Rivals clash in Week 3

Published 4:33 pm Thursday, September 5, 2013

Northside quarterback Malik Slade (right) and the Panthers will host rival Southside tonight when the two teams kick off at 7 p.m. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Northside quarterback Malik Slade (right) and the Panthers will host rival Southside tonight when the two teams kick off at 7 p.m. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

The second week of the prep season was harsh on area teams as Southside fell 41-24 to Rosewood, Northside was blanked by North Duplin 28-0, South Creek fell 40-12 to North Pitt and Plymouth downed Riverside 44-6. However, Week 3 offers a chance for four of those teams to take out their frustration as tonight’s slate is loaded with rivalry games.
The Seahawks will head to Pinetown to take on the arch-nemesis Panthers in search of their first win of the season, while the Knights will look to rebound against a Cougars team that heads to Williamston dead set on earning their first ever win over Riverside in the annual Battle for the Paddle.
Meanwhile, Plymouth is hoping to continue where it left off last week as the defending state champs travel to Edenton to play an Aces team that racked up 61 points in their win over Perquimans.
Here’s a look at the matchups.

Southside (0-2) at Northside (1-1) at 7 p.m.
Area and Coastal Plains rivals Northside and Southside will battle tonight in a game that is expected to be a heated contest. Both teams are coming off tough losses and will be looking to put that behind them with a win.
“I hope we will rebound from Friday night and come back and do well,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “It’s a county rival and I know (Southside) is looking for a win and I’m hoping we will be up for it and get back on track.”
After their Week 2 loss to Rosewood, Seahawks first-year coach Jeff Carrow hinted that there could be some shakeups on the defensive side of the ball and earlier this week said he was playing close attention to the unit after it allowed 42 points last Friday.
Midweek storms following Labor Day weekend has wreaked havoc on both team’s practice schedule, however, both coaches are familiar with each other’s style of play thanks to preseason exhibitions against each other. That knowledge will come in handy during tonight’s rivalry game, which does not count against their conference records.
“They’re athletic in key spots. They are a solid team to play against, they really are,” Carrow said. “I think we both know what each other is bringing to the table. It’s always interesting as coaches to see what we tweak each time and what new things we throw at each other.”
Boyd said he expects Seahawks to do what they always does when the two teams meet: bring their A game.
“This team plays hard and they get after it the same way they always have in the past,” Boyd said. “I think the transition over there has been pretty smooth and Jeff is going to do a really good job.”
The key for Northside this week is ball security, as the Panthers cannot afford to have a repeat performance of Week 2 where they committed four turnovers against North Duplin.
“We’ve addressed it and we just have to hold on to the football,” Boyd said. “We can’t give a team four extra chances to put it in the end zone. I felt like if we didn’t have those turnovers the outcome could have been a little different.”
Southside’s offense improved last week as Dylan Lewis ran for 91 yards and a score, QB Donshae Miller ran for TD, while Isaiah Moore caught a touchdown pass from Johnny Sullivan.
“It was just better execution. Plain and simple,” Carrow said. “We were able to get into a rhythm with our play calling.
“… (Tonight) we have to tackle, execute on offense and overall just be more aggressive. We have to play four quarters of football because this is going to be good game.”

South Creek (1-1) at Riverside (1-1) at 7:30 p.m.
The Knights suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of Plymouth last week and will look to bounce back tonight when it hosts the Cougars in the fourth annual Battle for the Paddle.
Riverside hung with Plymouth early until it failed to convert a key fourth down attempt and from that point on the Vikings sailed. However, Knights coach Asim McGill said he was pleased with the effort turned in by his players in the second half.
South Creek coach Jeremy Jones can relate. His Cougars got behind early during their 40-12 loss to North Pitt, but managed to finish the game with a spirited effort.
With players like Riverside’s J.J. Wilson and South Creek’s Rondrell Andrews, both teams feel like they have talented skill players, but McGill felt like the war will be won by the offensive and defensive lines.
“I think we have to control the line of scrimmage,” McGill said. “Whoever wins the game up front will win the game. I think South Creek’s skill guys are as good as our skill guys, so I think they will cancel each other out. It’s going to be a matter who wins the battle in the trenches.”
Jones, whose Cougars have failed to beat the Knights in their six previous meetings, feels his team’s speed will be the key to snapping its skid.
“I think we have the edge in skill players and speed, but they definetly have more size then we do,” Jones said. “We just can’t let them control the clock and pound us and beat us to death up front.
“We have to win on the edge to beat them. We’ll find some yardage up the middle but we’re not going to beat them that way, it’s going to have to be on the outside.”

Plymouth (1-0) at Edenton (1-1) at 7:30 p.m.
The Vikings had a strong 2013 debut as they topped Riverside 44-6 in Week 2. After graduating its entire starting backfield from last year’s state championship team, Plymouth’s new edition of runners picked right up where the old ones left off last season as Demarkice Price rushed for 89 yards and a score, Rafael Liriano had 43 yards and a TD, while Chad Dance tallied 81 yards. First-year starting quarterback Malik Webb threw a touchdown pass and ran for another to lead the Vikes to a win in their season opener.
Defensively, Plymouth was equally strong as it limited a dangerous Knights team to six points and senior safety Adrian Moore returned and interception 70 yards for a touchdown.
Plymouth will look to win its second straight tonight against an Edenton team (NE Coastal Conference) that fell 27-23 to West Craven in Week 1 before routing Perquimans 61-0 last Friday.