Vikes look to stay unbeaten

Published 9:41 pm Thursday, October 13, 2011

Heading into Week 9 of the prep football season, No. 4 Plymouth continues to ground and pound its way towards a Four Rivers Conference championship. With their win over Riverside, the Vikings improved to 7-0 (4-0) and are trailed in the Four Rivers Conference standings by No. 7 Manteo (6-1, 3-1) and Southside (4-3, 3-1), who are tied for second place in the standings. Despite the Southside’s head-to-head loss to Plymouth, it can still clinch a share of the conference crown if both teams finish with the same conference record.

The Seahawks will be in action tonight at home as they host South Creek who will be looking to snap a three game losing streak, while Manteo will be looking to keep pace with the Vikings and the Seahawks as it hosts Perquimans.

Sitting in third place in the conference are Riverside (3-4, 2-2) and Camden (2-5, 2-2). The Knights will play host to a Northside team that is still looking for its first win of the year, while the Bruins will entertain Plymouth. Here’s a look at the matchups:

South Creek (2-6, 1-3) at Southside (4-3, 3-1)

Southside rebounded from a tough 44-0 loss to Plymouth with a solid 48-20 victory over Perquimans and heads into Week 9 trying to sustain that momentum against an upstart South Creek squad.

The Seahawks’ ground attack as been devastating at times this season and last week the trio of Rokeem Miller, Johnnie Pender and Terrill Moore gashed the Pirates. Pender led the attack as he scored five touchdowns for Southside.

Seahawks coach DeWayne Kellum said that what makes that group so good is that there are quality backups behind them to keep the trio on their toes.

“We got three guys in the wings waiting to take their place, really,” Kellum said. “We put Nick Stokes in last week and he scored a touchdown on his first carry. … If they think they have the job because they are older and more comfortable, that’s not so, I’ll go with the other guys quick.”

Kellum was quick to credit his team for not committing any turnovers against Perquimans, but said cutting back on penalties is a must.

“We had no turnovers but we had 100 yards in penalties,” Kellum said. “That’s something we have to improve on.”

The margin for error will be slim against a South Creek team that is steadily improving.

“What I seen from them is that they are very big and very talented on both sides of the ball,” Kellum said. “They’re probably a step away from being the No. 1 team in the conference. The scores don’t indicate it, but (Cougars coach) Jeremy (Jones) has done a good job.”

Jones’ team heads into tonight’s matchup having lost its last three in a row, which includes a tough 15-12 loss to Camden last week in which the Cougars held a 12-7 lead with 1:47 left to go in the fourth quarter.

Jones knows his team must find a way to slow down the Southside ground game.

“They are explosive with good speed,” Jones said. “Terrill Moore is real fast and Johnnie Pender is probably the toughest kid we have in this conference, he will run over you and through you. Rokeem is a burner, they have three very physical backs.”

Through the use of their triple-option attack, the Cougars have some weapons as well and are capable of keeping pace with the Seahawks.

“The big thing is to be able to put their linebackers in a bind,” Jones said. “We can’t let those guys run down hill on us because they are big and physical. We have to be able to come out and mix it up on those guys and make them defend sideline to sideline.”

No. 4 Plymouth (7-0, 4-0) at Camden (2-5, 2-2)

The Vikings had their consecutive shutout streak ended at two games last week, but their win streak was extended to seven as Plymouth topped Riverside 44-26.

The Vikings have been extremely impressive on both sides of the ball, and though their offense is averaging an eye-popping 45 points per game, it was a defensive play that set the tone against Riverside.

The Knights were driving down the field early in the game and as WR Ramelle Lanier appeared to be headed for a score when Vikings’ Kizmel Norman ripped the ball from his hand and ran 45 yards the other way for a touchdown.

“Riverside played very well on Friday, they have a lot of big kids that were hard to block,” Plymouth coach Robert Cody said. “But I think Kizmel Norman turned the game around when he took the ball and ran it back the other way.”

On offense, aside from the talented stable of backs the Vikings’ boast, quarterback Sharmontez Ferebee has been extremely effective.

“He’s really been throwing the ball well,” Cody said. “He hit Chris Rogerson for two bombs last week.”

The Vikings will try to push their winning streak to eight tonight as they take on a Camden team that has topped Northside and South Creek to piece together a two-game winning streak.

Northside (0-6, 0-4) at Riverside (3-5, 2-2)

Riverside is looking to rebound from its 44-26 loss to Plymouth last Friday at home against a Northside team that seeks to put an end to its six-game slide.

The Knights’ defense has been a force all season, but head coach Asim McGill said his offense is starting to come around as well.

“In the last few weeks I think they have been playing better. We lost 44-26 to Plymouth but I still think we played a good game,” McGill said. “Offensively, it might be one of the best games we played all year, and the Friday night before that against Perquimans (a 54-0 victory) I thought we played pretty well too.”

McGill said his team is playing better than its 3-5 record would indicate.

“I told my kids that when I looked back at all our losses and at this point in the season all the teams we have lost to had a combined record of 30-5, and Washington has three of those five losses. I told the guys ‘We haven’t played a cupcake schedule.’”

The Panthers are coming off of a coming off of a tough 60-6 loss to No. 7 Manteo and now that slowing down the Knights will be a tough task.

“They’re big on both sides of the ball,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “They have some kids back on offense that make them really explosive and they can run real well. We’ll have to do a good job of trying to contain on defense and holding the ball on offense to keep it out of their hands.”