Monday, December 4, 2023

High School Football: Week four players to watch (video)

It’s hard to believe week four of the high school football season is here and while a pair of New Hanover County Schools enjoy a bye week (Ashley and New Hanover), Hoggard and Laney are looking to get back to the .500 mark at 1-2 overall.

North Brunswick (1-1) entertains South Brunswick (1-2), while Topsail (1-1) looks to make it three in a row at home against Croatan. Coming off their first loss of the season, West Brunswick (1-0) hopes to bounce back at home against Whiteville.

Week four football schedule

Hoggard (1-2) vs. Carolina Forest (2-0)

Rashad Wallace. Photo courtesy- John Crouch
Rashad Wallace. (Photo courtesy- John Crouch)

Player to Watch: Rashod Wallace, senior, running back: Wallace and classmate Tony Allen have helped Hoggard rush for 200 yards per game this season. The senior has 48 carries for 270 yards heading into a match up against unbeaten Carolina Forest. Wallace is the team’s leading rusher, with a team-high four touchdowns.

In last week’s 28-26 setback against Pine Forest, Wallace recorded his first 100-plus yard game (26 carries, 131 yards) and two scores. He also had three receptions for 82 yards and will likely be featured more in the passing game moving forward due to injuries at the wide out position.

Carolina Forest (2-0) has outscored its two opponents 90-16 moving into a pair of road games against Hoggard (9/9) and Myrtle Beach (9/16).


Laney (1-2) vs. Northern Nash (1-1) 

Player to Watch: Dionte Hicks, senior, defensive tackle: Hicks has played a key role on a quality defensive front for Laney. He was an intricate part in stuffing the run during the Bucs’ 14-13 win at J.H. Rose two weeks ago and did a great job filling the gap last week against Lee County. On the year, Hicks has seven tackles and one fumble recovery.

Dionte Hicks.
Dionte Hicks.

The Laney offense sputtered during the 22-0 setback against Lee County, but as Sherod Sidbury continues to get reps in the new wing-tee option scheme expect the sophomore quarterback to aid a surge with senior running back Imeek Watkins yet to break out for a big game this season.

Northern Nash (1-1) is coming off a 27-24 setback against Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City. The Knights play in the Big East 3A Conference.

West Brunswick (2-1) vs. Whiteville (1-2)

Player to Watch: Bubba McCray, senior, running back: McCray is looking to help get West Brunswick back in the win column after struggling to get going offensively because of turnovers. McCray has 40 rushes for 372 yards and four touchdowns through three games.

The Trojans have done a good job getting touches to a variety of players in the backfield. West Brunswick is averaging 340.5 rushing yards per game and should be able to exploit a Whiteville side that has allowed 23.3 points per game.

The Wolfpack grabbed a 35-6 victory against West Bladen in week three after starting the year with a 0-2 record.

Jc Smith. Photo courtesy- Cape Fear Photography.
Jc Smith. Photo courtesy- Cape Fear Photography.

North Brunswick (1-1) vs. South Brunswick (1-2)

Player to Watch: Jc Smith, senior, running back: Jc Smith rushed for 200 yards and scored two touchdowns during a week two 44-40 setback at Socastee in South Carolina. Smith compliments a strong group of skill players for the Scorpions.

Coming off a bye week, North Brunswick (1-1) should be ready to go in the first of two games against cross-county rivals this season.

A promising start for the South Brunswick Cougars has turned into a 1-2 record through three weeks. South Brunswick has rushed for over 220 yards per game, but the Cougars have been outscored 83-19 over the past two games. Josh Carter (65 carries, 395 yards) and sophomore quarterback Mason Phillips have combined for six touchdowns this season.

Topsail (2-1) vs. Croatan (2-1)

After a week one setback against Trask, Topsail has bounced back in a big way and looks to make it three straight wins on Friday night when the Pirates play host to former conference rival Croatan. Topsail has used a trio in the backfield as freshman Noah Lavalle has emerged as the team’s leading rusher with 29 carries for 258 yards and three touchdowns.

The Pirates have four running backs with nearly 100 yards rushing for the season. While DJ Montano has been sidelined over the last two weeks, Josh Smith (24 carries, 160 yards) has picked up the ground game, while Hayden Walsh has a pair of short yardage touchdowns.

Topsail has put up 100 points in their two wins, but square off against a Croatan squad who has a 97-42 points for/against average through three games. Like the Pirates, Croatan is a run heavy offense.

Scroll down for Joe Cats’ video preview of Week 4’s players to watch



Related Articles