Knights look to go 4-0|Northside to host South Creek

Published 4:58 pm Friday, September 17, 2010

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
The level of competition continues to rise in the Four Rivers Conference as the prep football season heads into Week 5. Southside and Plymouth raised the bar last week as both schools earned victories and are tied for first atop the conference.
Under the direction of former/new coach DeWayne Kellum, the Seahawks rolled past Columbia 40-0 to improve their record to 4-0. The four wins matches the David Hines-led Seahawks’ total from all of last season and is one win away from tying Hines’ three-year total.
The Vikings continue to be a force on both sides of the ball and upped their record to 4-0 after topping Northampton-West 36-15. Plymouth has yet to score less then 36 points in a game all season and has only gave up more than 25 points once.
Falling out of the race for a perfect season was Manteo (2-1), who lost 28-20 to First Flight two weeks ago, which leaves Riverside as the only undefeated team in the Four Rivers Conference in action tonight.
North Pitt (4-0) at Riverside (3-0)
The Knights rolled into its bye week after topping rival South Creek 42-0 in the first annual Battle for the Paddle, and coach Asim McGill said the extra time has been valuable.
“We were just trying to get guys back to being healthy and work on the fundamental aspects of the game as far as blocking, tackling and the kicking game,” McGill said. “The main thing we want to do is keep getting better.”
McGill said this year he has taken a different approach to the open week.
“We want to keep getting better but we don’t want to beat up our guys,” McGill said. “Last year we kind of hit hard every day but this year I tried not to do that. We still wanted to keep it competitive so on Thursday we ended the practice with an intra-squad scrimmage.”
The week off also gave the Knights some extra time to prepare for an undefeated North Pitt (4-0, 2-A, Eastern Plains Conference) who has topped 3-A teams such as Washington and D.H. Conley, whom the Panthers beat 28-18 their last time out.
“North Pitt is very athletic. They will line right up and run right at you,” McGill said. “They can get into a power I or a spread. They got a speed back and a power back. When you look at their roster they have a back that’s 250-pounds, one that’s 230 and they got a little quick back. They have got some size and some good athletes so we got our work cut out for us.”
McGill said fundamentals will play a big role in tonight’s game.
“The big key is that we have to wrap up,” McGill said. “They want to run right down our throat, it’s old school football: We want to run, can you stop it? So our guys have to step up.”
South Creek (0-3) at Northside (1-2)
The intricate timing issues of running a triple-option offense has been an issue for South Creek who as scored six points in three games this year and heads into tonight’s matchup with Northside with an 0-3 record. Looking to kick-start his team, first-year head coach Jeremy Jones decided to ratchet up the intensity at practice.
“We changed practice up a little bit this week. We weren’t really satisfied with what we’ve been getting out of practice so we decided to change it up,” Jones said. “We’re heading into this game 0-3 and have gotten into a little bit of a routine. If you’re winning that’s a good thing, but when you’re not winning. … We tried to shift our focus on more conditioning and being more physical. Practice has been really good this week, it’s probably been our best few days of practice we have had.”
The Panthers (1-2) will be hosting the Cougars in their first home game of the season in a game that will be played as a non-conference matchup.
After topping Creswell in its opener 30-20, Northside has scored only eight points in its last two games. Panthers’ coach Keith Boyd’s team is coming off of a bye week and said he used that time to work on the basics of the game.
“We got back to fundamentals and worked on being aggressive up front and blocking and tackling really hard,” Boyd said. “It gave us a week to go out and evaluate the things we have been doing good and not so good. … And the kids have responded very well.”
After three weeks of being on the road, Boyd said it will be good to get back home.
“It will be nice to play our first home game and be back where we practice everyday,” Boyd said. “It’s our home opener and we hope a lot of fans come out and watch. It will be nice for the kids not to have to get on a bus and travel.”