RECAP: South Central still unbeaten at 5-0
By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
South Central continues to show they are the top football team in Pitt County after downing 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference rival J.H. Rose on Friday, 20-18.
The win was the Falcons second straight victory over the Rampants.
The Falcons (5-0, 1-0) are led by quarterback Justin Humphries, who took over as the starter in Week Two, and has shown that the SC offense could lead the team to a state title. Humphries finished 9-for-20 for 114 yards and two touchdowns, including a late fourth quarter touchdown to wide receiver Jeremy Lewis who caught both of Humphries touchdowns. Humphries has thrilled fans with his impressive arm and quick feet.
Rose (3-2, 0-1) also has impressed this season, showing it has rebounded after a 3-8 record in 2017. A defense that gave up 30-plus points eight times last season has shown a renewed sense of confidence, holding opponents to 15 or less points three times this season. The JHR offense, led by QB Grant Jarman, can quickly push down the field via its strong passing game.
The Rampants and Falcons swapped the lead four times in the showdown, but a critical facemask penalty by Rose on fourth-and-five was the turning point. Jarman completed a seven-yard pass to Wesley Shade which would have moved the chains deep in Falcons territory. Instead, the Rampants lost five five yards and replayed fourth down, forcing them to punt the ball instead of risk a costly turnover on downs.
The Falcons then needed only four plays, which included two rushes from Humphries totaling 40 yards, to set up a deep pass to Lewis who put the crowd on its feet as SC took the lead with just over four minutes to go.
South Central looks to continue to its domination this season as it travels to Southern Wayne Friday.
Rose will look to end its two game losing streak as it hosts C.B. Aycock.
Hertford County 45, North Pitt 0
Thus far, the 2018 season looks a lot like the 2017 season for the Panthers. At 0-5, NP fans are hoping to see a change in the win total by the end of the season.
Injuries have played a big part in the Panthers’ struggles so far. NP lost defensive lineman Ti’Shawn Spence with a severe leg injury last week. On the bright side, the Panthers saw the return of starting quarterback Alex-Espinosa Johnson, who has been out with a high-ankle sprain.
Espinosa-Johnson’s return did not change the outcome, however, but this NP team is playing differently compared to 2017. Players seem to have bought in to Watford’s new offense, though results have not come to fruition yet. With two of their next three games on the road, the schedule doesn’t get any easier for the boys from Bethel.
They look to turn things around as they take on Ayden-Grifton in a rescheduled game on Friday.
Greene Central 28, Washington 0
The Rams jumped to the top of the Eastern Carolina 2-A Conference with a shutout win over Washington on the road.
Star running back AJ Dupree had four rushing touchdowns in the blowout victory. Dupree continued to show that he is one of the best athletes on the Rams’ squad and in the conference following another impressive performance.
Buzz around Dupree has grown over the course of the season, as he is firmly in the discussion for the conference’s offensive player of the year.
The victory put the Rams (3-2, 1-0) ahead of the competition in their conference, as they and their opponent were the only teams to see action on Friday. Teams from Lenoir County cancelled games as the area works to recover from Hurricane Florence, and A-G had a scheduled bye week.
The Rams will face a big challenge Friday as they take on their biggest competition for a conference title in Kinston on the road.
Contact Jake Keator at firstname.lastname@example.org, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.