Week 10 of the high school football season is just one day away as teams across the Mideastern Conference jockey for position across the seven-team league.
The latest edition of Sport Round Table featured the four head coaches from New Hanover County and game highlights from this past Friday, including the catch of the year by University of North Carolina-bound Garrett Walston. He brought down a one-handed touchdown grab for his second score of the game in the Wildcats’ 49-14 rout over West Brunswick.
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 Hoggard Vikings battle against Southern Wayne in 2000. Throwback Sundays airs at 7 p.m. on Time Warner Cable Channel 5 and Charter Cable Channel 191.
Looking ahead to Friday’s matchups, Hoggard will have a good test on the road against West Brunswick, while New Hanover looks to stay atop the standings as the Wildcats travel to Ashley. Topsail and South Brunswick square off in Hampstead. North Brunswick also travels to Onslow County for a date with Dixon.
Ashley (2-1, 3-5) vs. New Hanover (3-0, 6-2)
The Wildcats are riding a four-game winning streak and put up 30 or more points in each of their games over the last month. New Hanover has outscored its opponents during that time 139-61 as Coach Earl Smith has been impressed with the improvements his defense has made each week thanks to the efforts of Nigel Hines, Nas Brown, Ronnie Beatty and defensive lineman Jomaious Williams.
On the offensive end of the ball, Burke Estes connected with three different receivers on his way to throwing four touchdown passes last week. The senior has completed 137-of-202 pass attempts for 1,751 yards, 13 touchdowns and just five interceptions this season. He’s also reportedly worked out for a few colleges this month, including Elon, while Smith hopes to get him a look at NCAA Division II program Catawba in the near future.
Keegan Santos, Tre Age and Wiz Vaughn are three skillful backs in the running game, with good hands and the ability to make people miss in space. Walston has a team-high 40 catches for 637 yards and five touchdowns on the year. Lamont Howard is also a viable threat at wide out, with 24 catches this season.
While Ashley may be turning a few heads in their first year under Coach Jeff Turner, the Screaming Eagles have a big test on Friday night if they hope to build off back-to-back wins.
Following a 40-0 shutout over South Brunswick, Ashley is 2-1 in conference play and 3-5 overall after going winless in 2014. In their five losses this season, the Screaming Eagles were competitive through four quarters with the exception of a Monday night game at West Brunswick on September 28.
Jacob Lloyd had three interceptions in last week’s win, two of which he returned for a touchdown. Bradley Plyler has been the workhorse in the Ashley backfield, while junior Caleb Parker continues to make strides at quarterback. Jacob Reed also found the end zone against South Brunswick, but the Screaming Eagles have had some injuries on the defensive side of the ball, which creates a big void going up against the high octane New Hanover offense.
West Brunswick (2-2, 5-4) vs. Hoggard (2-1, 4-4)
Sophomore quarterback Josh Jones made the most of his first career start last week, completing his first nine passes and rushing for a touchdown in the Vikings win over Laney. Hoggard looked sharp coming out of the bye, and will make the road trip to Shallotte for a date with West Brunswick on Friday.
The Vikings are averaging 191 yards on the ground per game this season as Tony Allen and Rashad Wallace continue to provide a duel threat in the Hoggard backfield. Allen is a smaller back, but hits the hole hard and is used in short yardage situations. Wallace has over 100 carries this season, with 1,532 rushing yards combined. Allen found the end zone three times last week, with 10 touchdowns on the year.
William Kandare has emerged as one of the top defensive players in the area, with a team-high 47 total tackles and 11 tackles for loss. He has four sacks, while Omar Jones leads the team with five.
Hoggard has three players with over 200 yards receiving, including Hunter Louthan (231), Collin Harr (209) and Evan Allegret (202), who also helps in returning kicks.
West Brunswick has dropped two of its last three games as the Trojans look to find consistency through four quarters at 2-2 in conference and 5-4 overall.
Maliek King scored two late touchdowns last week, while Bubba McCray and Shikeem Hill continue to share carries in the West Brunswick back field.
Topsail (1-2, 4-4) vs. South Brunswick (0-4, 2-7)
After opening the season 2-1, South Brunswick has dropped six straight and three of their losses during that time have been shutouts. Topsail is coming off their open week and look to get back in the win column following a 21-7 setback to Ashley on Oct. 9.
Freshman D.J. Mantano has been a bright spot in the Pirates’ offense, with 763 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. His ability to run the ball efficiently has hinged upon the work of N.C. State commit Joseph Sculthorpe and fellow offensive lineman Codie Howell. A trio of seniors (Drew Gaither, Justin Smith, Grant McCoy) have also had their fair share of opportunities in the running game with nearly 1,000 combined yards rushing.
Senior Hunter Potts has three interceptions for Topsail, while McCoy leads the team in total tackles (44).
North Brunswick (1-1, 4-3) @ Dixon (0-2, 3-5)
Coming off an emotional homecoming night where North Brunswick named its football stadium in honor of former Coach Garry Bishop, it’s back to business for the Scorpions, who look to build off last week’s 12-0 win.
D’angelo Walker proved to be a difference maker for North Brunswick one week ago, while Jathan Deberry and Tiger Bryant both give the Scorpions a viable option at quarterback. The defense has let up just 21 points over the last weeks.
Dixon has been outscored 143-76 through eight games and are still in search of their first conference win.