IMG_5977.jpeg

Northern Nash quarterback Keno Jones receives the snap during a Week 1 game against SouthWest Edgecombe. Jones passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in Friday’s 49-6 win over Nash Central.

Yet another Friday weather forecast filled with rain and poor conditions has prompted many schools to push their football games this week to Thursday.

SouthWest Edgecombe and Rocky Mount Academy are off this week.

Let’s get into Thursday’s Week 8 matchups.

Roanoke Rapids (4-2) at Rocky Mount High (4-2)

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Last week: RMH defeated Nash Central, 21-8. Roanoke Rapids lost to Northern Nash, 42-17.

The matchup: The Rocky Mount High defense will be focused on the Yellowjackets running game as Austin Geary has 620 rushing yards and eight touchdowns and Matthew Macnichol has 430 yards and six touchdowns. The Gryphons have been dominant during their three-game win streak, allowing six, six and eight points in three games. They have allowed more than 14 points just once (27 in a loss to Edenton Holmes). The RMH offense is balanced with quarterback Stephon Jones finding eight different receivers this season, and a running game that has produced 10 touchdowns. Roanoke Rapids opened the season with four consecutive wins before running into the 3-A programs in the Big East Conference. The Yellowjackets are coming off back-to-back losses to Southern Nash and Northern Nash, and scored a combined 31 points in those games. In the previous four games, Roanoke Rapids scored no fewer than 35 points in any game.

Nash Central (3-3) at Northern Nash (5-1)

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. Thursday

Last week: Nash Central lost to Rocky Mount High, 21-8. Northern Nash defeated Roanoke Rapids, 42-17.


The matchup: Nash Central’s strength is its defense. Taking away a lopsided loss to Smithfield-Selma and its spread offense, the Bulldogs haven’t allowed more than 21 points in any game this season. The Bulldogs have yet to lose consecutive games. Northern Nash is on a three-game win streak. The Knights have scored at least 41 points in each of those wins. Northern Nash quarterback Keno Jones has thrown for 787 yards and nine touchdowns. Jones has also rushed for 10 touchdowns. Running back RJ Loring leads the Knights with 776 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

Tarboro (6-1) at South Creek (0-5)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Thursday

Last week: Tarboro defeated Gates County, 42-8. South Creek lost to Bertie, 28-16.

The matchup: Tarboro’s dominant running game is once again powering the team as it has now won six games in a row. The Vikings have rushed for 1,956 yards and a whopping 30 touchdowns in seven games. Tobias Joyner leads the way with 665 yards and seven touchdowns, Jamarion Dozier (312 yards) and Trevon White (303) have each scored six rushing touchdowns. Jayshun Higgs is right behind that trio with 248 rushing yards and five scores. Meanwhile, quarterback Omarion Lewis is 9 of 21 passing with four touchdown passes. Lewis has also rushed for three scores and 131 yards. On defense, Ni’Zavion Black has five of the Vikings’ 11 sacks this season.

Faith Christian (3-1) at John Paul II Catholic (4-1)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Thursday

Last week: FCS lost to Parrott Academy, 54-14. John Paul defeated Rocky Mount Academy, 44-36.

The matchup: FCS suffered its first loss of the season last week. The Patriots scored 14 points last week after averaging 40.6 over their first three games. Deanthony Joyner is the only runner for FCS with more than 100 yards. The senior has 744 yards and nine touchdowns. John Paul II has won three consecutive games. The Saints have rushed for 1,736 yards and 24 touchdowns, led by a pair of runners with at least 629 yards. Justin Biggs (629 yards and 7 touchdowns) and Rion Roseborough (751, 10 touchdowns) lead the Saints.