Playoff push begins Friday

Published 5:35 pm Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The season takes a serious turn into the home stretch Friday night as local teams prepare for their last push to make the playoffs.

Every team in the Roanoke-Chowan region will need a late push if they are to get into playoff position, but each of them will have the chance to do just that this weekend.

GAME OF THE WEEK: Currituck at Bertie

The Falcons started the season 2-1-1, but have since hit a three-game slide.

During that streak, Bertie has faced two of the top teams in the Northeastern Coastal Conference as both Edenton and Northeastern are undefeated in league play.

The task is just as daunting for BHS this week as the Falcons welcome another team that has yet to lose in conference play to Roy L. Bond Jr. Stadium.

Currituck comes into Windsor a spotless 2-0 in league play including knocking off Hertford County last week. The Knights are 5-1 during the season and enter the game riding a five-game win streak.

The visiting team will be led by Marquise Grizzle, who leads the state in touchdowns. Last week, it was Grizzle who led the Knights past HCHS as he picked up 229 yards and four trips to paydirt.

The Falcons played defending league champion Northeastern to a 9-6 game through the first half, but eventually fell to the Eagles by a final of 35-12.

Bertie will need to get their offense rolling behind freshman quarterback David Watford and freshman running back Alameen Sharif. The Falcons have been able to score most of the season and will look to take an early lead Friday night.

Defensively, the biggest challenge for Bertie will be finding a way to stop – or at least limit Grizzle. The Knights have lived all season by his excellent running and will look to do so again Friday.

Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Roy L. Bond Jr. Stadium.

Hertford County at Pasquotank: The Bears had an early lead against Currituck last week, but Grizzle turned out to be too much.

While HCHS stands 1-6 overall and 0-3 in the league, they will face only one more team with a winning record (First Flight) in the final three weeks of the season. That leaves the chance for the Bears to put together a winning streak heading into the playoffs.

This week, they will again look to stop what has become a five-game skid. They task is not quite as daunting the Bears look to meet 3-3 Pasquotank County High School.

The Panthers, coached by former HCHS assistant Hancel Phipps, dropped a 29-25 decision to First Flight, but stand 1-2 overall in the Northeastern Coastal Conference.

Northampton-East at Weldon: The Rams took a backwards step in their quest to win the Tar-Roanoke Conference championship last week when they fell at North Edgecombe.

Northampton will look to bounce back quickly this week as they travel to Weldon High School to meet Grady Williams’ Chargers. Northampton enters the contest 2-4 overall, but 2-1 and tied atop the league standings.

Weldon, meanwhile, is 1-4, but stands 1-1 in the league as they look to continue to bounce back from a 0-4 start.

Word of God at Lawrence: Lawrence is still struggling to find its identity under first year skipper Beau Drake.

While the home team has not found a win, they have found more consistent offense even having put up more than 400 yards of total offense against Halifax Academy Monday.

The Warriors will look to build on that performance as they play just their second home game of the season.

The problem in their wake, however, is North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association eight-man defending champion and undefeated Word of God Christian Academy.

The Holy Rams have steamrolled through the season and are fresh off a 62-7 win over Cary Christian.

Northeast at Parrott: Northeast Academy is coming off a week in which they won two games in four days.

The Eagles knocked off Lawrence Academy last Monday before stopping Rocky Mount Academy on Thursday. The result has Northeast sitting 3-3 for the season and looking to continue the roll against 4-1 Parrott.

Bo Daniel led the Eagles in rushing in both wins last week and has turned into one of the top backs in the region.

Northeast is currently ranked number five in the NCISAA while Parrott is number two. A win would be big for the Eagles’ playoffs seeding.

Gates County is idle this week.