County rivals compete for Anchor Bowl trophy

Published 8:30 am Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Friday marks the return of some Beaufort County football fans favorite game of the year-Northside vs. Southside with the Anchor Bowl trophy on the line.

It’s about friends off the field competing their hardest between the lines, bragging rights for a full year and maybe, just maybe, defending the home field against the invaders from the other side of the river.

Home field advantage is supposed to mean something in sports, but it hasn’t meant much at all in this series, which dates back to Southside High School’s opening in 2001.

The Seahawks lead the series 14-8 after last year’s 10-7 victory at Northside, which continued the string of the home team losing a mind-boggling 18 of the 22 meetings. Southside won at home in 2005, 2011 and 2015, while Northside’s only home victory in the series came in the spring season of 2021 that COVID-19 delayed.

“I think it’s easier to be the away team for this game because all we have to do is get on the bus and think about doing our job,” Northside senior Jamie Corprew said. “We want the trophy back and our guys are hungry to play our best. They (Southside) will be ready as well, so it should be a really fun game.” Corprew is the only player involved who has been part of both teams as he played two seasons at Southside before transferring.

Last year’s Seahawks victory came after three straight losses and means they host this year, coming of their first win this fall, 54-20, over Pamlico County to raise their record to 1-5.

Northside is 4-2 after a 31-0 victory over East Carteret and has allowed 59 points in the six games, while Southside had scored 38 points all season before last Friday.

“You always want to beat your rival, but the big thing for me is winning the conference and getting a good playoff seed,” Panthers coach Keith Boyd said. “Both teams are 1-0 in the league and the winner will be in the driver’s seat. Winning the league means a top seven seed for the playoffs and more chances to play at home. Southside is big and they have speed on the edge. Whoever hangs on to the ball and cuts down on penalties will win.”

Southside exploded for 42 points in the first half against Pamlico County, thanks mainly to running backs Tequon (Tater) Moore and Brian Salas returning from injuries. Both had 111 yards rushing in the win and gave the team a timely boost.

“We feel like we have momentum at the right time and are fine with playing at home,” Carrow said. “It’s a weird stat about the visiting team winning so often, but we are focused on this game. It’s a big one, no doubt, and we definitely want to keep the trophy here. The key is to not overcoach it and for the kids to not overthink it. We just need to let our guys play like they can and we’ll see what happens.”

Former Washington Daily News Publisher Brownie Futrell and sports editor Mo Krochmal created the annual game in 1989.

Southside hadn’t opened yet, so the Panthers played Washington High School until 2001. The Panthers won three of the first four, then the Pam Pack dominated the rest of the series.

“We felt like it was a better match-up when Southside opened,” Futrell said. “We wanted to give the county something extra to be excited about during football season and to bring more attention to the kids. I am very pleased that the Anchor Bowl is still a big deal.”

Futrell put Krochmal in charge of finding the actual anchor.

“I can’t remember what boat store I found it in, but I knew it when I saw it,” Krochmal said. “I wanted the gnarliest, rustiest old anchor that had really been through it. We mounted it to a base and it’s neat that it’s still intact.”