Torrential rain wreaks havoc on prep schedule|Northside, Riverside postpone games

Published 7:52 pm Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sports Writer

Severe rain storms have had a severe affect on the Week 7 prep schedule as both Riverside and Northside have postponed their respective games.
As of deadline, Riverside’s matchup with Camden had been moved to Monday at 7 p.m., while Northside’s clash with Perquimans was still up in the air.
As of Thursday, Southside (5-0, 1-0) was still on course to take on defending Four Rivers Conference champions Manteo on the road, while fourth-ranked Plymouth was still slated to battle South Creek.
Here is a look at the matchups:
Perquimans (3-2, 1-0) at Northside (2-3, 0-1) (TBA)
After falling to Plymouth 47-0 in its Four Rivers Conference opener, which was played on Monday, Northside may not mind having an extra day or two to prepare for Perquimans. At the very least, the Panthers gained some experience playing in the rain, as their Monday’s contest was a wet one.
Northside runs a majority of its play out of the shotgun formation, and coach Keith Boyd said that playing in inclement weather was a tough adjustment.
“I thought (the rain) hurt us because we are more of a shotgun team. We do go under center a little bit, but we are starting to try and throw it more and the weather kind of kept us one-dimensional,” Boyd said. “We just had trouble matching up, Plymouth is well-deserving of its No. 4 state ranking … We played a good football team and you can’t blame it on the weather or anything else.”
On top of the shortened week, the rain has played havoc with the team’s practice schedule.
“We have been able to practice one day for Perquimans,” Boyd said. “We played Plymouth on Monday, we got to go a little bit on Tuesday and Wednesday everything was cancelled. Right now we are in limbo of what to do.”
When Boyd and his team finally do get on the field the coach said he expects a good matchup.
“I think when we play it will be a really good game,” Boyd said. “Both teams are similar. It’s a game where it will be important to see which team allows what’s been happening all week to affect their mindset. Both teams are not able to get out there and do what they normally do, but when the weather clears it will come down to which team is more mentally ready.”
South Creek (0-5, 0-1) at Plymouth (5-0, 0-1)
After scoring only six points in its first three games, South Creek has elevated its play in the last two weeks. Tweaking his practice routine to add more intensity, Cougars’ coach Jeremy Jones nearly knocked off Northside in Week 5, but fell 40-33. Last week, the South Creek hosted Perquimans and came within five points of its first win in school history as it lost 12-8.
Jones, who is in his first year as a head coach, said his team is starting to grasp its new schemes on offense and defense.
“Most teams are where we are now in July,” Jones said. “So I think our guys are just starting to come around and understand it.”
Jones felt the result of the game last week could have been different if the team did not have so many penalties in the red zone.
His team will have to be virtually mistake-free tonight as it faces one of the hottest teams in the conference in Plymouth, who rolled past Northside 47-0 in a rain-filled game that was postponed to Monday due to the observance of the passing of principal May Wilkins.
With their ground-based wing-T attack, the fourth-ranked Vikings are well suited to play in the mud.
“It didn’t hurt on Monday,” Plymouth coach Robert Cody said. “We did pretty good on Monday in the rain. We were able to hang on to the ball and that’s the big thing.”
Cody noted the transition of South Creek’s offense and said he is fearful of when the Cougars fully put it all together.
“They’re in a transition from the wing-T offense into the option game,” Cody said. “It could take off at any time so we have to be careful of that on Friday.”
Riverside (5-0, 1-0) at Camden (1-4, 0-1) (moved to 7 p.m. Monday night)
The Knights kept their perfect season intact last week as it out-scored Manteo 26-6 in the second half to pick up a 34-12 victory in their conference opener. That win not only allowed Riverside to stay on par with the other elite teams in the conference, but also paved the way for it to a take a No. 8 ranking in the state.
“Manteo was the conference champions last year and anytime you can compete with the conference champions that’s big,” Riverside head coach Asim McGill said.
Having pulled out second half victories in three of the team’s five wins, the Knights are beginning to establish themselves as a team that has a knack for clutch performances.
Riverside topped Ayden-Grifton 28-21 in its season opener on a last-second TD reception, then used big second halves to pick up wins versus North Pitt and Manteo.
Lost in the shadows of the Knight’s explosive offense is the effort by its defense, which has only let up 24 points in the last three games.
That Knights defense will need to play at an elite level once again this week, as Riverside may be without its star receiver K.J. Brown who got hurt in the third quarter of the Manteo game.
“As of now K.J.’s status is still unknown and he is still being evaluated,” McGill said earlier in the week. “(If he can’t play) what we would probably do is make a few adjustments and move some guys from one position to another … There are some guys that can play but might be stuck behind another guy who plays a lot.”
McGill said the key to a successful outing against Camden will be to limit turnovers and play good defense.
“They run a lot of wishbone and option, they are going to want to run the ball right at you,” McGill said. “We just have to go out and eliminate mistakes. We can’t have turnovers or missed assignments. We have to control the things that we can control: Hard work and hustle.”
Southside (5-0, 0-1) at Manteo (3-2, 0-1)
The Seahawks opened up conference play in style as they pieced together a strong effort against Camden, winning 29-19 to maintain their share of first place with Plymouth and Riverside.
“I was happy with our balance,” Southside coach DeWayne Kellum said. “We had about 100 yards passing and over 400 yards rushing. Our defense did a great job against the option. We got a little slacked in the passing game, but we kept everything in front of us except one play.”
More impressive is that Southside did it all without star quarterback Terrell Moore, who has missed the last two weeks with an ankle injury. Taking his place behind center has been running Jordan Benston, while sophomore running back Rahkeem Miller has filled in at Benston’s vacant RB spot.
“Both of them have looked better each game,” Kellum said.
Kellum said Moore is running at about 80 percent, but the heavy rain has kept the team from practicing and the coach from evaluating.
“We have not had much time to practice all week. We had an hour or so the other day, but we haven’t been able to practice much,” Kellum said. “That’s what scares me.”
What also had Kellum concerned was Manteo’s team speed.
“A lot of teams run the option but Manteo is fast, a lot faster than Camden,” Kellum said. “They hit the holes and get after it. They do the same thing on defense, they come at you hard. I’ve been really impressed with them.”
Kellum said that execution will be a big factor when his team takes the field.
“I think timing (will be a big issue) and how all this all this lack of practice affects us,” Kellum said. “Our offense is a timing offense, but we are going to load up and come after them with all we got.”