Week No. 3 of the high school football season sees some county teams looking to bounce back from lopsided losses, while others look to ride the momentum of last week’s victories.
In games scheduled for Thursday night, John Paul II Catholic plays host to Wake Christian Academy at 6 p.m., J.H. Rose makes the trip to Elizabeth City to face Northeastern at 7:30 p.m., Greene Central goes to Beddingfield for a 7 p.m. tilt and North Pitt faces Southeast Halifax at home.
On Friday, regularly scheduled contests include Conley traveling to Cleveland (7:30 p.m.), Farmville Central going to West Carteret and Ayden-Grifton entertaining Kinston – the latter two games are at 7 p.m.
Washington at South Central, originally scheduled for Friday, has been postponed and rescheduled for Sept. 14, as the Falcons are currently in COVID protocols.
WAKE CHRISTIAN AT JOHN PAUL II
John Paul II, with several returners back from last season’s state 8-man finalist football team, has already beaten one team in 11-man football this season – East Chapel Hill. Now, the Saints are looking to make it two in a row with another home game – this time against a Wake Christian Academy team making its season debut.
“I thought we played well in our first time playing 11-man football,” said JP II coach Sean Murphy. “The kids executed on offense and defense and we only had one penalty – on the first play of the game.”
Regarding Wake Christian, Murphy said: “They are an established 11-man football team. They run a spread set and like to throw the football and have two physical defensive linemen, so we’re going to have our hands full. It’s going to be challenging.”
GREENE CENTRAL AT BEDDINGFIELD
Someone looks to come away with its first win of the season as the Rams (0-2) visit the Bruins (0-2).
Daniel Dennie, who recorded 11 tackles last week against Kinston, leads the Rams defense. He is ably assisted by Tre Dodd (six tackles, one interception) and Zyquan Williams.
“Beddingfield is very athletic,” said GC coach Jason Wilson. “Their skill players are dangerous in the open field. Defensively, we have to play sound and not allow the big play. Offensively, we will be looking to get back on the scoreboard with a strong run game and establish our identity.”
J.H. ROSE AT NORTHEASTERN
First, the game was moved up from Thursday to Wednesday so the teams could avoid the inclement weather.
However, the rain arrived early enough on Wednesday that coaches opted to move the contest back to Thursday (when it’s supposed to clear).
Rose (0-2) is coming off a 41-point drubbing at the hands of Cleveland last week. The 2A Eagles (1-0) edged Rocky Mount 14-8 last week when they ran for 275 yards and passed for another 149.
SOUTHEAST HALIFAX AT NORTH PITT
Southeast is looking to bounce back after a 49-6 loss to Nash Central. The Trojans (0-1) are made up of mainly freshmen and sophomores but are athletic and play a ‘crowd the line’ defense and run everything from Power I to Wishbone to empty sets on offense.
“We have to execute at a high level on offense, particularly limiting turnovers, and we have to tackle well on defense and be sound in the secondary if we are to win,” said North Pitt coach Greg Watford.
The Panthers (1-1) are looking for their fourth win in their last five games dating back to the end of last season.
KINSTON AT AYDEN-GRIFTON
Kinston (2-0) features an athletic offense which utilizes counters, outside runs and screens. Messiah Semndaia can throw and run the ball.
The Chargers (1-1) are led by running back Rahmik Moore, who has compiled 416 yards rushing in his first two games.
“We’ve been able to run the ball some,” said A-G coach Todd Lipe. “So we think we might have an opportunity on that side of the ball. It should be a good game, and we hope to have a chance at the end.”
FARMVILLE CENTRAL AT WEST CARTERET
The Jaguars (1-1) are looking to rebound from last week’s 23-point defeat to North Lenoir by making the trip to Morehead City to battle the Patriots (1-1), who fell to East Bladen last week.
“West Carteret is very disciplined and they play hard,” Jaguars’ coach Ron Cook said. “We need to be more physical than them up front and limit our own mistakes; defensively, we need to stop their quarterback (Jamarion Montford), who is very shifty and runs well. We also need to be sound in our techniques and execute our assignments with authority.”
CONLEY AT CLEVELAND
The Vikings (0-2) have the arduous task this week of trying to contain the Rams (2-0), who have outscored their first two opponents 107-14. Omarion Hampton (178 rush yards vs. J.H. Rose) is the primary rusher, but Cleveland has athletes all over the field.
“We have to be fundamentally sound, execute our game plan and play our game to the best of our ability,” said Conley coach Nate Conner. “We have to play our gaps and read our keys defensively because they are an excellent football team, but they are not a perfect football team and they’d be the first to tell you that.
“Is it an uphill climb? Absolutely. But it will be exciting to see how our kids go and handle that. We can’t worry about (Cleveland) – we have to concern ourselves each week with growing and developing into the best D.H. Conley football team we can be.”
SOCCER John Paul II 4 St. Thomas More 3 OT
JPII soccer got a hat trick on the road from junior Esteban Escobar as the Saints won a thriller.
Freshman Ryan Smith added the other goal for John Paul II (1-2), which hosts Coastal Brigade on Tuesday.
VOLLEYBALL John Paul II 3 St . Thomas More 0
JPII volleyball got a sweep in Raleigh on Wednesday, 25-21, 25-5 and 25-12.
The Saints (6-3) go back on the road to Lawrence Academy next Wednesday.
TENNIS J.H. Rose 7, South Central 1
The Rampants chalked up a key victory against the county-rival Falcons on Tuesday in a showdown that finished one match short due to darkness.
After South Central ace Pradnya Akvia topped Edie Yount at No. 1 singles, Rose reeled off seven straight wins.
Dabney Osborne, Emily Mitchum, Cecelia Batton, Britton Seymour and Carson Radcliff rounded out singles play with wins, and the pairings of Christine Carter/Katie Satterfield and Jenny Blount/Lily Walker finished off the victory.
Rose hosts Northside today.