Bears host rematch

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 11, 2004

AHOSKIE – At least this time, he’s on our side.

Last season Hertford County went dancing into the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association playoffs.

Fresh off a 9-2 campaign and a share of the Northeastern Coastal Conference championship, the Bears claimed a second seed in the postseason and drew West Carteret in the first round of the playoffs.

The Patriots, headed by Ahoskie High School graduate Greg Watford, came to Ahoskie and knocked off HCHS 38-22.

After the season, the Bears brought in said Watford and handed him the reigns of the program he helped continue when he donned school colors as a halfback.

The Bears put together a 6-5 season after starting 0-4 and landed a fifth seed in this year’s NCHSAA playoffs. Their reward? West Carteret in the first round.

And, as much as Watford would like to shift the focus of the game, there is a factor of having the Patriots visit his new club.

&uot;We know they are looking for us and I think we’re looking for them too,&uot; Watford admitted. &uot;It will be a good playoff game.&uot;

The Bears put together a 6-1 finish inside the Northeastern Coastal Conference to finish 6-5 while West Carteret was 2-6 in the Eastern Carolina 3-A league and finished 4-7 overall.

But, the Bears won’t be lulled to sleep by the Patriots’ record.

&uot;West Carteret is not a bad 4-7 team,&uot; Watford insisted. &uot;They deserve to be in the playoffs.

&uot;West Carteret is real strong with two good running back,&uot; he continued. &uot;Both run hard and have good speed. In addition, they will line up in the shotgun and can pass well.&uot;

Watford and the Bears also have an idea of what they need to do to advance in the playoffs.

&uot;On offense, we have to run the ball well and not turn it over,&uot; the coach said. &uot;Our defense is gelling now and are playing the best they have all season.&uot;

If anything is on the Bears’ side it is history.

Hertford County broke a six-year skid against archrival Bertie last week. The last time the Bears won a first-round playoff game? 1997. The year they last beat the Falcons.

The Bears will host West Carteret for the second straight year in the first round of the playoffs. Game time is 7:30 p.m.