Area football teams back in action

Published 8:04 pm Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tonight a few area teams will get a chance to shake off the rust after having a long layoff brought about by Hurricane Irene. Hitting the gridiron in Four Rivers Conference action will be Southside, Plymouth, Riverside and South Creek. Northside, who has a bye tonight, will be off for the second straight week. The Panthers where scheduled to take on Washington last Friday, but that game was canceled due to the affects of Hurricane Irene.
The only area teams that did play a Week 3 game were Martin County rivals South Creek and Riverside, who squared off in the second annual Battle for Paddle on Monday night. The Knights 33-6 won that contest.
That game forced a short week for both teams, as Riverside will head to Washington to take on the Pam Pack, while South Creek will host Northampton-East.
Plymouth, who cancelled its Week 3 game with Edenton, will host Northampton-West, while Southside, whose game with Pamlico was scrapped, will play at Midway. Here’s a look at the Week 4 matchups:

Southside (1-1) at Midway (1-2, Tri-County)
After playing two games, Southside’s season was stalled by the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. The Seahawks have had limited practice time and coach Dwayne Kellum wasn’t exactly thrilled with the team’s effort when they were on the field.
“The turnout was good but it wasn’t a very good practice,” Kellum said.  “We had a good JV practice, but not a very good varsity practice.”
The Seahawks opened the season with a tough 27-6 loss to North Duplin, but bounced back to beat Creswell 31-24 the next week. However, with so much time off, the Seahawks feel like they have lost some momentum.
“We’re not a very good team yet, we’re still not playing good football. We got better during the Creswell game but we still made too many miscues,” Kellum said. “Us taking a week off is like starting all over again, plus we still have five starters that couldn’t practice (Tuesday) because of injuries. We’re still not reading the right keys and being aggressive enough.”
Kellum did say there were some things he liked about the last time his crew was out on the field against the Tigers.
“We fought back from being behind and worked our way into a lead and held the lead,” Kellum said.
The challenges kept mounting for Kellum, as he could not get game film of Midway as of the middle of the week.
“We got no film, we called five or six people trying to get film and I called the school twice and had not heard from them,” Kellum said.
Kellum could not remember a time where he did not have game film leading into a game during his tenure as a head coach.
The Seahawks skipper said the bottom line is that his team has to do a better job executing the basics.
“It doesn’t matter who we line up against if we don’t do a better job of tackling and holding on to the ball on offense,” Kellum said.

Northampton-West (0-2, Tar-Roanoke) at Plymouth (2-0)
Plymouth has gotten off to a great start this season, as the Vikings and Manteo are the only two teams left in the Four Rivers Conference without a loss.
Plymouth edged past Farmville-Central 26-21, then moved on to blow by Northampton-East 60-22 in Week 2. The Vikings Week 3 game with Edenton was cancelled, giving the team a little bit of a break before its Week 4 clash with Northampton-West.
The Hurricanes have gotten off to a rough start as they have scored only six points in two games. In Week 1, they fell 42-6 to Roanoke Rapids, while in Week 2 they lost 14-0 to Northwest Halifax.
Northampton-West will have to get its offense going if it wants to keep up with a potent Vikings’ offense that is led by running backs Kendrick Pitt, Devonte Bland and Quadry Pettiford.

Northampton-East (0-2, Tar Roanoke) at South Creek (0-3)
After falling 33-6 to rival Riverside in the Battle for the Paddle on Monday, the Cougars will look to bounce back tonight against another winless team in Northampton-East, who is coming off of a 60-22 thrashing by Plymouth in Week 2.
The Cougars show flashes of potential each week, but need to string it all together in order to pick up its first win in the second-year school’s history.
After being moved back to quarterback, senior Reginald Parker is a threat to throw or run on any snap and the Cougars will need him to continue to do a nice job if they want to win tonight.
South Creek began the season with a 56-6 to North Edgecombe, before falling to 41-6 to North Pitt in Week 2.