Friday Football Preview: Northside, Washington aiming for big wins

Published 6:40 pm Thursday, September 29, 2016

Washington and Northside find themselves in quite different scenarios going into their non-conference finales Friday evening. The Panthers are back in action after being off all of last week. They’ll have their sights set on bouncing back after a one-sided loss — their first of the season — to Riverside two weeks ago.

All the rain in the area last week limited much of Northside’s opportunities to get out and practice. Coach Keith Boyd said he can’t battle Mother Nature, but all the extra rest and time spent in the film room will help.

Meanwhile, Washington will be facing a short week after a losing effort at home against Kinston on Monday. The Pam Pack has shown glimpses of brilliance on both offense and defense over the last few weeks, but is still looking for its first win of the season.

Regardless of their differing situations, a win this Friday would be important for both Washington and Northside as they hope to head into conference play with momentum.



Location: “Choppy” Wagner Stadium

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Plymouth heads to Washington riding a two-game winning streak since opening 1-A Coastal 10 Conference play. The Vikings will hope to keep the ball rolling in Washington in what is the final non-conference game for both teams.

The Vikings didn’t look their state-championship selves when they opened the season with three straight losses. All three of them came against strong teams like Riverside and Edenton, though. Since the slow start, which included two shutouts in three games, senior Ronald Wilkins has helped them get back on track on the offensive end.

Wilkins is a dual threat running the ball and catching it. He has 501 yards on the season — 368 yards and four touchdowns on the ground and 133 yards and a touchdown through the air.

Behind Wilkins is the junior duo of Aaron Wilkins and Ji’quay Jackson. The two have combined for 274 rushing yards, and Jackson has proven himself a red-zone threat with four touchdowns.

On paper, it seems Plymouth takes a few shots through the air when big plays are open. However, Washington’s secondary is fresh off a strong showing against Kinston and its talented aerial offense. Defensive backs Cooper Anderson and Nazzir Hardy were able to make key plays. They could be able to turn Plymouth’s big plays against them.

Another stout defensive effort won’t be enough for the Pam Pack, though. Suae Poe helped lead an offensive effort that looked good at times against Kinston, but failed to score on numerous trips to the red zone. Poe and the Pam Pack came as close as two yards out of the end zone, but still came up empty.

Making the adjustments coach Sport Sawyer saw upon reviewing the tape will be crucial for the offense. Expect Washington to capitalize on defensive momentum very much the same way, and to be able to finish on scoring chances.


Northside quarterback Jackson Midgette hopes to fake out a South Creek defender in a game earlier in the season.

Northside quarterback Jackson Midgette hopes to fake out a South Creek defender in a game earlier in the season.


Location: Northside

Time: 7 p.m.

Northside’s last time out was a lopsided 61-14 loss at Riverside on Sept. 16. The Panthers had last week off, giving them ample time to review the film from their first loss of the season.

A lot of their practice time went by the wayside thanks to the storms last week. Regardless, Northside finds itself in a good place coming out of the bye week. Coach Keith Boyd said that the most valuable part of it was being able to get some rest and focus internally.

Now the Panthers are focusing on getting back on track ahead of their 1-A Coastal Plains opener against Southside. North Pitt stands between them and that game, though. The 2-A opponent — also conveniently named the Panthers — will present a tough challenge. North Pitt, while winless, is a bigger school and will bring size to line up against Northside in Pinetown on Friday.

North Pitt boasts four players that weigh over 270 pounds. Tayquon Ward (6-foot, 299 pounds), Ja’Quan Witherspoon (6-foot-2, 295), Nyheim Pettaway (5-foot-10, 295) and Khalic Everett (5-foot-10, 271) will all be troublesome for Northside’s ground offense.

Northside does, however, have plenty of size for a 1-A club. The likes of Daniel Godley, Samuel Arias and Jason Pastore, among others, will be key in neutralizing the opposing defensive line so as to open up running space for James Barrow, Jackson Midgette and company

Northside has been able to make game-changing plays throughout the season. North Pitt has struggled in doing so. Expect the home side and its leaders to make those plays in all phases of the game en route to a bounce-back win.