Throwback Thursday: Coaches recall pivotal Week 2 games

Published 2:18 pm Thursday, August 24, 2017

The first week of football season is important to seeing where a team stands early on. The following few games are about taking the good from the season opener and building on it, and working out any kinks that held a team back.

Washington, Northside and Southside all saw plenty of both. Historically, all three Beaufort County teams know what kind of tone the second game can set for the rest of the season. It’s still non-conference play, but each team can prove a lot to itself and its fans in Week 2.

Here are Beaufort County’s coaches recollecting on second-week games that proved to be turning points:


Tarboro at Washington, 2005

Washington’s 2005 meeting with Tarboro was Jon Blanks second game as Pam Pack defensive coordinator. This year’s game against the Vikings is his second game as head coach. Twelve years ago, Washington endured an onslaught by future NFL player Shaun Draughn to win, 34-33, in overtime. All it took was a defensive stand from Blank’s defense on the last play of the game.

“When they ran the play and the toss … Gerald Lawrence was right there and stuffed him for a loss,” Blank recalled of Tarboro’s attempt to win in overtime with a 2-point conversion. “… With us being 0-1, I’d love to find a way for us to do the same. I’ve got Gerald coming in to speak to them. That’s kind of a historical game for us.”


Rosewood at Southside, 2014

Southside eked out a 24-21 win in its 2014 home opener against Rosewood thanks to the then-junior tandem of Lawrence Brown and Matt Baxter. The backfield duo combined for over 230 yards, and Baxter scored twice. Moreover, it helped set a course for sustained success for Jeff Carrow in just his second year as Seahawks coach.

“That ballgame was probably the turning point in our program that year,” Carrow said. “We were in a tight ballgame and the guys realized they could win close ballgames. It was a huge win for our program. … That Rosewood game was the game that flipped it. They realized, ‘hey, we can be a pretty good team and win ballgames.’”


North Duplin at Northside, 2014

Northside and North Duplin add another chapter to an even series on Friday. In 2014, senior running back Butler Rockne ran for 91 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Panthers to an unusually lopsided 44-27 over the Rebels. They got a glimpse of future 1,000-yard rusher James Barrow when, as a sophomore, he returned seven kickoffs for 259 yards.

“They closed the gap and tried an onside kick. Dalton Ethridge picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown from the front line,” coach Keith Boyd remembered. “… The series has always been very competitive. I think if you went back and looked at it, it’s probably close to .500. … It’s always a good game.”