Rose FB 3

J.H. Rose quarterback Will Taylor seeks to elude pressure applied by South Central’s Javon Smith (15) during their Big Carolina 3A/4A Conference game last Friday.

Week 7 of the high school football season gets started early this week, as J.H. Rose and Jacksonville will battle for the top spot in the Big Carolina 3A/4A Conference. Tonight’s winner will hold first place for at least the next three days.

The Cardinals (4-0, 1-0) travel to Greenville to face the Rampants (2-3, 1-0) at 7 p.m. in a game postponed by COVID-19 protocols from earlier in the season.

The teams are coming off contrasting league wins last week. Rose routed South Central 42-0, while Jacksonville edged New Bern 29-28.

The Cardinals boast a three-headed monster of sorts on offense with quarterback Josh Benton (60 rushing yards, 143 passing yards last week) and running backs Christian Constant (109 rushing yards) and Damon June (76 rushing yards).

“We have to play assignment football when you play an option team like Jacksonville,” Rose coach Will Bland said Monday. “Their backfield is very good and very physical, so we have to match their play to have a successful night. We have to put a hat on their quarterback as well as their running back and make them beat us in the passing game.”

Speaking of passing games, Rose passed for more yards last week (243) than rushed (145). Quarterback Will Taylor completed 14-of-18 attempts. His favorite targets included Jayden Grimes (six catches, 125 yards, two TD), Kenderius Geddis (two for 40 with a TD), Michael Allen (two for 53 and a score) and Montez Green (two for 17 yards).

“We wanted to utilize the passing game a little,” Bland said. “We know if we can throw the ball a little bit, then we can open up the running game. I thought our wide receivers did a great job of catching the ball and blocking.”

On defense, Bland said attacking the ball will be the key against Jacksonville.

“Our guys have to win the war in the trenches,” he said. “This is a big game that has playoff aspirations attached to it, so we have to be prepared.”

- Jim Green


Rose 9, South Central 0

J.H. Rose earned its first conference win and moved to 7-3 overall with a win last Thursday.

Max Jones and Max Peters led the Rampants with two goals each. Pablo Lillo also was a statistical leader with a goal and two assists.

ECU league weekend split

The East Carolina volleyball team earned a split of its opening weekend of American Athletic Conference play Sunday when it won 3-1 (28-26, 25-21, 25-27, 32-30) at South Florida in front of a lively crowd at The Corral.

The Pirates (5-6, 1-1 AAC) avenged a pair of spring losses to the Bulls (6-7, 0-2 AAC) and won for the third time in their last four trips to Tampa. ECU, who lost 3-0 at UCF on Friday, piled up a season-high 13 total blocks. Aaliyah Griffin had a career-best eight blocks (two solo), and Bri Wood led all players with 19 kills.

Soccer award

East Carolina’s women’s soccer team was rewarded for its success in the classroom for its seventh straight year earning a United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the 2020-21 academic year.

The Pirates finished with a combined GPA of 3.63, easily clearing the 3.0 minimum mark required for the award. ECU has earned the Team Academic Award 20 times since first winning it in 1999.

“Our ladies continue to do an amazing job each and every year in the classroom,” coach Jason Hamilton said in a release. “Every semester since I have arrived, they have achieved a program-best GPA. They are extremely dedicated in their academics and everyone around campus notices. We are very proud of the academic standards they have created for our program.”

- ECU Media Relations