Red-hot Vikes to battle Knights

Published 4:13 pm Thursday, October 6, 2011

It was another week and another win for Plymouth as the fourth-ranked Vikings continue to steamroll past opponents as they blanked Southside to maintain sole possession of first place in the Four Rivers Conference.
Plymouth heads into Week 8 holding one-game leads over Manteo and Riverside, and technically a two-game lead over Southside because the Vikings won their head-to-head matchup.
Tonight, Plymouth will look to maintain that perfect record as it hosts Riverside, who pitched a shutout against Perquimans on Monday.
Southside will look to rebound from its Week 7 loss as it takes on a struggling Perquimans team, while South Creek will host Camden and No. 7 Manteo will be at Northside. Here’s a look at the matchups.

Riverside (3-4, 2-1) at No. 4 Plymouth (6-0, 3-0)
Perhaps no 1-A team in the state is playing better than Plymouth is right now as the Vikings head into their home clash with rival Riverside having pitched back-to-back shutouts in their last two games and are coming off of a 44-0 victory over Southside.
“I thought our linebackers did really well against (Southside’s) T formation,” Plymouth coach Robert Cody said. “The defensive line stayed down and we tackled well.”
The Vikings offense has been just as good as they have outscored opponents 140-6 in their last three games.
Riverside is coming off a big win itself as it topped Perquimans 54-0 in a game that began on Friday and finished on Monday after heavy rain forced a break in the action.
Tonight’s battle features two teams that have been very successful in the Four Rivers Conference over the last few years and the contest figures to be an intense one.
“They’re ranked fourth in the state and we got to play them in their backyard, it’s definitely a measuring stick game.” McGill said. “It’s a big game between two rival schools.”
The Knights have been consistently good on defense, but their offense has had some up and down performances this season. While Riverside has scored over 30 points twice this season, it has been held under 14 points four times.
That offense has had to deal with some injuries but with WR Ramelle Lanier’s Week 7 return to action, the unit, which also features big RB Jadarian Brown and 6-8 WR Marcus Freeman, has potential to score 30-plus on anybody.
“We have to stop their jet sweep and the counter to the back side,” said Plymouth coach Robert Cody.
McGill said the key for his team is to complete its drives.
“We have to control the clock and score, we can’t drive down the field and get in the red zone and come out with no points,” McGill said. “When you play Plymouth if you don’t take advantage of your opportunities before you know it you will be down 14-0.”

Southside (3-3, 2-1) at Perquimans (1-6, 1-2)
A week after putting together one of its best games of the year in its 24-22 win over then-No. 6 Manteo, Southside failed to capitalize on that momentum as it fell 44-0 to No. 4 Plymouth.
The Seahawks moved the ball early, but failures inside the red zone extinguished any chance they had of an upset.
“Plymouth’s a good team that will smack you in the mouth, but we can’t compare to them when we make 85-yard drives and them fumble the ball,” Southside coach DeWayne Kellum said. “We could have made that ball game a lot better than what it was, that was real disappointing.”
Southside will look to get back on track tonight when it plays a Perquimans team that has had its share of struggles this season. One week after earning their first win of the season by topping Northside 42-8, the Pirates got slammed by Riverside 54-0 in a game that started Friday and was finished Monday due to rain.
Kellum said though Perquimans is young, it still has some very dangerous players.
“I’m really impressed with their fullback/middle linebacker,” Kellum said. “And they have a wide receiver in No. 15 that is really tough too.”

Camden (1-5, 1-2) at South Creek (2-5, 1-2)
After winning back-to-back games, South Creek hit the hardest part of its schedule as the Cougars had to play No. 4 Plymouth and No. 7 Manteo in consecutive weeks. That stretch didn’t bold well for the upstart Cougars as they were outscored a combined 97-8, with their lone touchdown coming as a result of a good defensive play.
“There can be a little bit of an intimidation factor when you face teams like that back-to-back,” South Creek coach Jeremy Jones said. “We got off the bus at Manteo and we had about five or six guys that were ready to play and that weren’t afraid of the name on the jersey, but the rest of us … We’re trying to get to that level but they have to understand that you don’t have to do anything special, you just have to do what you do.”
The Cougars will look to get back to doing what they do tonight at home against a Camden team that has also struggled this year. The Bruins earned their first victory of the season with a 34-16 win over Northside last week and will try to make it two in a row versus South Creek.
While Camden’s record is weak, Jones said he is by no means looking past the Bruins.
“I have a lot of respect for (Camden coach) Scott Jones. We have some good coaches in the league, but I feel like he does more with less every year,” Jones said.
The Cougars’ offense has not posted a score in two games and Jones said that tonight the unit must step up its effort.
“We have to come out and finish drives,” Jones said. “We can move the ball from the 20 to 20 … We have to keep ourselves in manageable situations. We have to get it to second-and-6 and third-and-2 and when we get to the goal line we can’t blow the first play.”

No. 7 Manteo (5-1, 2-1) at Northside (0-5, 0-3)
Northside’s quest for its first win will not get any easier as the Panthers will host No. 7 Manteo tonight. The young Panthers have been competitive in games, but have not been able to string together a complete one so far this season.
The Panthers have lost five straight and are coming off of a 34-16 loss that handed Perquimans its first win of the year.
“I saw some good things, it was 13-8 going into the third quarter,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said of loss to the Pirates. “Then we just kind of ran out of gas in the end.”
Boyd knows tonight he will have his hands full against a top-notch Redskins team.
“They’re playing with a lot of juniors and seniors and they’re all pretty good,” Boyd said. “They’ve had some kids hurt the last few games but they’re playing with a full deck right now. Their fullback is a pretty darn good player.”
Boyd said the key for his team is to control the clock.
“We have to go out there and get first downs,” Boyd said. “We want to keep the ball out of their hands and that’s how we can hang with them. We have to grind it out and get a few scores.”