‘Barons host NCHS-East

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 26, 2004

GATESVILLE – A week ago, they got started on different feet.

Gates County High School pulled the area’s biggest upset in knocking off 2-A Roanoke Rapids 7-0 while Northampton-East struggled in a 55-18 loss to Roanoke.

Still, neither team is taking this one for granted.

&uot;In my opinion, Gates County is always a good team,&uot; Rams’ Assistant Head Coach Mark Long said. &uot;They play a good schedule and, from what I’ve seen on film, their kids are blazing to the ball.&uot;

Long said that while the Red Barons weren’t as big as the teams Northampton-East had played against in the past several years, they were still formidable.

&uot;They lack the size they have had in the past, but they are the fastest I’ve seen them in five years,&uot; Long said. &uot;They are also very well coached.

&uot;They did very well Friday night,&uot; he added. &uot;They were flying around everywhere.&uot;

Long said his club hadn’t had the opportunity to hit anyone except themselves until Friday night.

&uot;Friday was the first time we’ve hit someone besides ourselves,&uot; Long said. &uot;It showed, but we did some good things as well.&uot;

As far as how the team played Friday, Long said there were some bright spots.

&uot;I had some unexpected kids step up,&uot; he said. &uot;Friday was a great deal about seeing if the kids were in the right spot.

&uot;We made some personnel changes this week on defense and I think they will help us,&uot; he added.

Another bright spot for the Rams was the play of Travis Mason at quarterback. Mason was forced into action due to an injury to starting quarterback Tim Gubitz.

In his first start, Mason threw three touchdown passes.

&uot;Travis did a great job at quarterback,&uot; Long said. &uot;He threw three touchdown passes and went for well over 100 yards.

&uot;He showed a lot of maturity,&uot; he continued. &uot;I was very pleased with the way he played and I expect him to pick it up another notch at Gates County Friday night.&uot;

Gates County head coach Clark Harrell said his team will have to focus on what they do well.

&uot;We played a good team Friday night,&uot; Harrell said. &uot;I was pleased with the way we responded, but we still have to keep improving.&uot;

Harrell indicated that Northampton-East’s loss last week wasn’t reason for his club to be over-confident.

&uot;I think we know that we have to continue working on what we’re trying to do,&uot; Harrell said. &uot;They’re going to come in here ready to go after us and we have to be prepared to play Gates County football.

&uot;As I’ve indicated before, we’re smaller than usual, but we’re very quick,&uot; he added. &uot;We must continue to use that as our strength heading into Friday night’s game with Northampton-East.&uot;

The Red Barons and Rams will lock up at 7:30 p.m. Friday night in Gatesville.