Bears travel to Bertie High

Published 7:28 pm Wednesday, November 3, 2010

WINDSOR – They are teams at the opposite end of the playoff spectrum.

Bertie High School’s varsity football team is playing one more week. Hertford County’s gridiron group is making preparations for the 2010 North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs.

That won’t matter come Friday night at Roy L. Bond Jr. Stadium.

“The team that wins will be the one that shows up,” HCHS second-year mentor Scott Privott said. “When you play your rival, anything can happen. I’ve already told our kids to throw the records out the window. It’s about being prepared.”

Privott’s counterpart at Bertie – first-year skipper Greg Watford – said he agreed.

“We’ve got nothing to lose,” he said. “We’re 2-8 and we’re looking for some redemption. They are 7-3 and already won the first game this season, but we can’t let any of that matter come Friday night.”

The Falcons enter Friday looking to enjoy Senior Night and a chance to upset their rivals in their last game in 2010.

“We’re backed in a corner and we have no way to come out except straight forward,” Watford said. “We have seniors who will be playing in that Bertie uniform for the last time and this is their opportunity to do something big.

“We are two teams heading in different directions,” he added. “Those directions remain to be seen, but Friday will tell the tale.”

Privott said he told his team they have to treat Friday as the first playoff contest.

“We’re playing for seeding positioning, so I’ve told our kids we have to prepare like this is the playoffs,” he said. “We’re in playoff mode.”

Watford said his team’s advantage came in already having been eliminated from playoff contention.

“We’ve got nothing to lose and that may be our biggest advantage,” he said. “We have to play for this game.”

Privott said he also thought that was Bertie’s biggest benefit.

“They’re playing at home and they’re playing their final game of the season,” Privott said. “The seniors are going to want to play hard. They are going to want to leave Roy Bond Stadium with a win. I think they’re going to come at us as hard as anyone has all year.”

As for the HCHS advantages, Privott said he thought his team had prepared well.

“We’ve had a good week of practice,” he said. “We’ve worked on details and the small things that are important to win football games. If we have an advantage, I hope it will be our preparation.”

Watford said he believed there were other strong points for the Bears.

“Right now, they have the tradition,” he said. “They are playing well, they have a great quarterback in Petey Boone and they have an All-American defensive end in Dontez Tyler.

“They’re bigger than us, but that’s almost always the case,” he added. “They also have a great coaching staff that has been together for a long time.”

Privott said his team had to be prepared for everything.

“We have been working on special teams and working on a lot of fundamentals,” Privott said. “In big games like this a kickoff return or a blocked punt or something like that can beat you.”

Watford said he believes his seniors will rise to the occasion.

“Friday at 7:30 p.m. all the records and everything will go out the window and it will be down to who wants it most,” Watford said. “I would be surprised if our seniors don’t rise to the occasion.”

Both teams will get that opportunity Friday.