Keys to victory: HCHS

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Its Hertford County-Bertie week which means the conference title gets decided once again in Ahoskie.

The Bears have been victorious the last three years and would like nothing more than to make four in a row.

This is the first ever taste of the rivalry for new HCHS Head Football Coach Diego Hasty, let’s see if I can help him with a little game preparation.

* This is a young Hertford County football team and not very many of their starters have played vital roles in this rivalry game. This is where the veteran Hertford County coaching staff must steer their players away from the hype and any other activity that will take their focus off the task at hand.

* One thing you can count on in this matchup is that it will be physical and emotional. The team that can handle their emotions the best normally will prevail on the positive side of the scoreboard.

* Contain Desmond “Dee-Dee” Williams. The tough non-league slate with the likes of Parkland, Southern Durham and Rocky Mount has given the Bears some preparation for this type game, however none of those teams had a quarterback with the skills of Williams. I don’t think you can contain him, but you must find some way to slow him down.

* The secondary for Hertford County must play well not only defending the talented Falcon wide receivers, but also coming up and supporting the run. Bertie will attack the corners very similar to what Pasquotank did and everyone knows what happen in the River City.

* Hertford County’s best defense could be their offense. Utilize the “Wishbone” and put together long scoring drives and keep the potent Bertie offense on the field. By the way, should be some great matchups along the line of scrimmage as each team features a future Division 1 lineman in Bertie’s Travis Bond and HC’s Will Simmons both juniors.

* In this game Special Teams absolutely can’t be overlooked. Long snapping has been a problem for the Bears this season and they can not afford to give up an easy score due to a bad snap. Also, Darius Wesson and Williams are as dangerous as anyone in the state returning kicks, kick the ball away from these guys or make sure your containment is very good. If it comes down to a decisive kick I like Richard Burns’ chances he has the ability from 40 yards and in.

* Much like every other game, turnovers must be eliminated. The Bears are even with their opponents this season in miscues, do not give up easy opportunities

That’s my game plan and following it certainly won’t automatically produce a win, but it will surely help.

It is a sports happening that we all enjoy whether it’s the game, battle of the bands or the best atmosphere of the year.

It will be fun, loud and full of emotion, exactly what high school football is all about.

See you at the game!!!!!

Gattis Hodges is the Senior Analyst for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and the host of “Talkin’ Sports” on WDLZ-FM 98.3 in Murfreesboro. He can be reached by emailing