Friday Football Preview: Southside travels to South Creek

Published 6:31 pm Thursday, September 22, 2016


Location: South Creek

Time: 7 p.m.


Northside is off this week. Washington’s televised Military Appreciation game against Kinston was rescheduled from Thursday to Monday. That leaves Southside as the lone Beaufort County team slated to take the gridiron this week.

The Seahawks will travel to South Creek for their non-conference finale before opening up their 1-A Coastal Plains Conference slate at home against East Carteret. That game, taking place on Thursday, will be televised.

Southside is coming off of back-to-back close games. It took an impressive Riverside team to overtime two weeks ago, but lost, then scooted by Spring Creek, 20-18.

Zikijah Crawford continues to emerge as the team’s featured running back. He rushed for 119 yards and a pair of touchdowns in last Friday’s homecoming win. He also caught two passes from quarterback Marshall Medlock for 57 yards and a third touchdown. His consistency over the last few weeks will likely be rewarded in the form of plenty of touches, but he isn’t the only weapon in the Seahawks’ backfield.

Coach Jeff Carrow said that the beauty of their system, which remains largely unchanged year after year, is that any player can make an impact on any given night. Many running backs have already shown the same playmaking prowess that Crawford did against Spring Creek. Joe Myers, for example, amassed 159 yards on the ground in Southside’s season opener against North Duplin. Junior Ronald Dennis had 124 yards between the first two games of the season. Jamison Bennett, Trajan Rhome and others are also getting their chances to make a splash, too.

It’s that plethora of talent in the backfield that makes Southside a tough team to scout. Different running backs bring have different skill sets. If something isn’t working with one, there are other options.

On top of that, Southside also showed that it’s willing and able to exploit a team that commits too much to stopping the run. Medlock completed 3-of-8 pass attempts last week, accruing 82 yards through the air. The Seahawks will stick to the ground as much as they can, but will strike through the air if there’s an opening.

Defensively, Southside will be tasked with stopping the backfield duo of Tyrek Bynum and Jaylen Short. Bynum, a senior leader of the Cougars’ offense, has 290 yards and six touchdowns on the season. Sophomore signal caller Jahkene Clark has used screen passes to get the ball in Bynum’s hands and let him make plays.

Depth may prove to be a deciding factor on Friday. The Cougars only have 27 players listed on their roster. It proved problematic when they met Northside in Week 3. The Panthers were able to run the ball at whim in the fourth quarter. Expect Southside to be able to pull away late in the game.

South Creek struggled with turnovers in that same game against Northside. The Panther defense was able to score twice. If the Seahawks can force the Cougars to give up the ball a few times, they should be able to cruise to a victory.