigers (8-5) tonight at 7:30.
Williamston heads into tonight’s match up having topped #11 Northampton-West 28-20 in the second round of the playoffs, and Tigers’ coach Asim McGill said he will not allow his team to underestimate its opponent.
The key match up in tonight’s game will be the play of Creswell’s offensive line versus the blitzing, eight in the box defense of Williamston led by linebackers DeBrian and DeBriant Everett.
Creswell likes to utilize featured sophomore running back Timmell Sawyer out of three primary formations, the wing-T, I and spread, but the Tigers will have to have a capable passing attack if they want to beat Williamston.
Williamston’s McGill said that containing Sawyer is a concern, but his team can not afford to shift all its attention to one person.
Adjusting is nothing new to Williamston. The Tigers had to tweak their offense around after quarterback Cedric Moody got hurt early in the season.
McGill shifted running back Emery Griggs to the QB spot, and moved tight end Derek Everett to the vacant running back position.
That’s a tremendous change for a team to make during the season, but after an adjustment period, the Tigers’ offense has taken off.
Since its 40-0 loss to Plymouth in Week 9, Williamston has scored over 40 points in four of its last five games.
Griggs has proven that he is not only a threat to run at the QB position, but can hit receivers Kareem Bell and Kenny Brown, while the athletic Everett has adapted well to the running back position.
The offense has really jelled heading into the playoffs, and the team as a whole has been playing with a sense of urgency.
Like Williamston, Creswell likes to have a lot of defenders on the line of scrimmage, and it will be up to the Williamston offensive line to continue keep up its strong play.
Stacking the line of scrimmage is a gamble, while it usually creates pressure and can stop the run, it also leaves a defense vulnerable to the big play.
Rogers said the key to victory is to control momentum and not let up the big play.
McGill agreed with his counterpart’s assignment on turnovers and the big play, and added that special teams could play a big role in tonight’s game as well.