Warriors, Vikings eye rematch

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 23, 2003

MERRY HILL – When they met here some four weeks ago, this wasn’t the season outcome Lawrence Academy skipper Alan Spencer or Halifax Academy first-year head man Gerald Rook had in mind.

But, as a wise man once said, &uot;Here, as you so rightly say, we are.&uot;

Both teams came into their September 27 matchup unbeaten, untied and rarely scored upon and did battle on a Saturday afternoon because there were no lights in Merry Hill due to the damage caused by Hurricane Isabel.

In that contest, the visiting Vikings jumped out to a 15-8 halftime advantage, but the Warriors came back to claim a 32-21 win, ending the two-time defending state champions’ 30-game win streak.

The R-C News-Herald account of the game proclaimed, &uot;Message Clear: Warriors for real.&uot;

But those Warriors haven’t been seen much in the past few weeks as they have gone 1-2 since the victory over Halifax, with losses to top-ranked Harrells Christian Academy and a stunning Homecoming night loss to Hobgood Academy.

Meanwhile, the Vikings haven’t been much better as they dropped to 6-2 on the season following a 28-7 thumping at the hands of Arendell Parrott Academy on Friday night.

The combination of losses dropped the Warriors and Vikings to seeds number four (Lawrence) and five (Halifax) in the state playoffs and set up a first round matchup between the team that ended the streak and a team that hasn’t lost in the playoffs for two years.

While the Vikings are coming off a stinging loss to Parrott, the Warriors finally righted the ship Friday night as Spencer’s club pitched the shutout with an 18-0 win at Kenston Forest.

While both teams have struggled of late, they each have made their mark on the NCISAA season, each starting out with five consecutive victories.

The Warriors not only won six straight, they knocked off Mattamuskeet in an 11-man contest and gave top-seeded Harrells Academy all they could handle before dropping a 23-20 decision.

While the seeds have Lawrence over Halifax, the latest NCISAA Eight-Man poll reverses field, giving the Vikings the number four spot while placing the Warriors in a fifth-place tie with Hobgood.

The polls, seeds and forecasts will all go out the window Friday as the Warriors host the first-round playoff game at 7:30 p.m.