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Bertie hosts SWE

WINDSOR – Bertie High School has reason to celebrate.

They also have reason to get back to work.

On Friday evening, the Falcons knocked off archrival Hertford County High School 34-3 and earned their first outright Northeastern Coastal Conference championship in five years.

Second-year Head Football Coach Tony Hoggard was pleased with the win, though he wasn’t pleased with everything that happened Friday evening.

“I was very pleased with our team winning the conference championship,” Hoggard said. “I hate everything that went on outside of football. It did take a little luster off the win.”

Hoggard was referring to a halftime fight between band members at both school that resulted in arrests and injuries.

Still, by winning the conference, Bertie garnered a number five seed in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A football playoffs.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Hoggard said. “We worked extremely hard to get to this point, but there’s still much to be done.

“It’s going to be a tough road,” he added. “I think the 3-A bracket is a lot tougher than the 3-AA bracket.”

Tough begins in the first round of the playoffs when Bertie plays host to SouthWest Edgecombe High School, a team they are familiar with.

The Falcons and Cougars played together in both the old Tar-Roanoke Conference and the Big Eight Conference. They also met in the second round of last year’s state playoffs when SouthWest won 33-20.

“I remember SouthWest from last year,” Hoggard said. “They are a good football team and all you have to do is look and see Raymond Cobb on the sidelines to know they’re well-coached.

“Looking at the film thus far, they seem to still be pretty good,” he said.

The Falcons and Cougars will meet for the second time in two years this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

The rest of the 3-A East bracket includes:

* No. 10 Beddingfield at No. 7 Southern Wayne;

* No. 15 Southern Lee at No. 2 South Johnston;

* No. 11 South Granville at No. 6 Washington;

* No. 14 Union Pines at No. 3 Rocky Mount;

* No. 9 Hertford County at No. 8 White Oak;

* No. 16 Eden Morehead at No. 1 Western Alamance;

* No. 13 West Craven at No. 4 Eastern Alamance.

The 3-A West bracket is as follows:

* No. 10 Franklin at No. 7 North Buncombe;

* No. 15 Marvin Ridge at No. 2 Anson County;

* No. 11 Concord at No. 6 North Gaston;

* No. 14 Parkwood at No. 3 West Rowan;

* No. 9 West Iredell at No. 8 High Point Andrews;

* No. 16 Waddell at No. 1 Carver;

* No. 12 R-S Central at No. 5 Statesville;

* No. 13 Tuscola at No. 4 Asheville.