Bears in different position

Published 4:09 pm Wednesday, September 12, 2012

AHOSKIE – What a difference a single week makes.

Just days ago, Scott Privott and the Hertford County High School Bears were recovering from their first loss of the season – a 17-14 setback at the hands of Rocky Mount High School.

In addition, they were facing probably their toughest test of the season in non-conference foe Nash Central High School. The Bulldogs were 2-1 with consecutive blowout wins and had rolled over the Bears 61-21 in 2011.

The old poem that says “the outlook was brilliant” was coming to mind.

Then Friday came.

The Bears pulled off the upset, knocking off Nash Central 13-8 and earning their third victory in four tries.

“It was a great win for us,” Privott said. “The last two years we lost our last game heading into conference play. That win should give us confidence heading into this week’s game.”

This week the Bears face another nemesis in the form of Northeastern High School as the two teams open league play in the Northeastern Coastal Conference. HCHS has lost two straight to the perennial league heavyweights.

Privott said he expects the Eagles to be just as good this season, but also feel’s his team will be ready.

“They are explosive on offense and aggressive on defense,” he said.  “We view every game as the conference championship because every game is a big game in this league.”

The Bears will enter Friday’s contest without leading rusher Kenneth Sharpe, who was injured last week. He has a bruised neck and will not suit up. Sharpe, however, is the only player that is expected to miss the contest.

Sharpe has 476 yards on 58 carries this season, but the Bears also have other running backs that have played well. Second thus far this season is Tyus Leary who has 282 yards on the ground. Anthony Lassiter is also over 200 yards for the year.

Defensively, the Bears are led by a unit that has already intercepted a trio of passes. Keilah Smallwood, Kevin Privott and O’Shane Ximenes have been responsible for those picks. Dorian Askew added a fumble recovery.

Privott said he knows what must be done for the Bears to be successful.

“We need to slow Northeastern down on offense and have good special teams play,” he said. “We can’t give up a special team’s touchdown. Northeastern already has returned two or three kickoffs for scores.

“We just have to play hard and play our best game of the season,” Privott added.

The Bears and Eagles will open conference play at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Ahoskie.