Four Rivers action heats up in Week 7

Published 8:19 pm Thursday, September 29, 2011

The action in the Four Rivers conference ratcheted up this week as Southside stunned No. 6 Manteo to hand the Redskins their first loss of the season on Monday night.
The defeat dropped Manteo to No. 7 in the 1-A rankings, but did not garner the Seahawks a spot in the top ten. However, if they can take down No. 4 Plymouth tonight, it might change a few of the voter’s minds.
The undefeated Vikings have been stellar all season and are tied atop the Four Rivers Conference standings with Southside, but that will change for one of those teams after tonight.
Meanwhile, the Redskins will look to bounce back from that loss to the Seahawk against South Creek, who had its two-game win streak stopped by Plymouth.
On Monday, Riverside got back on track as it broke a two-game losing skid to top Camden and earn its first conference win of the season. The Knights will take on a Perquimans team that broke its five-game losing streak in Week 6 with its win over Northside. Both the Knights and the Pirates will fight tonight for their second Four Rivers Conference victory.
Northside will look to bounce back from that defeat, as it will take on the conference’s only other winless team in Camden.
Here’s a look at the matchups:

Southside (3-2, 2-0) at
No. 4 Plymouth (5-0, 2-0)
This Week 7 matchup pits two of the area’s hottest teams against each other in a fight for first place atop the Four Rivers Conference.
Southside heads to Plymouth fresh off a 24-22 win over No. 6 Manteo and will look to slay another ranked opponent tonight when faces the No. 4 Vikings.
That will be no easy task as Plymouth has been on fire all season as it is averaging an astounding 46.4 points per game. The Vikings are coming off of a 44-0 win over South Creek and in their last three games have out-scored opponents 146-24.
Aside from having a fantastic rushing attack, the young Plymouth defense led by DT Mike Witt and LBs Kemon Blount, Carl McCray and Deandre Phelps has been sharp all season.
“Defensively, our coaches have done a heck-of-a job preparing the players,” Plymouth coach Robert Cody said. “We have freshmen and sophomores playing all over the place and we have put them in the right places. We have a lot of team speed, but we will find out tonight how much speed we got with Southside coming to town. They like to get in that T and pound teams; we’ll find out how tough we are.”
That T formation led to a terrific rushing performance by running backs Terrill Moore, Rokeem Miller and Johnnie Pender, and the Vikings can expect to see a lot of it tonight.
“When people are faster than you the best thing you can do is run right at them,” Southside coach DeWayne Kellum said. “When our offensive line and running backs carry out their blocks it’s a good offense for us to be in.”
Plymouth will strike with its run-heavy wing-T formation and Kellum said his defense, which played phenomenal against Manteo, will have to duplicate that effort against the Vikings.
“What they’ll do is run you to death and pound you, then they will send a guy out who can flat-fly and the quarterback will throw it as far as he needs to,” Kellum said. “I’ve seen them make some good catches against good teams so you just have to play honest football.”

Perquimans (1-5, 1-1) at Riverside (2-4, 1-1)
On Monday, the Knights earned their first conference win of the year by topping Camden 12-7. Tonight, the team will look to make it two in a row when it hosts a Perquimans team that busted a five-game losing streak with 42-8 victory over Northside
Riverside has been stingy on defense as it has twice held teams under 10 points. However, the offense hasn’t always been as consistent. That unit will receive a big boost tonight with the returns of WDN All-Area WR Ramelle Lanier, who returns to action after missing a few weeks with an injury. The speedy Lanier, along with 6-8 WR Marcus Freeman, can present opposing defenses with tremendous matchup issues.
Riverside head coach Asim McGill said that Lanier’s absence has strengthened the team because helped some inexperienced players see more action.
“I think what happened was that we had some guys step up in his absence,” McGill said. “Now that he’s back, that will make us better because all those guys got repetitions. I think offensively, it gives us a chance to turn the corner.”
The Pirates like to run a triple-option offense and McGill said the key to slowing them down is to play disciplined football.
“It’s all about assignment and alignment,” McGill said. “If you’re assignment is the quarterback than you have to take the quarterback, if you’re assigned the pitch than you have to take the pitch.”

Northside (0-4, 0-2) at Camden (0-5, 0-2)
Tonight figures to be one of the most hard fought games on the Four Rivers schedule as it pits the two remaining winless teams against one another, and make no mistake about it, each team is looking at tonight as their best chance to get a W.
Northside had a tough loss on Monday as it fell 42-8 to hand Perquimans its first win of the season, and there is no doubt the Panthers don’t want to do that for the second week in a row.
“Everybody wants to get that monkey off their back,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “It’s going come down to the team that is better fundamentally.”
The Bruins run an option offense and Boyd said execution will be critical for his Panthers.
“They’re going to run the veer at you and you have to play assignment football,” Boyd said. “We’re going to have to be up to the task and find a way to move the football and stay away from the penalties. If we can tackle well on defense and get some first downs on offense we feel like we can be right in there.”

South Creek (2-3, 1-1) at No. 6 Manteo (4-1, 1-1)
After winning two in a row, South Creek had its winning streak snapped when it lost to No. 4 Plymouth 44-0 on Monday after trailing only 16-0 at halftime. The schedule doesn’t get much easier this week as it must play at No. 6 Manteo, who will be out to remove the bad taste left in its mouth from its loss to Southside.
“(Manteo) is licking their wounds a little bit and I’m sure they’re going to come out looking to prove something,” South Creek coach Jeremy Jones said. “But, we played a ball game with Plymouth; it was a football game … We didn’t really give up a big play all night long.”
The Cougars’ defense will have to build on that effort as it squares off against a run-heavy Redskins’ offense.
“Offensively, Manteo has a lot of formations and that’s the big thing in a short week,” Jones said. “They run the same things out the different formations, it’s just in a three-day span trying to teach them how to lineup correctly against them.”
South Creek will try to counter with its rushing attack. Leading up to the Plymouth game, the Cougars have been running the ball well, but on Monday that production slipped.
“We were without one of our running backs and that kind of hurt us a little bit,” Jones said. “We’re just going to have to come out and have the backs hit the holes harder.”