HS Preview: Gates County opens league play

Published 9:02 am Thursday, September 18, 2014

Week Five of the high school football season brings us to the end of non-conference match-ups for some teams while others will begin conference play on Friday:


Last Friday night Hertford County picked up its first win of the 2014 football season in beating Nash Central in Nashville, 20-18, for head coach Terrance Saxby’s first win as a varsity coach.

“We played hard,” said Saxby in a post-game interview. “The comeback showed a lot of character as the Bears trailed by 12 points in the fourth quarter. We just want to keep the momentum going.”

This Friday, Hertford County (1-3) will host South Central (3-0) from Winterville.

“South Central is a good team and very athletic,” adds Saxby. “They have a good running back and a tough defense.  The game will be a big challenge for us.”

The Bears will be trying for their second win in a row, another first for this season.

“For us to be successful Friday we need to have a good week of preparation and to keep improving.  A key for us will be blocking on offense and tackling on defense.  We’re very excited for this game,” Saxby concluded.


Both area teams in the Colonial Carolina 8-Man Football Conference lost on last Friday night.  Northeast Academy fell at home to Hobgood Academy, 54-12, while Lawrence lost to Halifax in Merry Hill, 40-8.  This Friday night the Eagles (1-2) are in Merry Hill to face the Warriors (0-3).

Northeast will be led by Brandon Edwards and Trey Futrell while Lawrence’s best offensive threats will be in quarterback Jarrett Harrell and flanker Trey Styons.

“I just hope we can come out and play better than we have the last two weeks,” said Lawrence coach Robert Kravitz.


Two weeks ago Gates County pulled off one of the weeks biggest upsets in downing Currituck County in Barco.

“We played hard, we ran the ball, and we played good defense,” said Red Barons coach Matt Biggy. “It was a good win for us.  Now we’ve had our open week which has allowed everybody to get healthy.”

After the bye, Gates County (2-1) will travel to Hyde County this Friday night to face Mattamuskeet (0-2) in the ‘Barons’ conference opener.

“Mattamuskeet runs multiple sets on offense and return a lot of players from last year, and they have experience,” said Biggy.

“For us to be successful Friday night we need to run the ball and improve our passing game on offense,” the coach concluded. “We need to play sound defense and tackle well.  It’s a big game for us as it’s our conference opener.”


Last Saturday, Northampton County returned home for their first game there since the last pre-season scrimmage and beat Weldon to win the inaugural Diego Hasty Bowl by downing Weldon.  Meanwhile, Southeast Halifax lost their first of the season to North Edgecombe.

“Saturday we struggled early,” said Jaguars coach George Privott. “We then switched to a wishbone offense and ran the ball and scored some points.  It was a good win for us.”

This Friday night Northampton (2-2) is back on the road, traveling to Crowell’s Corner to face SE Halifax (3-1).

“SE Halifax has a good running back and a good quarterback in David Watford,” said Privott. “They will be ready for us after losing their first game.  It’s a good rivalry for us.”

After just the one game at home the Jaguars are back on the road for their next three games.

“For us to be successful Friday we need to eliminate turnovers.  On offense we want to protect the ball and block well for our running backs.  On defense we need to control Watford and continue to play well,” Privott closed.


Last Thursday, Bertie lost to Plymouth while further down the state West Carteret saw their three game win streak come to an end at the hands of Greenville D.H. Conley.

“Plymouth is a better team than we are,” said Bertie coach Ty Hill. “They have a championship caliber team and were more focused than we were.”

This Friday Bertie (2-2) boards the bus for the trip down to Morehead City to face the Patriots (3-1).

“West Carteret has good athletes,” Hill continued. “They have good running backs and play good defense.”

Friday’s contest will be the first of three road games for the Falcons, sandwiched in between an off-week.

“For us to be successful Friday night we need to have a good week of practice,” the coach concluded. “We need to get back our focus and just play our game.  We need to play solid defense and offense.”