The 2015 high school football schedule should get back to some type of normalcy on Friday night after weeks of weather delays and postponements.
Sports Round Table, a New Hanover County Schools TV weekly telecast, caught up with Hoggard seniors Omar Jones and Hunter Louthan during the Vikings’ bye week, with game highlights from the Laney versus New Hanover game and Ashley’s 21-7 homecoming win over Topsail.
The show airs at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays on the Learning Network and can be seen on Time Warner Cable Channel 5 and Charter Cable Channel 191. For the latest broadcast scroll down to the end of this story.
This week’s Throwback Sunday showcase features the cross-town rivalry game between Hoggard and Laney in 2001. Throwback Sundays airs at 7 p.m. on Time Warner Cable Channel 5 and Charter Cable Channel 191.
Friday night marks week nine of the season, with four games within the three-county coverage area. Previews for each of the matchups are listed below.
Laney (2-1, 3-5) @ Hoggard (1-1, 3-4)
Hoggard had a week to prepare for their matchup at home against Laney as the Vikings look to bounce back following their 30-13 setback to New Hanover on Oct. 6.
Sophomore quarterback Josh Jones saw significant playing time during that game and looks to figure into the scheme along with Bryant Sasser behind center. Hunter Louthan has become a threat in the passing game at tight end, with a touchdown grab in the game against the Wildcats and a team-high 14 catches on the year.
Mathew Eakins also has 13 receptions and Tristan Kandare has good hands at the fullback position. Juniors Rashad Wallace and Tony Allen continue to take the workload in the running game, combining for over 1,000 yards rushing this season.
Laney has a quick turnaround after playing on Monday and hopeS to clean up a few things that cost them in the second half against the Wildcats. Jamius Beckett has emerged has an all-around threat for the Bucs, with his ability to make plays on offense, defense and special teams. He was matched up, one-on-one, with University of North Carolina commit Garrett Walston for most of the game at defensive back, made strides as a kick returner and scored two touchdowns at running back.
Trevone Greene hopes to control possession at quarterback for Laney, while Imeek Watkins continues to get a bulk of the carries at running back. The Bucs are averaging 170 yards on the ground per game and junior linebacker Cayman Czesak has a team-high 17 tackles, including eight tackles for loss and three sacks.
Ashley (1-1, 2-5) @ South Brunswick (0-3, 2-6)
Coming off an emotional victory on Monday, Ashley gets back on the field with a road trip to Boiling Springs Lake for a Mideastern Conference matchup against South Brunswick.
The Screaming Eagles went to the running game often in the win against Topsail, with 240 yards rushing. Junior Caleb Parker is nearly at full strength after overcoming a pair of injuries earlier this season and the quarterback showcased his ability on the ground in week eight, with 22 carries for 140 yards. Bradley Plyler scored two touchdowns four days ago and continues to run hard in the Ashley backfield, while Freddie Thames has given the Screaming Eagles another threat on offense.
D.C. Russ has been a staple at defensive end as Ashley held Topsail to just 98 yards of total offense. One big loss for the Screaming Eagles heading into Friday is senior defensive lineman Russell Corbett, who is out for an injury to his left foot.
South Brunswick has hit a rut after a 2-1 start to the season. The Cougars are reeling, having dropped five straight games, the latest a 34-14 setback to West Brunswick. Opposing defenses have keyed on standout running back Josh Carter, while being outscored 328-134 on the season.
New Hanover (2-0, 6-2) vs. West Brunswick (2-1, 5-3)
The Wildcats are in the driver’s seat atop the Mideastern Conference following a pair of wins over Hoggard and Laney. New Hanover continues to get the ball to its skill position players Garrett Walston, Wiz Vaughn and Lamont Howard. The return of Keegan Santos from injury has given the black and orange yet another threat in the run game as the junior found the end zone twice in New Hanover’s 30-14 win over the Bucs on Monday.
Burke Estes has been efficient in the passing game, completing 21-of-28 passes against Laney for 269 yards and two touchdowns, including a 28 yard pass to Walston in the fourth quarter.
For the Wildcats, their biggest improvement over the last few weeks has been on defense. Nigel Hines and Nas Brown have made big strides at the linebacker position, with Ronnie Beatty serving as the team’s leader at safety. Junior Joamious Williams has also played a big role in stuffing the run as the six-foot, four-inch, 295-pound defensive tackle is becoming a touch matchup at the line of scrimmage.
West Brunswick got back to playing Trojans football in a 34-14 win over South Brunswick on Monday, using a healthy dose of the run game and an opportunistic defense to get back in the win column following a 14-13 setback to Topsail. The green and white have won three of their last four games by a combined scored 107-34, with Tariq Thomas getting an interception return for a touchdown against the Cougars.
Shikeem Hill and Maliek King have been the go to backs in Coach Kelly Williamson’s offense, while Bubba McCray gives West Brunswick another viable option in the run game.
North Brunswick (0-1, 3-3) vs. Southwest Onslow (0-1, 3-4)
North Brunswick was the only local team to play last Friday as the Scorpions made the long drive to Croatan, dropping a 14-7 contest to fall to 0-1 in conference.
They head into their first home game in league play in a favorable game against a Southwest Onlsow team that has 3-4 overall mark. The Stallions have six different players with 15 or more carries this season, including sophomore Jakoby Johnson, who serves as the team’s leading rusher with 484 yards on 109 carries and four touchdowns.
North Brunswick has talent across the board on offense, with Jathan Deberry operating at quarterback. Shaquan Graham and Jayhlen Washington bring another level of speed to the field, which should give Southwest Onslow matchup problems in space.