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Ready for some football!

GATES COUNTY at

HERTFORD COUNTY

Hertford County High opens the 2015 football season at home Friday night when they welcome Gates County to Bear Stadium.

The game marks the beginning of year-two for Terrance Saxby as the Bears’ head coach.  The former Chowan University linebacker will be on the sidelines across from another former Chowan player in Gates County head coach Matt Biggy.

“We had two good scrimmages,” said Saxby. “We played hard and played really well.  We are ready for our first game and we’re injury-free.

“Gates County is well coached,” Saxby added. “They are a tough, physical team that plays hard-nosed on defense and on offense, and they like to run the ball. For us to be successful Friday night we have to prepare well and it is important for us to execute.  We have to be aggressive on defense and offensively get the ball in our playmakers’ hands.”

Biggy also said his Red Barons team did well in their scrimmages which helped them prepare for their first game.

“Hertford County has a strong group of skilled players and are pretty strong up front,” Biggy noted. “They have a good quarterback and a good running back.  Overall, they’re a very good team.

“For us to be successful Friday night we have to minimize our mistakes,” he added. “On defense we have to get to the ball and tackle well.  Offensively, we need to control the game with our running attack.”

2015 marks the first time Gates County and Hertford County have met on the football field in six years.  The Bears won the last game in 2009.  This year the Bears and Red Barons open the season with each other and both teams trying to start the year undefeated.

NORTHAMPTON CO.

at ROANOKE RAPIDS 

The Jaguars open their season at Roanoke Rapids Friday night playing the Yellow Jackets in both teams’ first game for the second straight year.  This was supposed to be a home game back in Creeksville, but the Jags opted to return to Halifax County hoping to avenge their 2014 loss to the Jackets.

“I was pleased with our two scrimmages,” said Northampton head coach George Privott. “Overall our offense and defense played well.

“Roanoke Rapids lost a little bit from last year personnel-wise, but they’re still a good team,” Privott added. “Offensively they have a good running back and they impressed me in their scrimmage with their offense.  It’s going to be a tough game.  For us to be successful Friday night we have to eliminate mistakes and protect the ball on offense.  Defensively, we have to read our keys and get better each week.

“We have to do what we have to do to try to come out with a win,” Privott concluded.

SOUTHAMPTON ACADEMY

at NORTHEAST ACADEMY

The Northeast Eagles open at home in Lasker for the second consecutive year.  In 2014 NEA got a season-opening win over Community Christian, but never tasted victory again all year.

This year the Eagles are opening with SouthamptonAcademy on Friday night.

It’s a big game for Northeast as both teams are in the new independent schools’ 1A classification, and with playoff implications on the line early, both teams will try to start the year with a win.

LAWRENCE ACADEMY

at HALIFAX ACADEMY

Lawrence Academy will open their season at Halifax Academy in Roanoke Rapids on Friday night.  Halifax won last year’s game in Merry Hill.

The game also marks the debut of first-year head coach Lee Hoffman with the Warrior program.  Also, both teams are classified as 1A by the NC Independent Schools Athletic Association, and need a winning start to the year in the Colonial Carolina 8-Man Football Conference.

The Warriors will be led by quarterback Jarrett Harrell, beginning his third year under center.  LAW scrimmaged last week against Arendell Parrott Academy and Southampton.

“I’m not sure what to expect from Halifax,” said Hoffman.  “They graduated 12 seniors and like us, they have a new coach.  We have to go up there trying to improve on our mistakes from our scrimmage last week.

“Look for our running game to be improved and for our offensive line play to be more consistent,” Hoffman added. “Our defense played well in our scrimmages and I look for us to be able to stay in the game and compete for a win this week.”