State playoffs begin

Published 10:59 am Thursday, November 9, 2017

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association football playoffs begin tomorrow (Friday) with three area teams in action – all on the road – while one team: Northampton County received a first-round bye as the second seed in their 1A region. Elsewhere, in the 2A ranks Hertford County is at Southwest Edgecombe and Bertie travels to Northeastern. Gates County plays at Manteo in the 1AA playoffs.

There are also NC Independent Schools Athletic Association state championship games scheduled for Saturday at Arendell-Parrott Academy in Kinston where Northeast-Hobgood will meet Halifax Academy in the third meeting between those two this year.



Last Friday Hertford County came from behind to beat Bertie 40-38.

“I was proud of the way we fought,” said Bears head coach Terrance Saxby. “We were behind at halftime, we made adjustments, and it was a good comeback win for us. We played a strong second half.”

Gates County quarterback Jawan Riddick (#16, w/ball) leads the Red Barons into the first round of the NCHSAA 1AA football playoffs Friday night when the ‘Barons travel to Manteo to face the Redskins. | Next Level Photos / Charles Revelle

This Friday, Hertford County (6-5) is at SW Edgecombe (9-2) for their first-round playoff match-up.

“They are a good team,” Saxby continued. “Southwest Edgecombe is a big, physical team that runs the wishbone offense and plays power football.”

The Bears are led by senior quarterback Lance Hunter who has passed for 1,916 yards and 20 touchdowns. Running back Kyeem Perry has rushed for 1,845 yards and 22 touchdowns, while receiver Zion Riddick has 60 receptions for 1,149 yards and 14 touchdowns.

“We have to execute on offense and make every possession count,” Saxby concluded. “Defensively, we have to get stops.”



Last Friday Bertie fell to Hertford County at Roy Bond Jr. Stadium – the Falcons’ third straight loss – while Northeastern was wrapping up the Northeastern Coastal Conference championship and an undefeated regular season. The Falcons (4-7) and Eagles (11-0) will now meet in the post-season as the 2A playoffs begin with Bertie having the memories of their 49-6 regular season loss, also in Elizabeth City.

“We are happy to be in the playoffs for the second straight year,” said Falcons coach Grantley Mizelle. “We have lost five games by six points or less this year, and we are close to getting the program back where it used to be.”

Running back LaCurtis Askew leads the Falcons with 1,309 yards rushing and 14 total touchdowns. Quarterback Isaiah Williams has passed for 771 yards and 14 touchdowns as well – six of those through the air.

“Northeastern is a talented football team,” closed Mizelle. “They are fast and well coached. The amount of athletes they have is tough for any team to match up with, but we plan on establishing the run and mixing our passing game in with it. We are going to try and disguise some things on defense to confuse their quarterback (Dallas Hall – 1,458 yards passing & 18 touchdowns). We must play disciplined football and be physical to give ourselves a chance to shock the world and win this week.”



Last Friday Gates County beat Camden County 36-6 for the first time in five tries.

“It was good to end the regular-season with a win,” said Red Barons head coach Matt Biggy. “We played well.”

This Friday, Gates County (6-5) is at Manteo (8-3) in a first round 1AA state playoff game. Earlier, the two Albemarle Athletic Conference combatants met, also on Roanoke Island, and the Redskins claimed a 34-7 victory.

“Manteo is well coached. They have a good quarterback, they have a good running back, and defensively they tackle well,” said Biggy.

“This is also a rematch of a game they won earlier,” he concluded. “We didn’t play well in that first game with them. We have to have a more consistent running game and defensively, we just have to play better.”



Last Friday, Northeast-Hobgood beat Community Christian 36-26 in the first round of the NCISAA 1A state playoffs.

This Saturday Northeast-Hobgood (6-4), riding a five-game win streak, will play Halifax Academy (6-3) at a neutral site, Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston, for the state championship.

Hobgood last won the state championship in 1994 as an 11-man squad under Coach Bryan Dobson. The Raiders were runners-up in 8-Man football in 1991 and 2001. Northeast last played for the state championship in 2015 when they fell 56-14 to Southampton Academy of Virginia.

Halifax, riding a six game win streak, beat NHA twice in the regular season, both times in Roanoke Rapids: 36-26 and 50-30.