Grading Out: Big plays help Washington, Southside in close games

Published 11:31 am Saturday, September 17, 2016

A number of big plays the wrong way cost Northside its first game of the season at Riverside on Friday night. The Panther were torched through the air time after time in a 61-14 loss.

Big plays helped Southside and Washington in what turned out to be much more exhilarating games. The Seahawks got another outstanding performance from Zikajah Crawford to scoot by Spring Creek, 20-18, in their homecoming game.

Washington, still searching for its first win of the season, faced a stiff challenge on the road against an undefeated Roanoke Rapids team. The Pam Pack, trailing 26-0, seemed to be down and out, but make a furious comeback. Playmakers like defensive back Nazzir Hardy led the way. Frederick Holscher and Hykeem Ruffin also scored their first touchdowns, and Ben McKeithan nailed his first field goal of the season.

Here are some of Friday’s standout players:



Zikijah Crawford excelled again as Southside’s go-to running back. He carried the ball 17 times for an astounding 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He and quarterback Marshall Medlock also hooked up twice for 57 yards and a touchdown.

Southside spent the first half keeping up with Spring Creek. The visitors scored twice. Crawford answered them each time. He ripped off a 30-yard run in the first to tie the game at 6-6. With 2:01 to play before halftime, he hauled in a 48-yard pass from Medlock to level things at 12-12 heading into the locker rooms. He scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 19-yard run late in the third, and Joe Myers punched in the game-winning two-point conversion.


Nazzir Hardy played an integral role in Washington’s near-comeback attempt at Roanoke Rapids on Friday. He intercepted quarterback Cameron Rogerson twice. The Pam Pack had once trailed 26-0, but found itself down by one possession when Rogerson looked downfield on a play-action fake.

Hardy picked him off and took off to the right side and got inside the Roanoke Rapids 30-yard line. A stiff block from Cooper Anderson gave Hardy and the Pam Pack one last chance at tying the game, but they fell short.


The highlight reel from Friday at Riverside consists mostly of touchdown connections between Knights Mason Beach and Markel Freeman. Northside quarterback Jackson Midgette provided the Panther faithful with one lasting memory from the lopsided loss.

Fellow Panther Jacob Boyd had to be stretchered off the field after taking a hard hit during an interception return. Northside had the ball on Riverside’s 39-yard line once play resumed. Midgette, seemingly channeling his emotions, exploded for a touchdown run on the first snap once things started back up.


Southside running backs Zikijah Crawford and Jamison Bennett got the bulk of the carries on Friday night, but Trajan Rhome performed admirably when he was handed the ball. He ran six times for 28 yards to help take a bit of pressure off his teammates.

Rhome also led the tackling effort for the Seahawks. He tallied eight takedowns (three solo). He and the rest of Southside’s defense had to make a late stand as Spring Creek had one last chance to steal the game.