Prep football previews -- North Duplin and Kenan set to battle
By David Williams
Published in Sports on September 9, 2004 1:58 PM
The Duplin County wars have begun.
Football wars, that is.
The next game in a series of games involving Duplin County teams kicks off Friday night as North Duplin drivers south and takes on James Kenan. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Bill Taylor Field.
Other upcoming games involving Duplin squads have East Duplin coming to James Kenan and the Tigers traveling to Wallace-Rose Hill for what is likely to be a Super Six Conference championship matchup.
But the game Friday night involves neighbors from Warsaw and Calypso -- just 12 miles apart. The players, coaches and fans go to the same churches, shop at the same stores and wave at each other as they drive by.
It's both a friendly rivalry, and a fierce one.
"It's a big game," said North Duplin coach John Avent. "We'd love to beat James Kenan. It's a big county matchup. There a lot of excitement surrounding the game for everyone."
"I've dreaded this week for over a year," said James Kenan coach Kevin Motsinger, whose team appears at No. 6 for 1-A schools on the first AP state prep top 10 poll of the year. "There's a lot of intangibles in playing North Duplin. They are still North Duplin."
The Rebels lost a lot of players to graduation last year and come into the game at 1-1. Quarterback Brad Lloyd, who sat out last week after the lingering affects of a concussion, will be ready to go after younger brother Doug led the team to a win over Topsail last week.
"Brad helps so much offensively," said Avent. "He knows what to do and makes any adjustments for us that we need at the line. Doug has been focusing on being the backup quarterback, but we hope to get him into the mix."
"Brad Lloyd scares me to death," said Motsinger. "He's a heck of a player. Disciplined, intelligent, makes great decisions. He carries out every fake. Last year we all bit on a fake and he was down the right side before we could think about it."
North Duplin won the battle 25-12 at Grubbs Field last season. But the Tigers are unbeaten in three tries and have not allowed a score in the last eight quarters, and Motsinger is hoping he has not seen the best his team has yet.
"We're nowhere close to where we need to be," he said. We don't want to be there yet -- that's for November. We need to keep getting better on both sides of the ball."
While his defense is clearly playing well, Motsinger said not to count on another scoreboard goose-egg.
"Shutouts are so hard and so rare," he said. "That comes from a team effort. This could be a last-possession type of game that counts on the kicking game or turnovers."
Kenan's Jimmy Glaspie has made an impression so far. Just a sophomore, Glaspie has cracked the area' top 10 rushing list at 57.3 yards a game. Kelvin Miller is averaging over 110 yards passing a game and Matt Bass averages 41.3 yards in receptions for Kenan.
But Avent knows Kenan's strength is not just in its athletes.
"They have very athletic, big, big boys that can move," he said. "They use the no-huddle offense and give you a lot of looks -- they'll go four-wide, no backfield one play and double-tight wishbone the next. You've got to be prepared."
"Coach Avent and coach (offensive coordinator Hugh) Martin do a great job," said Motsinger. "Their kids play real hard and they are fundamentally sound. "There's tons of toughness and athletic ability."
Other area games set for Friday night --
at C.B. Aycock (2-1)
The Falcons are on an early-season roll at 2-1 and proved an important point last week in their win over Greene Central -- the Aycock run game is alive and well and the defense makes opponents sick. Goldsboro has been playing well but scoring lightly in it's opening games, so Cougars need to keep the score low by not turning the ball over and forcing three-and-out situations. Aycock can't underestimate its opponent this week -- Goldsboro is never more dangerous than when a team has it cornered.
Last year -- Goldsboro won 6-0 at Goldsboro
Roanoke Rapids (2-1)
at Rosewood (1-2)
The Eagles' defense has something to prove after Hobbton laid 23 unanswered points at their feet last week. Rosewood has the offense to stay with an opponent, but giving up big numbers defensively puts the offense in catch-up mode, which Rosewood does not do well. Roanoke Rapids has a solid club again and should be a good measuring stick as to how well the lessons against Charles B. Aycock and Hobbton were learned. Running the ball is the most important facet of the offense, because that puts Danny Langston and the passing game in the best possible situation.
Last year -- Rosewood won 50-28 at Roanoke Rapids
at Southern Wayne (1-1)
An important conference game faces the Saints, who should be feeling good about themselves after solid performances against Wilmington rivals Laney and Hoggard. It's obvious the Saints have good speed in the backfield and a determined leader in quarterback Logan Porter. Defensively, Southern Wayne will face another big line and a Viking offense that has looked impressive in its opening games. Consistency on offense -- that is, sustained drives -- are paramount to prevent the defense from running out of gas late in the game.
Last year -- Kinston won 28-14 in Kinston
South Central (0-2)
at Eastern Wayne (0-2)
A struggling Warrior team entertains the one squad it has beaten in coach Jeff Price's tenure at Eastern Wayne. But the Falcons, who were young and undersized last season, have put in a lot of work and seem to be a better running team with a bigger line than last time. The only thing missing for South Central seems to be speed. South Central is pumped for its first win in school history, and it will take a strong effort on both sides of the ball to send the Falcons away from the Little Big Horn without it.
Last year -- Eastern Wayne won 33-0 in Winterville
West Johnston (1-2)
at North Johnston (3-0)
The Panthers have opened a lot of eyes as coach Ken Avent Jr. has married his two 1,000-yard back from last year with a beefier, stronger line. The come-from-behind win over South Lenoir should have been a wake-up call for North Johnston as they face a West Johnston club that is growing and may have a size advantage. North Johnston has not had to throw to win so far -- they may need to this week.
Last year -- West Johnston won 21-20 Benson
Pinetown Northside (3-0)
at Princeton (1-1)
Bren Hall's injury last week showed Princeton that it has to keep performing even without its leader as a good Union squad evened the Bulldogs' record at 1-1. Princeton is stronger than last season -- now the 'Dawgs have to learn how to use that strength to their best advantage. Hall keys a pass attack that coach Joe Mitchell wants to use more. Northside is a power team that will try and line up and run over Princeton. We'll see if they can.
Last year -- Northside won 55-0 in Pinetown
Spring Creek (0-3)
at Lakewood (0-1)
The Gators' offense is struggling and Lakewood may be a good cure for that. Spring Creek has to get the offensive line performing at a consistent rate and get the running game clicking to put pressure on the Leopards' offense and get back to the competitiveness Spring Creek showed in its loss to Midway. A good road test here, and a win will go a long way toward stepping into the conference schedule on a positive note.
Last year -- Gators lost 32-18 in Seven Springs
at Greene Central (1-1)
The Rams have licked their wounds from their defeat by Charles B. Aycock, and they understand that much of what happened in that game was due to their own generosity. Cutting down on turnovers is a must, especially when facing a Charger team known for speed and toughness. Greene Central is not the power running team of a few seasons ago, but is versatile and quick. Establishing the short passing game is the key to clicking early and sets up the run game as well as the deep routes that Coach Jim Bob Bryant wants to use.
Last year -- Greene Central won 39-37 in Ayden
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