Stepping Up: Local teams all aiming for momentum swing

Published 7:05 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Southside has been in a free fall since opening the season 4-0. Washington looks to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Northside hopes its open week will provide the rest and fine tuning necessary to turn its string of close losses into wins.

All three Beaufort County teams face a fork in the road this week. The Seahawks have lost their first two games in the 1-A Coastal Plains Conference. They’ve proven themselves to be a formidable football team. Like any team good, bad or decent team can, they’ve fallen into a rut.

Southside’s mission was outlined in the preseason. It wants to clear the hurdle that has been the regional-championship game. The Seahawks have overcome adversity in the past two years they’ve made it to the semifinal. This three-game skid is yet another trial for a team chock full of players used to surmounting these kinds of trials.

Of course, all a team needs to do is make it to the postseason to have a fighting chance. Southside would like a better record and a high finish in conference for more favorable seeding. Tarboro is already in the midst of running away with the league title. Pamlico County — the team that edged the Seahawks this past Friday — is also 2-0 to start. The Seahawks will need consistency and a bit of luck down the stretch if it hopes to take the No. 2 spot from the Hurricanes.

Unlike Southside, Washington and Northside both have the benefit of playing at home this week. Both teams will be holding their Homecoming festivities on Friday.

Much like the emotions surrounding its win over North Lenoir last week, Washington hopes that the atmosphere on Friday will propel it to a win over Ayden-Grifton. Every game from here on out is a must-win for the Pam Pack. This one, however, has extra importance behind it.

Last week’s lopsided victory over the Hawks gave Washington confidence and leveled its 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference record at 1-1. All the Pam Pack has after this week is a dismal South Lenoir squad and its bye week to prepare it for the season-ending gauntlet that features an undefeated Kinston team and West Craven.

Northside is in a similar position. The Panthers have had close calls in losses to Riverside and Washington. A combined seven points decided both games.

Those losses produced plenty of frustration and just a tinge of confidence. The Panthers need wins, though. They need to see their work rewarded.

After South Creek on Friday — a South Creek team that edged Riverside, by the way — Northside still has Pamlico County and Tarboro left on the schedule. They need a win this week to give them a boost. With what’s left ahead, it’s unlikely they make the playoffs without beating South Creek.