Area teams to play key conference contests

Published 8:01 pm Thursday, October 24, 2013

Riverside quarterback Clay Wagner (left) hands off to J.J. Wilson (1) during a game earlier this year. Tonight, the Knights will take on Tarboro on the road at 7:30 p.m. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Riverside quarterback Clay Wagner (left) hands off to J.J. Wilson (1) during a game earlier this year. Tonight, the Knights will take on Tarboro on the road at 7:30 p.m. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

Week 10 of the prep season features some pivotal conference matchups as the No. 2 Plymouth Vikings will slug it out with Camden for the Atlantic Conference lead, while Riverside will clash with Tarboro for No. 1 spot in the Two Rivers Conference.
Southside, who picked up its first Coastal Plains win of the year last week, will battle an East Carteret team that is still searching for its first conference win.
Northside suffered its first CPL loss in Week 9 and will host a hungry Jones Senior team that has yet to win a game this season.
It’s also a big night for South Creek, who will look to elevate out of the Two Rivers Conference basement against a Rocky Mount team that is attempting to do the same.
He’s a look at the matchups.

Southside (3-5, 1-1 Two Rivers) at East Carteret (3-5, 0-2 Coastal Plains) at 7 p.m.
The Seahawks picked up their first Coastal Plains Conference win of the season last week as they held off a hard-charging Jones Senior team to hold on to a 38-34 victory.
Southside will attempt to win its second straight and fourth of its last five games tonight against the Mariners, who have lost three straight.
“East Carteret is a solid, well coached team,” Southside coach Jeff Carrow said. “They like to start out with the wing-T but they can spread it and throw the ball a little bit. They have a pretty sound quarterback and he can throw the ball pretty well.”
The Seahawks rushed for 261 yards last week as Dylan Lewis ran for 121 yards and a score, while Isaac Harrell gained 105 yards and touchdown. Remarkably, Southside fumbled seven times against the Trojans and recovered all of them.
Tonight, the Seahawks must maintain its potent ground game while improving on ball security.
“We have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot and cut back on turnovers,” Carrow said. “We’re a solid team and we’re putting up decent numbers offensively, we just have to hang on to the ball.”

Jones Senior (0-8, 0-2 Coastal Plains) at Northside (4-4, 1-1 Coastal Plains) 7 p.m.
The mood was somber after the Panthers lost a hard-hitting 21-10 contest to Pamlico, but the team bounced back this week in practice and placed its focus squarely on tonight’s matchup with Jones Senior.
“They were hurt, but that’s a good thing because it shows they care,” Northside coach Keith Boyd said. “Over the weekend we all kind of shook it off and we had some good practices.
“We felt like we played well, we just had a few little hiccups here and there on offense, but overall we felt like it was one of the better games we played all year.”
The Panthers will attempt to rebound against a Jones Senior team whose 0-8 record is a bit deceptive thanks to an extremely tough nonconference schedule.
“They’re very scrappy. They have two or three kids that can run and speed always poses problems,” Boyd said. “If we can contain the outside and then keep the ball on offense and sustain drives we feel pretty good. But, if you don’t do those things it’s going to be a dogfight.”
Northside has shown it can effectively run the ball, but its passing game has not been quite as sharp. With that in mind the Panthers have added some wrinkles for tonight’s game that they hope will jumpstart the unit.

Camden (5-4, 5-0 Atlantic) at No. 2 Plymouth (7-0, 3-0 Atlantic) at 7:30 p.m.
The Vikings continued to pillage the Atlantic Conference as they steamrolled Perquimans 54-6 last week. In two conference games so far this year Plymouth has been nearly flawless, outscoring teams 110-12.
“We got a big time player in Malik Webb. He ran two punts back a long way and ran for 198 yards,” Plymouth coach Robert Cody said. “The defense played really good and our linebackers are really coming along.”
With the win, Plymouth has now recorded 20 straight victories which is believed to be the second-longest winning streak in the state behind Havelock. If the Vikings can make it 21 in a row, they will have near stranglehold on an Atlantic Division title.
Plymouth and Camden are the only two teams left with unblemished conference’s records and that will change for one team after tonight’s game.
The two teams met earlier this year in a nonconference matchup that was won by Plymouth 36-23, in one of its closer ball games it played this year.
“It’s a big game. Camden is really good. They’re big up front and they have good backs,” Cody said. “Last time we had some people that did not play very well or did not play at all (because of injuries), so we’re hoping this time we’ll play a little bit better.”
Riverside (5-3, 2-0 Two Rivers) at Tarboro (6-2, 2-0 Two
Rivers) at 7:30 p.m.
The Knights have been red-hot in conference play as they downed Northampton and North Edgecombe by a combined score of 106-45 to improve to their division record to 2-0.
One week after unleashing a ground assault on Northampton, Riverside struck with the pass against North Edgecombe, completing 6 of its 8 pass attempts for 156 yards and three touchdowns.
Clay Wagner was 4-6 for 107 yards and two scores, while J.J. Wilson went 2-2 for 30 yards and TD.
“Clay came back (from an injury) and played with a cast on his (non-throwing) hand and did a good job for us,” Riverside coach Asim McGill said. “I think we have a good situation going here with the two quarterbacks.”
The victory set the stage for a showdown with a Tarboro team that has made a string of appearances in the 2-A state title game before being reclassified to the 1-A division this season.
“It’s a big time game,” McGill said. “They’ve been in the state championship game every year sine 2008 at a 2-A level. So anytime you get a chance to go in to a team like that’s backyard and play that kind of level of competition you have to be ready.”

South Creek (0-2, 1-7 Two Rivers) at Rocky Mount Prep (0-2, 1-7) at 7:30 p.m.
It’s been a tough year for the Cougars who have shown flashes of strong play but have been hampered by injuries and lack of depth during its seven-game losing streak.
Tonight, South Creek will look to put an end to its slide on the road against a Rocky Mount Prep team, who like the Cougars, have lost every game since its season opener.
The Cougars have made some adjustments on offense as the season has gone on and last week they reaped the benefits as they gained a season-high 460 yards in their 45-27 loss to North Edgecombe.
“We’re fully committed to the spread now,” Jones said. “We’re still going to run the ball, we just have to play better on defense and make some stops and make big plays when it counts.”
The Jaguars are coming off a 78-14 loss to Tarboro, but Jones and the Cougars are not overlooking them.
“They have a few guys that they try to get the ball to. They’re quarterback is pretty good,” Jones said. “They’re in the same boat that we’re in, we’re both 1-7, so we’re looking to get that second win to try and secure a playoff spot.”