Northside opens playoff action Friday

Published 9:27 am Wednesday, November 8, 2023

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It’s only been two weeks, but it’s probably felt longer to the Northside players and coaches. 

The Panthers drew a first round bye as the fourth seed in the state 1A football playoffs and get back on the field against #13 East Bladen Friday night at Bing Mitchell Field.

The Eagles, 6-5, routed #20 North Edgecombe, 57-14, in the opening round at home to snap a two-game losing streak.

Meanwhile the Panthers (8-2) have won six in a row, outscored their opponents 35-7 and averaged 320 yards rushing per contest.

“it’s too bad we didn’t play last Friday, but we used the extra three days of practice to tighten up some things and get ready for the second round,” coach Keith Boyd said. “East Bladen is a mirror image of us in a lot of ways. They like to run the ball and challenge you up front on defense. Their quarterback is athletic and can hurt you on the rollout.”

Senior Jamie Corprew leads the offense with 1,413 and 23 touchdowns, while junior Max Vansant has 639 yards on 55 carries.

Northside’s offense averages 10 yards per rushing attempt, while the defense has picked off 15 passes, recovered five fumbles and recorded 15 sacks.

Senior linebacker Gus Vansant leads the team with 75 tackles. 

“There’s a little buzz around school about finally getting started,” Boyd said. “The guys are excited and ready for the challenge, but we have to stay grounded and go play ball. We’re pretty good when we don’t have any penalties and don’t turn the ball over, so those are our goals.”