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Gryphons to invade HCHS

AHOSKIE – To say it has been two rough weeks would be an understatement.

Hertford County High School football coach Greg Watford may have aged enough in the past two weeks to catch Athletic Director Charles Simmons in years served.

The Bears stormed out of the gate, leaving Kinston and R.L. Fike in their wake. But, since rolling to those victories, HCHS has stumbled, dropping a 41-20 decision to Washington two weeks ago before falling 16-13 at Northern Nash Friday.

&uot;Mistakes on the offensive line and silly penalties are killing us,&uot; Watford said Wednesday morning. &uot;We have to do a better job. Every point we gave up Friday can be contributed to the offense.&uot;

Watford likened this week’s task of greeting the state’s top ranked 3-A school as a child who was waiting for dad to get home and deliver a spanking.

&uot;That is the analogy I’ve used with our team,&uot; he said. &uot;I’ve also told them Friday night is different. We’re not waiting for mom and dad. We’re waiting for the neighborhood bully.

&uot;When they come in your house, you have to at least put up a fight,&uot; he added. &uot;We’re going to do that Friday.&uot;

The Gryphons will come into Bear Stadium 3-1 on the season after suffering a loss at J.H. Rose Friday night.

They are led by a pair of 300-yard rushers. Mychael Bynum leads the Gryphons with 385 yards on the ground on 59 carries while Kendrick Dean has gained 304 yards on 43 carries.

Jason Tyler had 400 yards on the nose through the airways, connecting on 21 of 57 passes while throwing three touchdowns and five interceptions. His favorite target has been Brandon Arrington. He comes in with eight receptions for 156 yards and two scores.

Rocky Mount opponents are averaging just over 147 yards on the ground and less than 100 yards through the air.

&uot;I have heard some people say Rocky Mount isn’t as good as they were last year and I don’t know where they are getting that,&uot; Watford said. &uot;They have a Hall of Fame coach and great players. They are coming here ready to play football.&uot;

For his part, Watford said his team had a three-fold game plan. He said the Bears have to hold on to the football, stay on their blocks and tackle and hit like they did last week.

&uot;If we do those things, we can be successful,&uot; Watford insisted.

Junior quarterback Danny Dembry leads the Bears offensively. He has picked up 429 yards on the ground on 40 carries while passing for 150 yards on 16-of-30.

&uot;Danny didn’t have his normal game against Northern Nash,&uot; Watford said. &uot;We have to have him back now that he’s healthy again.&uot;

Senior running back LaMarcus Bond has 304 yards on the ground including four touchdowns during 39 carries. He has 10 receptions for 8 yards and has three returns for touchdowns.

Defensively, the Bears are led by inside linebackers Joel Britt and Tremayne Newsome.

&uot;When those two play the way they can, they’re as good as anyone in the state,&uot; Watford said.

He also said HCHS needed running back Jaquin Sessoms to have a solid performance. Sessoms has been nursing an ankle injury, but should be back to full strength Friday.

The Bears will play host to the Gryphons at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.