One final tune-up for area teams

Published 9:35 pm Thursday, September 6, 2012

Plymouth running back Lazarus Barrow and the Vikings will look to bounce back from their first loss of the season tonight when they host Rocky Mount Prep. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

The prep football season resumes tonight as Week 4 offers area teams the final chance to workout some kinks before conference play begins next Friday.
After winning two games in impressive fashion last week, Southside will look to keep the momentum going as it hosts Midway, while both Plymouth and South Creek will attempt to bounce back from Week 3 losses as the Vikings will host Rocky Mount Prep and the Cougars will travel to Northampton County.
Here’s a look at the matchups:

Midway (2-1) at Southside (2-1)
Southside made it through a grueling five-day stretch last week as it topped Creswell 42-0 on Monday before traveling to Pamlico and beating the Hurricanes 20-8 in the Fossil Bowl.
It was an outstanding week by the Seahawks defense as it combined to allow a mere eight points in two games that were so close together on the calendar.
Tonight, the Seahawks will clash with a Midway team (Tri-County Conference) that has been hot of late as well. The Raiders won a 62-30 shootout with Princeton in Week 2 before blowing by Rosewood 44-7 last Friday.
Both teams enter tonight’s matchup riding two-game winning streaks and whichever team can clamp down on defense and avoid turnovers will likely be the one to extend its streak.

Rocky Mount Prep (0-3) at Plymouth (2-1)
Sometimes an early season loss can be the best thing that can happen to a promising football team and Plymouth coach Robert Cody is hoping that is the case as his Vikings look to rebound from their 18-14 defeat at the hands of Edenton.
“It was two good teams battling, and I tell you what, I thought we took a lot out of that game,” Cody said. “I think we’re better now than we were last week, I can tell you that.”
With the expectations sky-high at Plymouth this season, Cody is hoping that a well-fought loss can humble and refocus his team as it heads into its Week 4 matchup with Rocky Mount Prep.
The Jaguars travel to Plymouth with an 0-3 record and have been outscored by opponents 195-14 this season. In Week 3 Rocky Mount Prep fell 64-0 to Northampton-East, and aside from that, Cody said he does not know much about the Jags.
The long-time Vikings coach has not seen game film of RMP and said that this week’s practices were all about Plymouth.
“I don’t know much about them,” Cody said. “I’m really just trying to make my team better this week and clean up some of the errors that we had last week.”

South Creek (1-2) at Northampton (2-1)
It’s been a tough two weeks for South Creek as it lost 54-6 to North Pitt before it fell 37-0 to Martin County rival Riverside in the Battle for the Paddle last Friday.
The Cougars’ Week 3 loss to the Knights was both frustrating and encouraging to coach Jeremy Jones as his receivers were able to get open but could not hang on to the ball as the team finished the game with seven dropped passes.
“We were close on offense. We had some dropped passes and some touchdowns called back because of penalties,” Jones said. “The passing game was there, we just dropped passes.”
The path does not get much easier to trek for the Cougars as they look to bounce back on the road tonight against a Northampton County team that has outscored opponents 120-0 in its two wins that were sandwiched between a 32-2 loss to Plymouth.
As South Creek prepares for Northampton Jones’ main concern is the mindset of his team.
“We had one big turnover (against Riverside) that kind of turned the whole thing around and the most frustrating part was going back to that mentality that we’ve seen in the last couple of years where if things don’t go right they get upset and kind of hang their heads,” Jones said. “They need to pick up their heads and fight.”
Northampton is a physical team that is powered by a versatile option offense that can run both spread and under center schemes and will be tough to stop.
Jones said one of the biggest keys to tonight’s game is how the team plays in the first quarter.
“We have to get off to a good start. We have to go into that first quarter and make it a ball game,” Jones said. “If we can do that than we can have a pretty good night. If we’re down, then we just have to fight that mentality and stand up and fight.”