The Warriors will take Friday’s much-needed win.
North Edgecombe jumped out to a two-touchdown lead in the first quarter against winless KIPP Pride before holding on for a 14-12 victory.
“We seemed ready to take over the ballgame,” Warriors coach Keith Parisher said.
Penalties stalled drives the remainder of the game, and it took North Edgecombe’s defense stopping KIPP Pride at the 15-yard line to preserve the victory.
The Warriors could not have afforded a loss. They’ll play Gates County and Weldon to complete the regular season, and it is likely the Warriors will need victories in both to become eligible for the playoffs.
“We’re happy with the win, but we’re still making slow progress to get where we want to be,” Parisher said. “As long as we do that, we’ll be all right.”
Tarboro held up its end of the bargain, and now it is looking for more.
The Vikings (7-0, 4-0 Eastern Plains) are undefeated heading into Friday night’s game against SouthWest Edgecombe.
The game deemed the “Function at the Junction” is no less important to both teams, even though SouthWest Edgecombe suffered its first league loss against North Pitt on Friday.
The two teams will meet for the final time as conference rivals. Tarboro moves to the 1-A classification next season.
“It means a lot, it’s a big rivalry game, both of us are competing for that conference championship,” Tarboro coach Jeff Craddock said. “We’ve said many times that a team with one loss, we can have ties atop the conference. It’s going to be a lot of fun and a lot of work. SouthWest is very well coached, obviously, and they’ve got great talent. They’ll understand that if they want a piece of the conference championship, they’ll have to win the football game.”
By the end of the Cougars’ loss Friday night to North Pitt, their troublesome first half was a distant memory.
In fact, coach Raymond Cobb already was focused on next week’s opponent – the Tarboro Vikings. SouthWest Edgecombe’s first chance to rebound from its first Eastern Plains Conference loss is against its cross-country rival.
“If we are going to have any chance in this thing, we’ve got to win next week in Tarboro,” said Cobb, who told his team after the game that he has never been afraid of Tarboro, the three-time defending NCHSAA 2-A state champion.
The Cougars scored 24 points in the second half and gained nearly twice as many yards in the final 24 minutes as it did in the first half.
Rocky Mount Academy
The Eagles didn’t need a perfect victory following the team’s worst loss of the season, but that’s exactly what they had Friday in a 41-21 victory against Raleigh St. David’s
Coach B.W. Holt agreed.
“It was a good gut check for our kids,” he said. “Everyone was embarrassed by our performance against Word of God. … They realized they were better than what they showed. They want to show everybody else that they can play a little bit.”
Rocky Mount Academy scored on its first five possessions and never punted against St. David’s, which lost to Raleigh Word of God by just four points earlier this year.
The Eagles great week of practiced showed with more than 350 yards of total offense.
Rocky Mount Academy led 35-14 at halftime and even tackled better than previous weeks.
“It was just a good overall win,” Holt said.
Rocky Mount Prep
For most of the season, things have gone downhill in a hurry for Rocky Mount Prep.
Friday’s 48-6 loss was no different.
“It just snowballed again,” coach Don Reams said. “ … The things we keep telling them over and over again, they just haven’t adhered to.”
Standout De’Andre Manley didn’t play, and quarterback Isaiah Lynch played just two plays at the position. So once Southeast Halifax scored on its opening drive to take and eight-point lead, the Jaguars didn’t have the talent to keep up.
As Rocky Mount Prep enters its bye week, Reams is looking for more a commitment from his players for two reasons. The Jaguars have their best shot at a victory in two weeks against KIPP Pride, and he knows they will need more offseason commitment or next year will look just like this year.
“What’s happening this year?” Reams said. “What do they want to happen next year?”
The Firebirds began their game against Northern Nash fired up, though they may have taken it too far.
Southern Nash cost itself nearly 100 yards of penalties, including five 15-yarders after the whistle.
“We gotta quit doing stupid stuff,” Southern Nash coach Brian Foster said. “Part of it might have been my fault getting them riled up, and some of them were borderline, but we have to play more controlled.”
The Firebirds (6-1, 2-0 Big East) knew they had a good runner in running back Rashid Campbell, but they’ve found Taylor Finch is just as capable.
Finch ran 10 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns, including a key 49-yard touchdown that put Southern Nash ahead by three scores in the third quarter.
“He’s always had the ability,” Foster said. “We knew he could do it. It as a matter of getting him to know he could do it, too.”
The Knights were convinced before this season that this team was much better than the team that went 2-8 in 2011.
Northern Nash is better than last season’s team, though the wins haven’t come as frequently as it had hoped.
Following the Knights’ 35-14 loss to Southern Nash on Friday, they stand at 2-5, and 0-2 in the Big East.
“I’m so disappointed in the way we’ve played up to this point,”Northern Nash coach Mickey Crouch said. “The coaching staff and our kids worked so, so hard in the offseason. I thought we’d be much better.”
Southern Nash, which Northern Nash usually defends fairly well, racked up nearly 400 yards on the ground. Stopping the run has been a problem all season for the Knights.
“Since I’ve been here, we’ve always done well stopping their power plays,” Crouch said. “Stopping those is about assignments, and we didn’t do them well all the time.”
This season is starting to feel like the movie “Groundhog Day” for Nash Central.
For the third time in four games, the Bulldogs have allowed 14 or fewer points, yet lost by one score.
“It has been the same thing over and over,”Nash Central coach Kevin Crudup said. “We’re not executing at times, then sometimes we are. When we’re not executing, it has been real costly for us.”
Nash Central (2-5, 0-2 Big East) could easily be 5-2, but the difference for Crudup and the Bulldogs has been big plays.
The Bulldogs haven’t been able to swing a game with the couple of plays to change the outcome.
“That’s all it is, just making some big plays,” Crudup said. “A catch here, a block there, the defense forcing a turnover. Like I told the kids, we’re so close. It’s hard to believe we’re not making plays, because we have the talent.”