Washington and Northside clash on Friday night, Southside hosts Granville Central
Published 4:25 pm Wednesday, September 11, 2019
One of two matchups this season containing two Beaufort County schools will be on Friday night, as the Washington Pam Pack travel down the road to Pinetown to take on the Northside Panthers. Southside looks to earn their first victory against a Granville Central team also searching for their first victory.
Northside vs. Washington
An intriguing battle between two familiar foes is especially interesting because the Panthers come into the ball game with an undefeated 3-0 record. With last week’s postponement, the Pam Pack is coming in fresh off of a bye week with a 1-1 record. Northside has put up quite a few points in their three contests so far, outscoring their opponents 88-27.
The Pam Pack come in with something to prove as they were blanked by Tarboro a couple of weeks ago despite gashing the Vikings a few times on the ground.
On Friday night, I expect the Pam Pack to run the ball early and often until the Panthers can stop it, but the Panthers run defense has been stiff so far this season. This is undoubtedly the most talented and deepest opponent the Panthers will have faced this season and have their hands full with Antwone Godley, Terry Moore, Mykell Warren and Jaden Hambric running the ball on Friday night.
The Panthers will keep the ball on the ground for the majority of the night as well, and it could be difficult for the Pam Pack to hone in on just one of the weapons the Panthers have in the backfield in Zakkai Wilson — who has seven touchdowns on the season — James Gorham, Tyler Modlin and Samuel Holland.
Defensively, I expect the linebackers to have big days. Walt Gerard leads the Pam Pack in tackles this season as he tries to have a repeat performance with the most tackles in consecutive seasons.
Clark O’Neal and Fred Taylor are tied for the team lead in tackles with 16, and they will be dealt the task of containing a talented Pam Pack backfield.
Washington 33, Northside 20
Southside vs. Granville Central
Two teams in search of their first win of the season will be undoubtedly be a dog fight. These two offenses are basically a mirror of each other. Granville Central lines up in a wing-T set and tries to get their athletes on the edge. They use a few more option pitches than Southside, but they mix it up with dives, counters and traps. Through two games, the Granville Central Panthers have only thrown the ball five times, completing one pass for 11 yards for a touchdown. However, they have two rushers who have already surpassed the century mark. This is another senior heavy team the Seahawks will have to face.
The Seahawks proved that they can score points and throw the ball with effectiveness a couple of weeks ago on their trip to Dixon High School. The Seahawks didn’t bring home the win, but they gained some offensive confidence. Hundley Stallings completed quite a few passes to Ty’Nahj Smith, Daveion McCraw and Jamari Nelson. They also ran the ball well on their way to 34 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a high-powered, air-it-out offense that Dixon showed.
With the Seahawks ability to have balance in their offense and home-field advantage, I think that’s enough for the Seahawks to notch the win column for the first time this season.
Southside 26, Granville Central 21
Pungo Christian vs. Halifax Academy
The Raiders are searching for their first win of the season, as Halifax Academy strolls into town with a 2-1 record thus far this season. The two teams do have a similar opponent, as Halifax lost to Northeast Academy last Friday night 40-20. The Raiders lost to the same Northeast Academy team 42-6 a couple of weeks ago, in a game that had the potential of being a lot closer had it not been for some costly penalties and turnovers.
Last year, their game ended in a 34-32 shootout, and Halifax came away victorious. This year, the two teams are a little different and Halifax will bring in 22 players to compete on Friday night, so Halifax will have the edge when it comes to depth.
Pungo has the ability to put up good numbers with Eddy Credle and starting quarterback Tristan Mann, but the health of senior wide receiver Ryan Bishop, who has been battling a AC joint problem in his shoulder will be key in this matchup. If Bishop is back to 100%, this game has the potential to be similar to last year’s shootout.
In the end, the Halifax depth will shine through late in the second half, despite a valiant effort from Stacy Keech’s Raiders.
Halifax 40, Pungo, 26