League play began in the Northeastern Coastal Conference on Friday Thursday and with it gave us some food for thought. Edenton, after all, did feast on Pasquotank 50-22. Northeastern got its share of winning again by beating Bertie 52-12 while Hertford County (at Currituck) and First Flight (vs. Camden) also picked up victories with ease.
It makes for some changes in our weekly conference predictions.
Northeastern Coastal: 1. Northeastern, 2. Lake Taylor (Va.) penalties, 3. Edenton, 4. Lake Taylor (Va.) penalties, 5. Hertford County, 6. Lake Taylor (Va.) penalties, 7. Pasquotank, 8. Lake Taylor (Va.) penalties, 9. Bertie, 10. Penalties assessed to Lake Taylor (Va.), 11. Currituck, 12. Unnecessary whining after a win, 13. First Flight.
Camden senior defensive lineman/running back Marcus Joyner verbally committed to Old Dominion Sunday. The story was first reported by 247sports.com. The 6-foot-3, 254 pounder has rushed for 752 yards and 11 touchdowns this season at running back.
The Tweets of congratulations have come in for Joyner.
Northeastern North Carolina football teams nearly went 2-0 against Hampton Roads squads last Friday. Lake Taylor dropped more than 30 spots in the national rankings, and Northeastern nearly made it worse until the Titans were fortunate enough to get a late touchdown to win.
Edenton found a way to outlast Booker T. Washington 21-20 (healthy players make a difference). Anyway onto the weekly conference predictions:
Northeastern Coastal Conference: 1. Northeastern, 2. Hertford County, 3. Lake Taylor’s WWE on-field entrance, 4. Pasquotank, 5. Edenton, 6. Currituck, 7. Sam Walker’s GIFs, 8. First Flight, 9. Thursday varsity games, 10. Saint Augustine’s
Plymouth might not be the Plymouth of the past few years (i.e. reaching another 1A state championship), but the Vikings proved Friday night at Camden that they’re still tops in the 1A East for now and could make the title game anyway for a fourth-straight year.
The 37-14 win for Plymouth meant it’ll win a third Coastal 10 Conference championship. If the Vikings slip then it’ll be a shock. Otherwise Camden will look to hold onto second again, a consolation prize considering Plymouth gave the home squad plenty of chances to pull the upset.
It was a sloppy game with penalties and turnovers, and one where the Vikings essentially took 14 first half points off the board because of mistakes you don’t see out of a winning program. A block in the back, unsportsmanlike conduct and more.
And when it came to scoring points, I’ll point to an unnecessary 59 yard touchdown run with seconds left when a simple knee on fourth down would’ve sealed it in the form of a 30-14 victory. I call those “unstyle” points.
Nevertheless, I consider Plymouth to be the 1A version of Northeastern in this part of the state. They still possess some size on the line and speed, and the return of tailback Chad Dance only amplifies team agility.
Camden coach Chris McGee believes his Bruins are so close to reaching that next level, to win conference championships and make deep postseason runs. To do so, you must take advantage of gift-wrapped opportunities.
Perquimans has quietly won back-to-back Coastal 10 Conference games and could well go 4-0 in the league before going to Plymouth on Oct. 16. It would be two unbeaten league squads, and although the Pirates would be heavy underdogs, they do have the speed to run (for a little while) with the Vikings.
Two things: one, the Pirates need to bring back a JV program. Numbers are going to remain a problem without some sort of team for freshmen and sophomores, who will get more reps to prep for varsity.
The second is the youth right now. Sophomores like Dallas Hall, Dwuan Williams and Tyler Clark have started to mesh well with seniors like Reashun Warren (a leading rusher in the area) and 6-foot-4, 300-pound tackle Da’Ome Mallory. Can Perquimans manage a winning season?
Northeastern’s matchup against Lake Taylor had everything.
An early deficit, then a furious comeback by the Eagles. Then a closely played second half and a game-winning score.
Despite coming up short, NHS proved that it can compete against some of the top competition in high school football.
Entering the matchup, Lake Taylor was the 24th ranked program in the nation according to MaxPreps.com.
It could have been easy for the Eagles to not throw the football, but for the majority of the game, NHS went after a Lake Taylor defensive backfield that had multiple Division I prospects.
The Eagles even had a trick play in their back pocket (a throw back pass to quarterback Devonte Rountree) that worked. Rountree ended up scoring on the play, but the referee whistled the Eagles for holding, negating the touchdown.
The defense forced five fumbles and recovered four against the Titans. At least two of those fumbles were recovered when Lake Taylor was inside the NHS 10-yard line.
Barring any additional injuries, this team is the favorite in the Northeastern Coastal Conference.
Northeastern coach Antonio would tell you that he is not in the business of moral victories, but looking at the big picture, the performance that was displayed on Friday night should prepare the Eagles for a deep run in the state playoffs.