The four football teams in New Hanover County are back to practice after a tough week as all four programs suffered setbacks. The second edition of Sports Round Table includes game highlights from week three and interviews with the head coaches of Ashley, Hoggard, Laney and New Hanover.
Following back-to-back victories to open the season, the Wildcats received a rude awakening on Friday night in a 42-0 shutout by the defending 3A East Regional Champion Havelock Rams. New Hanover Coach Earl Smith talked about the need to win the battle at the line of scrimmage heading into a bye week, with a home date against Scotland County set for Friday, September 18.
The Wildcats are 2-1 overall and Smith said the offense moved the chains against Havelock, but need to do a better job of finishing drives in the red zone, with six opportunities to score inside the 20 last week, scoring zero points.
Hoggard dropped a one-point game late in the fourth quarter in a 27-26 defeat at Scott Braswell Stadium.
Tony Allen scored two touchdowns on the ground, while Bryant Sasser hit Keon Bradley for a pair of scores through the air. Caleb Kuhne also went 2-of-3 on field goal attempts, which included a 46-yard kick. Coach Craig Underwood remains impressed with his team’s effort on the defensive end of the football and believes the offense has made strides over the last two weeks. Despite the two field goals from Kuhne, Underwood said special teams will be a key focus heading into Friday’s matchup at Charlotte Christian as the Vikings allowed its second kick return for a touchdown in the loss to Pine Forest.
Putting away teams in the fourth quarter and building off opportunities throughout the course of the game is a message Coach Aashad Yeoman is using this week following a 28-18 setback at Lee County. For the second straight week, Laney was in the game heading into the second half, but were outplayed over the final 24 minutes of each ball game to fall to 0-3.
Imeek Watkins found the end zone twice and Jameus Beckett had a long touchdown for the Bucs. Yeoman is looking for his playmakers to stand up and put the finishing touches on a complete game effort. He said the mindset has to be one of making plays, rather than waiting for something to happen.
Laney’s game at Northern Nash has been moved until tonight per weather concerns on Friday.
In a game that spanned over three days and into the Labor Day Holiday because of a weather delay, Ashley was tied 14-14 heading into the fourth quarter against Fairmont on Monday, but two late touchdowns handed the Screaming Eagles its third loss of the season.
Injuries have hurt an Ashley team looking for consistency and Coach Jeff Turner is working to get the offense moving behind running back Bradley Plyler. Turner said the defense has been a bright spot up front and forced some turnovers against Fairmont, while the offense needs to take care of scoring chances when given the short field.
You can view Sports Round Table below, with game highlights and interviews from each of the four football teams across New Hanover County. The show airs at 8p.m. on Wednesday’s on Time Warner Cable Channel 5 and Charter Cable Channel 191.