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Three vie for playoff wins

Bertie, Hertford County and Northampton County High School n East continue their run in the state football playoffs Friday night.

The Falcons, 38-24 winners over SouthWest Edgecombe last week, will be the lone home team during the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state playoffs.

That will be one of the keys for Bertie, according to second-year Head Football Coach Tony Hoggard.

“It’s a blessing to be back at home,” Hoggard said. “We really need our fans to come out and support us.”

The coach said West Craven, Friday’s opponent, was a team that could pass the football with the best of them.

“They throw the ball like nobody’s business,” he said. “On top of that, we’re playing a secondary that is light on experience, so that is a concern for us.”

He said the major thing in the corner of the Falcons would be their fans.

“We have the benefit of being at home and we need to take advantage of that again,” he stressed. “If the Falcon faithful come out and support us, we’ll be in much better shape.”

Hoggard has taken his team to the second round of the 3-A playoffs in both of his seasons at the helm.

Northampton-East, the number five seed in the 1-A playoffs, will be traveling to fourth-seeded Jones Senior High School on Friday.

First-year skipper Greg Watford believes that preparation is the key word for his team. He is especially concentrating on how the Rams prepare.

“We haven’t prepared any differently,” he said. “We want to keep this game as normal as we can for them.”

Watford said Jones Senior has an excellent quarterback and a freshman running back that would pose problems for East, but felt the schedule the Rams played in 2007 would benefit them Friday.

“We feel like we’ve seen some of the best athletes in the state,” he said. “As Coach (Diego) Hasty used to say, ‘nobody wins a non-conference championship.’

“We’re trying to win a state championship and our tough non-conference schedule was set up to prepare us for the playoffs,” he continued. “Now is when we want it to pay off.”

Hertford County High School will make the trip to Western Alamance Friday as they face the number one ranked 3-A team in the state. HCHS got their by virtue of a 35-28 overtime win at White Oak last Friday.

It is the second time in three seasons the Bears have traveled to Western as they fell victim to the same team in the opening round of the 2005 playoffs.

Western’s Donald Britt, a 5’-8”, 155-pound junior is a dual threat against the Bears as he has rushed for 1,019 yards and 14 touchdowns as well as passing for 1,405 yards on 90-159 with 24 scoring throws.

Hertford County likewise, is led by quarterback Antonio Vaughan. The sophomore signal-caller has 406 yards on the ground this season and has passed for 442 on 34-of-64 passing.