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PREVIEW: Rose, Conley face off at Rose

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J.H. Rose's Grant Jarman, back, throws as D.H. Conley's Blake Mizelle leaps at the ball during their game on Oct. 20, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Friday, October 19, 2018

It’s time for another installment of one of the best rivalries in the state as D.H. Conley (5-2, 3-0) travels just under seven miles down the road to face J.H. Rose (5-2, 2-1) tonight in high school football action.

With two high-scoring offenses coming together it will be a shootout, and possibly who has the ball last that will determine the winner.

The Vikings have a lot at stake, as they try to stick with South Central prior to the their showdown Nov. 2, which could determine the winner of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference. 

Expect another heavy dose of CJ Johnson from the Vikings, who has yet to score less than two touchdowns in a game this season, though others such as Matthew Rostar and LeAndre Atchinson will need to step up once again to counteract the Rampants double-teaming Johnson.

Quarterback Nick Hamilton, who has exploded in his role as the Vikings leader, will have to keep his eyes sharp when head coach Nate Conner calls his number in the pass game. Ramon Marby, who took over for injured running back Isaiah Gamble, will face a stiff defense tonight, though he has proven he is a threat to score with just a small opening. 

Rose will also trot out an excellent passing game, led by quarterback Grant Charles Jarman. He and wide receivers Jake Henry Rogers, Ben Harris and Zane Noles will be up against one of the fastest defenses in the conference, including defensive back Nyck Brown. 

The Rampants’ defensive group is sturdy and confident after pitching a shutout last week against Southern Wayne on the road. They have also proven they can perform in big games, as they allowed only 20 points in their close loss to South Central, also on the road. 

PREDICTION: A big fourth quarter for the Vikings will be the difference-maker here. Some strong defense and another nifty touchdown from Johnson will allow Conley to walk away with bragging rights for the second straight year.  

NORTH LENOIR (0-6, 0-1) AT AYDEN-GRIFTON (4-3, 1-1)

The Chargers are ready to go after having their three-game win streak snapped last Saturday against Kinston. 

It should be a routine tune-up game for A-G as it approaches the end of the season and looks to once again make a playoff appearance. A big dose of running backs Kevin Boomer, Micheal Webb and Ray Darden are on tap, as they should all finish with great stat lines in this very favorable match-up. 

The Chargers’ defense will look to redeem itself this week and potentially help create a lead early to allow some younger players some in-game reps.

PREDICTION: The Chargers walk away from this one with an easy win, creating and holding a lead early in the game to once again jump above .500 in conference.

FARMVILLE CENTRAL (2-6, 1-1) AT SOUTHWEST EDGECOMBE (6-1, 2-0)

The road to the playoffs gets no easier for the Jaguars after giving up a game-winning field goal last week on homecoming against North Johnston. 

The Jaguars have shown moments of being the dominant team they once were. Quarterback Tayvon Suggs showed last week that he has the ability to throw when needed, but the run game will be the primary way FC moves the ball down the field. 

The Jaguars defense, highlighted by Keziah Everett, has been electric. A strong D-line will continue to force pressure on the opposing quarterback to create chances for the secondary and defensive backs via interceptions and fumbles. 

PREDICTION: FC will give a good effort, but the Cougars will take the win at home. 

NORTH PITT (0-8, 0-2) AT NORTH JOHNSTON (3-4 1-1)

The rebuild continues for the Panthers, who once again see a tall hill to climb if they want to break into the win column this week. 

NJ’s passing attack was limited last week by Farmville but should face less resistance against an NP team that shares the same lack of depth. 

NP’s offense is showing signs of life late in the season, as the Panthers look to continue to refine their execution of the Wing-T offense. A solid running game is emerging and provides some hope to fans for what could come of this young squad next season.

PREDICTION: North Johnston rolls at home using its passing attack and the momentum seized after its tight win over FC. The Panthers gain some experience from the game, but not a win, as their winless streak grows to 19 dating back to last season.

NEW BERN (2-4, 1-1) AT SOUTH CENTRAL (7-0, 3-0)

South Central will look to create some more space in conference over Conley with a win over New Bern.

The Falcons offense and defense have the advantage, which will only increase by being comfortable at home. Head coach Andy Tew and his team are standing strong at the top of the AP NC football 4-A rankings after steadily climbing over the past several weeks. 

Quarterback Justin Humphries and the rest of the Falcons’ offense will look to get ahead early and use a tough run game to pound New Bern for the remainder of the game. 

PREDICTION: South Central stays pristine at 8-0, 4-0 after this one. The Falcons will be paying close attention to fellow conference foes Rose and Conley as the game could play a big role in the fight for a conference title.

GREENE CENTRAL (5-3, 2-1) AT SOUTH LENOIR (1-5, 0-3)

The Rams stumbled against 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference leader West Craven last week as the Eagles held running back AJ Dupree and quarterback B.J. Corbitt in check. The duo will look to once again break out against a weak South Lenoir team and ruin homecoming.

With 683 yards rushing, Dupree leads the conference, and he should have a sizable work load and plenty of opportunities to add to that total. Same can be said for Corbitt, who is currently second in passing yards in conference. He should also have more than a few chances to pad his stats.

PREDICTION: GC gets back on track after routing the last-place Blue Devils. The Rams’ loss did set them back in the race for first with current conference undefeated teams Kinston and West Craven (both 2-0), but they still have a chance to win a conference title. 

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

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