D.H. Conley's Leshaun Atchison run with the ball during a game against J.H. Rose on Oct. 11, 2019.

Week 8 of the high school football season provided clarity in two local conferences as teams enter the meat of their conference schedules. D.H. Conley walked away with an overtime win over rival J.H. Rose, while Ayden-Grifton stumbled again against 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference leader Washington. Check out which players earned awards for their Friday night performances.

ONE STAR: Cole Dawson, quarterback, Greene Central (8-for-12, 184 yards, 3 TDs)

Dawson shook off a rough first half and exploded during the third and fourth quarters, making the most of his limited pass attempts to lead the Rams to a 59-26 blowout of South Lenoir.

In a week that had three standout quarterback performances from Dawson, Conley’s Nick Hamilton (13-of-23, 193 yds, 2 TDs, INT) and Rose’s Wade Jarman (11-for-25, 165 yds, 2 TDs), it was Dawson who earned this spot based on his ability to turn his attempts into yardage without giving up a turnover. The junior signal-caller has performed well over the course of the season, and it will need to continue if GC hopes to remain in the hunt for a 2-A ECC title.

TWO STARS: Brock Lasure, Running back, D.H. Conley (19 carries, 123 yards, 2 TDs)

In a game that had been circled for weeks, Lasure and the rest of the Vikings barely edged out the rival Rampants.

After starter Ramon Mabry suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter, it was Lasure who picked up the bulk of the workload. At 233 pounds, Lasure fought hard to break through the Rose defense, but once he did, he used his deceptive speed to pull away for big gains for DHC.

Conley coach Nate Conner is spoiled for choice if Mabry returns to the lineup this week, creating the possibility to use both backs to provide a clever change of pace and maintain a balanced offensive attack.

THREE STARS: Jayden Tyson, Running back, Greene Central (15 carries, 149 yards, 3 TDs)

After earning a spot on this list last last week in his first game as a member of the Rams’ varsity squad, Tyson took a big leap all the way up to the top spot on the Rams’ homecoming night after an electrifying performance in only his second game. His 149 yards and three touchdowns were both most by an area running back for the week.

The sophomore has quickly carved out his spot in the GC backfield, giving coach Jay Wilson yet another valuable rushing option.

If Tyson can continue to thrive on the field, the Rams could end up in the discussion of who can challenge Washington for the top spot in their conference.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: D.H. Conley AND J.H. Rose (DHC win, 35-28 in OT)

It wouldn’t be a rivalry matchup without a controversial ending, and that’s exactly how this meeting between the Vikings and Rampants finished Friday night. It came down to the final play.

No matter what happened on one side, the other responded. Both teams recovered fumbles, both earned sacks in critical moments and the Rampants even recorded an interception to keep the game alive. Both offenses showed plenty of fight, especially Rose, which rebounded well after seeing top wide receiver Kevin Hamilton leave via ambulance near the end of the third quarter.

The Vikings and Rampants both had strong performances, but the result puts them on different ends of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference standings. The Vikings (4-3, 3-0) jumped into the top spot after New Bern defeated C.B. Aycock, while Rose fell to 2-5, 0-2 in conference, and continued its now five-game losing streak and dropped to sixth in the standings.


Greene Central (4-3, 1-1) 59, South Lenoir (2-5, 0-3) 26

Washington (6-1, 3-0) 37, Ayden-Grifton (4-2, 0-2) 12

Nash Central (4-3, 1-0) 48, Farmville Central (0-7, 0-1) 0

SouthWest Edgecombe (6-1, 1-0) 44, North Pitt (1-6, 0-2) 14

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