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Bears get ready

AHOSKIE – Hertford County has been here before.

The Bears need one win to secure the top 3-A spot in the Northeastern Coastal Conference. Standing in their way is rival Bertie High School.

&uot;Bertie is looking to win a conference championship,&uot; second-year HCHS mentor Greg Watford said. &uot;What we’re playing for is the chance to take the top 3-A spot in the league.&uot;

Last year the Bears outlasted Bertie 7-0, claimed the top spot from the league and marched to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state semifinals.

The Bears, winners of three straight, know they need to knock off the league’s top-ranked team in order to keep their momentum going.

&uot;We’re playing better on offense right now,&uot; Watford said. &uot;We just have to keep possession of the football by not turning it over and cutting down on penalties.&uot;

LaMarcus Bond leads the Bears with 914 yards on the ground, including 11 touchdowns. He has added 14 receptions for 137 yards and one touchdown.

Bond has added six returns for a touchdown, three punts, one kickoff and two interceptions, the smallest of which was 41 yards.

On his heels is junior quarterback Danny Dembry who has put together 776 yards on the ground and has scored 11 rushing touchdowns. The QB has thrown for 395 yards on the season, pushing his total above 1,000 yards.

Also coming on has been the Hertford County defense anchored by lineman Tydreke Powell and linebackers Joel Britt and TreMayne Newsome.

Watford said the defensive unit would have to be sure in their tackles for the Bears to be successful at stopping the Bertie offense.

&uot;On defense, we have to by solid in our tackling,&uot; Watford said. &uot;We have to make sure we don’t let them get big gains after the initial hit.&uot;

As for the rivalry, Watford admits he knows both teams will be up for the game as they play for bragging rights in what has become known locally as the &uot;Backyard Brawl.&uot;

&uot;This is a big rivalry game,&uot; Watford said. &uot;We certainly want to win this game.&uot;

The coach said he believed Bertie was the best team in the conference and that HCHS would have to go after them to keep up their recent success.

&uot;We need to win this game to keep our momentum going,&uot; Watford insisted. &uot;We’re trying to get to the state title game. They’ve been there and we’re ready to go.&uot;

The Bears will entertain their local rivals at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.