Bertie readies for NN

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2006

WINDSOR – While Bertie stands 2-2 on the season, first-year head coach Tony Hoggard isn’t satisfied.

The Falcons, who were 0-4 at this point last season, are much improved, but Hoggard hasn’t been pleased with the play of the defense and that included last week’s 47-33 victory over South Central.

&uot;Even though we won last week, I expressed my disgust with the defense,&uot; the coach said. &uot;We need to step it up on the defensive side of the football.

&uot;We’ve got to tackle better,&uot; he added. &uot;We’re not tackling well at all.&uot;

Tackling will be key this week as the Falcons play host to Northern Nash High School in a non-conference matchup.

The Knights gave Hertford County a tough battle last week before the Bears pulled away for a 41-20 victory.

Hoggard said he expects Northern to be a strong opponent as they head to Windsor.

&uot;They have pretty decent size and fast backs,&uot; He said. &uot;We’ve got our work cut out for us.&uot;

One advantage he feels like his team owns is that they are starting to play with confidence.

&uot;I feel like we’re going to play a lot better from a confidence standpoint,&uot; he added. &uot; I think the team is coming around to where they understand what the coaches want from them. It’s been a good week of practice.&uot;

Hoggard said he was pleased with the way the offense moved the football last week at South Central.

&uot;The offense has moved the ball well,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m pleased with their progress. The defense has not been totally disappointing because we’ve stepped up in big situations. We just need to get more consistent.&uot;

The Falcons will have the opportunity to develop that consistency Friday night when they host Northern Nash at 7:30 p.m.

Hertford County at Rocky Mount: If there’s a more anticipated 3-A football game in North Carolina, where would it be?

Rocky Mount and Hertford County have each been ranked in the top 10 all season as they head into Friday night’s clash. The Gryphons tasted defeat for the first time last week at the hands of powerhouse J.H. Rose, while the Bears enter the contest 4-0.

Rocky Mount likely will be favored to win the game on their home turf, but HCHS has a solid team heading into the contest headlined by Defensive End Tydreke Powell, quarterback Danny Dembry and running backs Travis Greene, Rayshawn Mercer and Laquan Tann.

Northeastern at Northampton-East: The Rams are the season’s biggest surprise at 3-0, but face a tough test with visiting Northeastern High School.

The 2-A Eagles of the Northeastern-Coastal Conference are a formidable opponent for H.B. Harris’s Rams.

Hobgood Academy at Northeast Academy: First-year coach Collin Sneed’s Northeast Academy Eagles could even their overall record at 2-2 if they knock off Hobgood Academy.

Behind strong running, the Eagles defeated rival Lawrence Academy last week and will have the opportunity to defeat another longtime rival this week.

Southside at Gates County: The Red Barons are coming off a huge upset of 2-A Edenton last week, a win that was their first over the Aces in more than 30 years.

There’s no time to celebrate, however, as the defending eastern runnerup comes calling this week.

Brunswick, Virginia at Northampton-West: The Hurricanes put their spotless 3-0 record on the line this week as they host their second straight game with a Virginia-based school.

Diego Hasty’s club survived two weeks ago in triple overtime.

Lawrence at Trinity: The young Lawrence Academy team faces another huge task Friday when they visit Trinity Christian in Fayetteville.

The Warriors, led by quarterback Jay Spencer, will be looking to pull off the huge upset.