PREVIEW: Teams looking to return to normal schedule in Week Four
By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector
Friday, September 13, 2019
Four weeks into the 2019 football season and teams and fans have yet to complete week without weather causing issues. This week may be no different, as the potential for severe weather could once again factor in scheduling and travel for teams. Look below for insight into this weeks match-up.
Ayden-Grifton (2-0) at Farmville Central (0-3), Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
Two rivals on opposite ends of the spectrum will meet up in Farmville Friday evening, as the Chargers hit the road for this years meeting.
The Chargers enter the week coming off a well timed bye, which allowed them relax while others struggled to fit in their games. They also enter with recent history on their side, as A-G has topped the Jaguars in four of the past five seasons. FC's most recent win came in 2014, a 62-35 blowout in Littlefield.
A-G head coach Paul Cornwell has had no issues sticking with the formula that has provided so much success during his tenure, a large dose of physical, north to south running from a variety of running backs. The Chargers passing attack has also paid dividends and could create some large plays when called upon.
For the Jaguars, the pains of rebuilding are taking their toll, as reports of a fight in the teams locker room on Aug. 30 coupled with a turnover filled outing on Sept. 3 have fans looking for small growth week by week and control to help potentially salvage an already difficult season.
Head coach Eddie Rhodes hopes that running back Dontavious Short will be able to return to action this week, but if he is not healthy enough for game action senior Richard Peterson will once again take on the bulk of the carries. Richardson was a bright spot for the Jags last week, recording 15 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Scotland (3-0) at D.H. Conley (0-2), Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
Week Three proved to be an interesting one for the Vikings. DHC and Washington decided to move their game to Wednesday early last week, though the pair never locked down a start time. The two sides couldn't come to an agreement Wednesday morning, which led to a week off and moving the game to Oct. 13. After games against top competition in Northeastern and Rocky Mount the Vikings will once again take on a dangerous opponent in 4-A Scotland.
The Fighting Scots have outscored opponents 97-22 through three weeks, showcasing how explosive their offensive group can be. Conley head coach Nate Conner will be spending some extra time with his defense this week in the film room, as they look to keep Scotland from ever gaining confidence on the field. The DHC defense held Northeastern to just 16 points in a Week One loss, an impressive feat for any team. They will look to replicate what success they had on Friday night.
The Vikings offense looks poised for another breakout game. After scoring just six points in Week One, DHC scored 29 against Rocky Mount as they look to recapture their momentum and confidence from two weeks ago. Wide receiver Leshaun Atchinson has begun to make his case as Conley's top wide out, leading the team with 21 receptions for 205 receiving yards and a touchdown. While Atchinson has more yards it is slot receiver Matthew Rostar who has the slight edge in touchdowns with two. He has five receptions for 96 yards entering tonight's contest.
Eastern Wayne (0-2) at Greene Central (0-2), Sept 13 at 7 p.m.
The Rams record does not provide a good indication of how good the team truly is. After falling just short of defeating South Central GC held its own with C.B. Aycock, though the Golden Eagles pulled away late. This week GC will face its third straight 4-A opponent in Eastern Wayne.
Rams head coach Jason Wilson told The Daily Reflector that starting running back knowledge Branch, who suffered a patella injury against C.B. Aycock will undergo surgery, ending his junior season early. Wilson added that replacing Branch will take a committee effort. Senior Hezekiah Pagan will lead the way, but he will receive assistance from Laquarius Murray and sophomores Zyquan Williams and Jaden Tyson.
The loss of Branch also places more pressure on quarterback Cole Dawson and leading wide receiver Zakvil Smith. The pair has connected 10 times for 326 yards and three touchdowns already this season, and they will need to continue to thrive if the Rams hope to rack up more wins ahead of conference play. While Smith and Dawson have a strong connection, Dawson will have to begin to spread the ball to more receivers in order to help soften coverage on Smith. Through two games no other Rams receiver has over 70 yards, with Lamar Pridgen (3 rec, 67 yards) having the teams only other receiving touchdown.
Rocky Mount (2-1) at J.H. Rose (2-1), Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
J.H. Rose faces a tall task Friday night on short rest as they host Rocky Mount just four days after having dropped its first game of the season to Northeastern.
Sloppy penalties cost the Rampants in the second half, a point that can not be repeated if they hope to take down the Gryphons. The JHR offense will also need to expand in the passing game outside of targeting star wide receiver Kevin Hamilton. The Eagles locked down on Hamilton in the second half of Monday's contest, putting an end to the Rampants passing game.
Running backs Shaquan Perry and Michael Allen have played a major role through three weeks. The duo can quickly change how the offense works, and Allen has become a strong receiving threat out of the backfield. If JHR can open the ball up to more receivers they will have a good chance at taking down a talented RM squad.
South Central (2-1) at North Pitt (0-2), Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.
South Central enters as heavy favorite for their trip north of the river Friday night to take on the Panthers.
SC running back Kevone Harris and quarterback Justin Humphries will look to create chaos in the ground game, looking to confuse the NP defense with misdirection and speed. Also an advantage for the Falcons is the depth of their roster in comparison to NP. SC currently has 43 players on their roster, 14 more than North Pitt, which utilizes a platoon style effort to sub players in and out. Quarterback Justin Humphries may not be lighting up the scoreboard like he did as he approached the end of his season in 2018, but he has been more than capable of taking charge, especially in tight games and critical situations.
NP has shown improvement week-to-week, especially within head coach Greg Watford's triple-option offense. After being shutout by Washington the Panthers put together 16 points against powerhouse Kinston, showing that the team is continuing to improve with time. However the team is still going through growing pains, especially in the passing game. While running back Raheem Jones has proven himself to be capable of the workload, it will be up to quarterback Alex Espinosa-Johnson and the Panthers receiving core to fight to get open against a talented Falcons secondary if they hope to have a shot at the upset
Contact Jake Keator at email@example.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.