Saturday, July 20, 2024

Football preview week six: New Hanover vs. Purnell Swett

New Hanover (1-3) vs. Purnell Swett (3-2)

The New Hanover football team should be happy to be playing back at home after three straight games away from Legion Stadium. Those three road trips included visits to 4A power Scotland County, 2015 3A state runner-up Havelock and high-flying Myrtle Beach High School in South Carolina.

Player to Watch: Lamont Howard, senior, wide out: Howard is coming off one of the best games of his high school career. He had 9 catches for 197 yards and two touchdowns last week, including several highlight reel receptions to lead New Hanover.

Lamont Howard.
Lamont Howard.

The Wildcats kept pace with Scotland County last week, but the offense couldn’t get over the hump during a second half drive that ultimately allowed the Scots to gain enough breathing room to put the game away.

Similar to last season, New Hanover played three tough non-conference opponents heading into league play and one more week to get moving in the right direction leading up a big matchup in their conference opener against Hoggard on Friday, Sept. 30.

Blake Walston and Francis Meehan split most of the snaps so far this season, but an injury to Meehan will give Walston a shot to run the offense on a more consistent basis.

The sophomore has shown good arm strength and a feel for the system under Offensive Coordinator Darryl Raynor. With a talented group at the skill position, Walston needs to limit mistakes and allow his playmakers to do the work.

Purnell Swett has a 3-2 record moving into Friday night, with both setbacks coming on the road. The Rams defeated Jack Britt 23-8 last week to get over the .500 mark, but will have their hands full against a New Hanover team looking to get back in the win column for the first time since Aug. 19.

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