Three teams stage home openers

Published 10:26 am Thursday, August 25, 2016

The second weekend of high school football features Bertie High and Northeast Academy opening their seasons. Meanwhile, Hertford County plays its first home game after last week’s win over Gates County. The Red Barons play another home game while Lawrence Academy plays its second contest on the road.


While other Roanoke-Chowan teams were opening their seasons, Bertie was holding a final scrimmage last Thursday against North Pitt.

“We played okay,” said first-year Falcons coach Grantley Mizelle. “We’re working out the kinks and we’ll be ready for our first game.”

Meanwhile, last Friday Northampton lost a road contest at Roanoke Rapids.

“We had four turnovers and were behind 36-0 at halftime,” said Jaguars coach George Privott. “We did score three touchdowns in the second half, but still lost 42-20.”

This Friday Bertie (0-0) will play at Northampton County (0-1) in what will be the Falcons season opener and first game for Mizelle as head coach.

“Bertie always has good athletes, and they will play disciplined. Grantley is a good coach which I found that out when he was at South Creek. For us to be successful on Friday we need to eliminate turnovers and tackle on defense, when we play our home opener,” Privott concluded.

“Northampton is a physical team,” said Mizelle in closing. “I scouted them twice and they are well coached and very good at what they do. We will have to take care of the football and eliminate mistakes. We have to play Bertie football.”


Last Friday Hertford County won its season opener, getting a 27-0 shutout victory over Gates County.

“It’s always good to start off with a win,” said a smiling Bears coach Terrance Saxby. “We played hard, we got to work on some things; but we had too many penalties.”

This Friday night Wilson Hunt (0-1), coming off a loss at 4A Lumberton, will face Hertford County (1-0) in the Bears’ home opener.

“Hunt is big on the offensive line and on the defensive line,” said Saxby. “They have very good athletes.”

“For us to be successful on Friday we have to cut down on penalties, execute on offense, and tackle on defense,” the coach concluded.


Last Friday Gates County lost its season opener at home to Hertford County, amassing just 71 yards total offense.

“We played hard but we didn’t play well,” said Red Barons head coach Matt Biggy. “We’ve got to get back to work and get better.”

This Friday Pasquotank (1-0), which ran up 61 points in crushing Camden County on Monday, will play at Gates (0-1).

“Pasquotank has a new coach (actually, former Camden coach Chris McGee) and they have good talent,” continued Biggy. “It’s always a good game against Pasquotank.”

“For us to be successful Friday we have to correct our mistakes from the last game, and continue to get better in all aspects of the game: offensively and defensively,” Biggy conceded.


Last Friday night Lawrence fell to defending NCISAA 2A state champion Parrott Academy in Kinston in a game that was halted in the first quarter due to heavy rains and lightning. Meanwhile, Cary Christian beat Hobgood in their season opener.

This Friday Lawrence (0-1) makes the trip to Wake County to face Cary Christian (1-0).

“This is a winnable game for us,” said head coach Lee Hoffman. “We have to start executing better on offense. Defensively, we did a better job of tackling last week.”

This marks the second of three straight road games to open the season for Lawrence, who are led by senior quarterback Jarrett Harrell.

“Our offensive line has been a pleasant surprise so far in protecting the quarterback, but this week we really need to have a great game of pass defense in order to win,” Hoffman closed.


Last Friday St. David’s School of Raleigh crushed Halifax Academy to open their 2016 campaign while Northeast Academy will begin their season at home (in the News-Herald ‘GAME OF THE WEEK”) in Lasker when the Eagles meet the Warriors.

This Friday St. David’s (1-0) will try for two wins in a row at Northeast (0-0) in the season opener for the Eagles.

“St. David’s is obviously a strong team, and we will find out what we are made of,” said Northeast coach Stevie Flythe. “Last year they lost in the 2A state championship game like we lost in the 1A title game.”

“For us to be successful on Friday night we have got to get our offense’s confidence up, and show we are still a good team. We can’t have penalties and turnovers; we just have to play up to our potential,” Flythe concluded.