Southside hoping to stay hot|Seahawks looking for fourth straight win

Published 8:48 pm Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sports Editor

CHOCOWINITY — Just five games into the season, the Southside Seahawks already have more wins (three) than the previous two seasons (one) combined. The Seahawks have scored 130 points this year, just one point off the total from the previous two years (130 points).
“This feels really good,” Southside coach David Hines said. “We’re executing, we’re blocking the guys we’re supposed to block, we’re running the ball hard and we’re making good decisions.
“It feels good, and the guys feel good. The expectation now isn’t to stay in a ballgame, but the expectation is to go out and win a ballgame. These guys believe in each other and they believe in the coaching staff.”
Southside, enjoying its longest winning streak — three games — since the 2006 season, looks to keep that momentum going in Friday night’s Four Rivers Conference battle. The Seahawks (3-2, 1-0) play host to the unbeaten Manteo Redskins (5-0, 1-0), a team averaging 46.8 points per game, in their most difficult challenge to date.
“They do a lot of running,” Hines said. “It’s misdirection, it’s power and it’s option.
“If we do our jobs, we stay in the game and give ourselves a chance to win. Our guys are just confident enough right now, that’s what we’ll need going into the end of the ballgame.”
Hines is getting contributions from several players on the team.
“It’s not just one or two guys; it’s a plethora of people,” Hines said. “These guys have put in time in the weight room, have put in time in the summer and have now come into their own, whether it is a freshman or a sophomore or a junior or a senior.
“That’s not only good for the program this year, but it’s good for the program in the future.”
Southside is coming off a 37-28 win over Camden.
Sophomore quarterback Terrill Moore led the way with 164 yards rushing and two scores. He also completed 5-of-12 passes for 152 yards and a 56-yard TD toss to Curtis Myers.
Moore has rushed for 409 yards and seven touchdown this year, while adding 424 yards and three more scores through the air.
The modest sophomore, whose voice sounds much older than a sophomore, is simply following the game plan.
“I just want to execute the offense and be a team leader,” Moore said. “The linemen have been giving me time to throw, and I’m just looking for the right receiver that’s open.”
Moore’s offensive line is comprised of center Tyler Crisp, right guard T.J. Jordan, right tackle Bryan Happel, left guard Deshawn Blough and left tackle Milton Stilley.
“We couldn’t be more proud of those guys,” Hines said. “Those guys have just grown.”
Other offensive threats for the Seahawks are Lonnie Williams (221 rushing yards, two scores), Marcus Oneal (193 rushing yards, two scores), Derick Cannon (106 rushing yards, one score), Willie Ruffin (9 catches, 163 yards, TD), Kendrick Reddick (4 catches, 78 yards), Bryan Dixon (3 catches, 54 yards, TD) and Myers (2 catches, 63 yards, TD).
“We’ve got three or four guys that we can give it to on any play,” Hines said. “That helps us because teams can’t key on one guy.
“If Terrill is throwing the ball well, that’s another thing that they have to cover. We’ve become more than one dimensional. The last couple years we tried to run the ball because it gave us the best chance to stay in a ballgame and keep it close. This year we’re being a little more balanced.”
Ruffin said part of the team’s success has to do with a newfound confidence, something the team lacked in recent years.
“We just go out and expect to win,” said Ruffin, who has at least one catch in every game this season. “This feels good.”
The Seahawks have been a big-play team this year, scoring from over 40 yards out numerous times.
“I think we’ve scored seven or eight touchdowns from 40 or 50 yards out,” Hines said. “It’s been because of defensive breakdowns, and because of us executing the play the way it’s supposed to be executed. We also have guys capable of making big plays.”
Michael Ward has been able to put the finishing touches on most touchdown drives, converting nine PATs and even booting a field goal.
“He was very nervous his first couple games,” Hines said of Ward, who is also one of the stars on the Southside soccer team. “He just gives us another dimension of what we can do offensively.”
The Southside defense, led by the likes of Johnnie Pender (49 tackles, 3 sacks), Greg Crisp (41 tackles, 4 sacks), James Jones (34 tackles) and Sam Jarman (28 tackles), has been pretty solid all season.
Pender, just a freshman, is shining in his first season with the Seahawks. He led Southside with 12 tackles in last week’s 37-28 win over Camden.
“I’m just doing what I need to do,” Pender said. “I’m just doing what the coaches taught me.
“Everybody is doing what they need to do.”
That defense will be tested Friday night against a strong-rushing Manteo team.
Manteo’s biggest offensive weapon is C.J. Bailey, who has racked up 809 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 78 totes (10.4 yards per rush). Bailey ran for season-bests of 193 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s 43-21 win over Williamston.
The Redskins have five other rushers with at least 110 yards rushing, and five other players with at least two rushing touchdowns.
“(Bailey) is probably one of the better backs we have seen,” Hines said. “On film, he’ll get hit and get hit. It seems that the more he gets hit, the harder he runs. That’s when his success happens. It seems that some teams quit hitting him. We’re going to have to keep hitting all night long.”
Southside faces another tough task next week when it plays at explosive Plymouth.
“These next two weeks are going to be key, not only in the conference race, but in our confidence as a team,” said Hines, who is assisted by Red Lewis, Gene Smith and Milton Ruffin. “Playing well and doing well against these next two opponents is not only big for this season, but for next year and the year after that. If we see that we can play with these guys, then I think our confidence level can shoot through the roof.”
Hines is hoping his Seahawks continue to play well, not only for themselves, but for their fans.
“This community has been waiting for something good to happen for a few years,” Hines said. “It’s been awhile since there has been continued success. We’re not satisfied with where we are because there are things we can fix.
“What we’re preaching right now is not to be satisfied; always want more. As long as we continue to do that, I’m happy and the coaching staff is happy. Success breeds success, and things are looking positive for years to come.”