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Final countdown

While a number of schools know their post-season fate – if there is one – still others will play the final Friday night of the regular season keeping hope alive for a shot at a state football championship.

CURRITUCK CO. at HERTFORD CO.

Last Friday night Hertford County won a key contest the Bears had to have on the road at Kill Devil Hills when they stopped First Flight, 34-16.

“The kids played well,” said Bears coach Terrance Saxby. “We ran the ball great, the team played hard and it was a very big win for us.”

This Friday Hertford Co. (3-7, 2-3, NCC) will host Currituck Co. (4-6, 1-4, NCC) in what will be their biggest conference game of the season.  If the Bears win and Bertie and Pasquotank lose, the conference race will finish in a three-way tie for third place with the entire trio being 3-3.

“Currituck is a very well-coached team.  They run the spread on offense and have a three-man front defensively,” said Saxby.  “They are disciplined and don’t beat themselves.”

Hertford County is led by quarterback Christian Folston who has passed for 1,320 yards this season with 12 touchdowns, eight of them snared by Jaquarii Roberson, the team’s leading receiver.  But the Bears’ biggest weapon is their running game.  Daijour Carter’s 220 yards on the ground against First Flight made him the third Bears’ rusher with over 200 yards this season, and third Bear to average at least five yards per carry.

“For us to be successful Friday we have to continue to run the ball and mix in the passing game,” Saxby concluded. “We have to be balanced offensively, and make tackles defensively.”

NORTHEASTERN at BERTIE

The J.A. Holmes Aces rose up and crushed Bertie last Friday night, 48-13, and ended the Falcons’ three-game Northeastern Coastal Conference winning streak.

“Early in the game we had our chances but we couldn’t make a play,” said Bertie coach Tyris Hill. “Edenton is good, and they went on to win.”

This Friday Bertie (5-5, 3-2, NCC) will host Northeastern (10-0, 5-0, NCC) in a very big conference game for the Falcons.

“Northeastern is a very good team,” said Hill. “They have no weak spots.  They have a good quarterback and good running backs.  They’re undefeated and one of the top-ranked teams in the entire state.”

“For us to be successful Friday night we will have to play our best game we have played all year,” the coach closed by saying. “We will have to play mistake-free football.  Offensively we will have to execute and defensively we will have to tackle well.”

GATES CO. at PLYMOUTH

Last Friday night, and for the second time this season, Gates County fell to Camden County, this time in a conference game.  Whereas the first non-conference loss at Camden was a two-point affair, 27-25, Friday’s loss was by 17 points, 42-25.

“Camden is a good team,” said Red Barons coach Matt Biggy. “They made some big plays and finished drives.  On the other hand, we couldn’t sustain our drives and Camden went on to win.”

This Friday, Gates County (7-3, 5-1, C10) travels to Plymouth (9-1, 6-0, C10) in a game that, if the ‘Barons win, will tie them for first place in the final Coastal-10 regular-season conference standings.

“Plymouth is one of the top teams in the state,” Biggy continued.  “They are big and fast and they will run the ball and use their speed to get to the edge.  Defensively, they are physical.”

After their five-game win streak the Red Barons now find themselves 2-2 in their last four games, home and on the road.

“For us to be successful Friday night we have to work on our special teams play,” Biggy concluded. “Camden really hurt us on kickoff returns and punt returns. Offensively, we need to be able to run and pass, and defensively, we have to make tackles.  We need to play our best game of the year, and we need to do it on the road.”

NORTHAMPTON CO. at ROCKY MOUNT PREP

Last Friday Northampton lost their home regular-season finale by getting shutout at the hands of Tarboro, 48-0.

“We came out and marched right down the field,” said Jaguars coach George Privott. “We played well in the first quarter.  The rest of the game we made mistakes and Tarboro went on to win.”

This Friday Northampton (2-8, 0-4, 2 Rvs) travel to Rocky Mount Prep (2-8, 0-4, 2 Rvs) in a Two-Rivers Conference showdown.

“Rocky Mount Prep has not won a conference game, like us,” said Privott. “They have a new coach and run the wishbone offense, which is something we’ve seen already.  They also have just two wins this season like us.”

The winner of this finale will have the distinction of not finishing in the league cellar.

“For us to be successful Friday night we need to tackle well and not turn the ball over,” Privott closed. “Both teams will be out to win their first conference game of the year.”