Prep playoffs begin

Published 8:47 am Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Gates County High School Red Barons will open at home while Bertie, Hertford County, and Northampton have to hit the road in first-round games when the NC High School Athletic Association playoffs begin tomorrow (Friday) night.


Last Friday night the Bears played their way into the playoffs with a 46-14 triumph over Currituck County, knocking the Knights out of playoff contention while Hertford County made the post-season for the 12th straight year.

“The team played very well on Senior Night,” said coach Terrance Saxby. “The team played for the seniors and it was a team effort and a good win for us to clinch a state playoff berth.”

This Friday night Hertford County (4-7) will travel to Edenton for the second time this season to face fellow Northeastern Coastal Conference rival J.A. Holmes (9-2) in the first round of the NC High School Athletic Association 2A state football playoffs.

“We’re familiar with Edenton,” said Saxby. “We know they’re a good team with very good running backs.”

Edenton beat Hertford County 35-9 in their first meeting, the conference opener for both teams, back in September.

“This time against them we need to be more confident, have a better effort against them, and that will give us a chance to win,” the coach added.

Hertford County is led by quarterback Christian Folston who so far this year has passed for 1,534 yards and 15 touchdowns.

“For us to be successful on Friday we need to attack offensively and defensively,” concluded Saxby.  “We need to be aggressive and try to slow down their running attack.”


Last Friday night Bertie closed its regular season with a loss to unbeaten and state-ranked and conference champion Northeastern.  The Eagles ended the year 11-0 and ranked number-one in the state, though they were surprisingly named a second-seed for the playoffs.  Bertie had already clinched a post-season spot by virtue of their three conference wins.

“The final score (last week) was not indicative of the game,” said Falcons head coach Tyris Hill. “We played well in the first half, but we dropped some passes which hurt us.”

This Friday Bertie (5-6) travels to Ayden-Grifton (7-4) in the first round of the 2A state playoffs.

“Ayden Grifton won their conference championship,” said Hill. “They have a good defense with size. They also have a good quarterback and are a very solid team.”

Last season the Falcons missed the post-season when they won just one game all year.

“We’re happy to be in the playoffs,” closed Hill. “And for us to be successful Friday night we need to have no turnovers and tackle well.  We need to execute on offense and run our plays.”


Last Friday Gates County lost on the road at Plymouth to end their Coastal-10 Conference regular season.  It was also the Red Barons’ second consecutive loss.

“We played a good first half,” said head coach Matt Biggy. “We even fumbled the ball at the Plymouth five-yard line one time and still only trailed 21-6 at halftime. Plymouth went on to win 50-6.”

This Friday night Gates County (7-4) will host Riverside of Williamston (5-6) in the first round of the 1A state playoffs.

“Riverside is a strong team,” cautioned Biggy. “They run a wide-open offense.  They’ve got good skilled players.  They also play good defense and are a good team overall.”
“For us to be successful Friday night we need to make plays on offense and have no turnovers,” Biggy concluded. “We need to play solid defense and not give up the big plays.”


Last Friday night Northampton County beat Rocky Mount Prep in their Two-Rivers Conference season finale and clinched a state playoff berth.

“We were able to outscore them,” said head coach George Privott. “Overall we played well and we hope to keep it going this week.”

This Friday night Northampton County (3-8) will travel to Princeton (10-1) in the first round of the state 1AA playoffs.

“Princeton is very good,” said Privott. “They won the state championship two years ago and this year they have one of the top running backs in the nation who has already signed with Florida State.  Their only loss in the regular season was to James Kenan.”

“For us to be successful on Friday night we need to play good offense and not turn the ball over,” closed Privott. “We need to try to contain their running game, which means trying to stop (FSU signee) Johnny Frazier.  This Princeton team also finished in second place in their conference.”