Four Rivers teams still trying to figure it out
Published 9:32 pm Thursday, September 22, 2011
As the halfway point of the prep season nears there are plenty of Four Rivers Conference teams that are still trying to figure itself out.
One week after Midway used a late rally to sink Southside, the Seahawks mounted a fourth-quarter comeback of their own to beat Camden and earn their first conference win of the year.
Riverside heads into Week 6 in search of its first conference victory as it takes on Camden, a team that is still looking for its first win.
Also searching for their first victory of the year are Northside and Perquimans, who will face each other tonight.
South Creek’s stock has risen in the last two weeks as it went from being a winless program to piecing together a two-game win streak. That streak will be in jeopardy tonight as the Cougars take on No. 4 Plymouth, who seems to get better each week. Here is a look at the matchups:
No. 4 Plymouth (4-0, 1-0) at South Creek (2-3, 1-0)
With its 52-6 victory over Northside last Friday, Plymouth moved up one spot in the poll from No. 5 to No. 4. The Vikings will look to keep that momentum going tonight when they play against a scrappy South Creek team that is gaining confidence by the minute. One week after the Cougars snapped their 14-game losing streak with a 24-20 win over Northampton-East, they came out and pieced together a 45-30 victory over Perquimans.
In its first three games of the year South Creek tallied a total of 18 points, while in their last two games it has racked up 69. Cougars coach Jeremy Jones said the offensive explosion has been aided by a few key adjustments in the backfield.
“We felt like our defense played good enough to win against Riverside (in Week 3), but we couldn’t establish the run. So we looked back and said we have to find something,” Jones said. “We basically took a wingback and put him in the backfield, so we have two backs back there now. The last two games we have run for 250-plus yards in both games.”
Jones and his Cougars still run their offense out of the shotgun, but the added back helps in pass protection and provides a lead blocker on running plays. The rushing attack has been led by Dreshawn Ampley, Martel Farmer, Tyree Manning and quarterback Reggie Parker.
Running the football will be critical for both teams tonight as the Vikings have one of the best rushing attacks in the area.
While the Cougars have seen a spike in offensive production, so has the Vikings as they have out-scored opponents 102-24 in their last two games.
No. 6 Manteo (4-0, 1-0) at Southside (2-2, 1-0)
Down 35-20 at halftime to Camden, coach DeWayne Kellum and his Seahawks refused to lose their second straight as they mounted a 21-7 fourth-quarter rally to overtake the Bruins.
Southside’s rushing attack, led by Terrill Moore, Johnnie Pender and Rokeem Miller seems to get better each week. Last Friday, Moore scored on runs of 40, 2 and 34 yards, respectively, while Pender galloped from 1 and 45 yards out to score twice. Running back Rokeem Miller helped score the game-winning touchdown, but with his arm not his legs, as he hit K.J. Rouse for a 44-yard TD pass.
As a unit, the Seahawks rushed for 331 yards as Moore accounted for 152, while Pender tallied 128.
Defensively, James Jones led the charge as he racked up eight tackles. Willie Moore was also a factor as he accrued two sacks.
The Seahawks will have to play each quarter like their last one against Camden as they face a traditionally tough Manteo team that is ranked No. 6 in the state.
Camden (0-4, 0-1) at Riverside (1-4, 0-1)
Like a lot of the other Four Rivers Conference teams, Riverside is looking for the moment when it all comes together. Knights’ head coach Asim McGill has gotten consistent play from his defense, while on offense they have shown moments of brilliance but have not been able to sustain them.
It its last time out, Riverside held No. 6 Manteo to only 14 points, but failed to score.
“Defensively they have been playing great all year. Last Friday Mario Moore did a great job for us and so did Thurman Collier,” McGill said. “When you look at the stats, we gave up six first downs total for the whole game and gave up less than 200 yards of total offense.”
McGill said the offense needs to do a better job finishing its drives.
“Offensively, we moved the ball well. From the 20 to 20 we did a good job,” McGill said. “We just got into the red zone and could not capitalize. … We just got to keep practicing hard everyday. … In 2008 we started off 2-5 then won eight in a row and made it to the state championship game. It’s a long season.”
For the second week in a row Riverside will face an option attack and as both the Bruins and the Knights seek their first conference win, tonight’s game should be an intense one.
“They come into this game having not won a game and we come in having only won one,” McGill said. “Both teams are hungry, I think it will be a hard fought football game.”
Northside (0-3, 0-1) at Perquimans (0-5, 0-1)
After its game with Washington was cancelled due to the affects of Hurricane Irene and then having a bye the next week, Northside had a long layoff before its 52-6 loss to then-No. 5 Plymouth.
Heading into Week 6, the Panthers are back to a normal schedule as they take on another struggling team in Perquimans.
Northside coach Keith Boyd said both teams have had similar issues this season.
“Well, we kind of mirror each other,” Boyd said. “We both have winless records, we’re both filled with youth; they have a lot of young kids, so do we. But, they are pretty athletic and that’s the thing that worries me a little bit. Trying to match their athleticism is a little tough right now but we have some schemes we think can work and the kids are excited to go out and play them.”
Boyd said a victory over Perquimans, which lost 45-30 to South Creek last Friday, would go a long way with his young team.
“We’ve had rough year as far as the storm and losing a game. The (Week 2) Pamlico game (a 34-28 loss) we were right on the verge of winning and a win right now would be really good for this young team,” Boyd said. “We’re just trying to find ways to win, and if we don’t, we’re trying to stay positive about the things we’re doing good. It’s a learning process.”