09/30/04 — Prep football previews

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Prep football previews

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on September 30, 2004 1:57 PM

Kinston (4-1, 2-0) at C.B. Aycock (4-1, 2-0)

A good early test to see which team will position itself as the chief contender to West Craven's conference dominance. Kinston is a typical Lonnie Baker-coached team -- big, physical and strong, with a talent for running the ball. But this season, those same adjectives describe the Golden Falcons. Aycock averages over 200 yards a game and averages 215 yards allowed. The Falcons live on their defense, but will be hard-pressed to grab an early lead and hold it, as it likes to do.

Goldsboro (0-6, 0-3) at West Carteret (2-3, 0-2)

The Cougars are clearly struggling, but still possess the weapons to get back in the conference playoff chase. West Carteret was humbled against Eastern Wayne last week and will be looking to get better fast with a strong run game. That plays to the Cougars' strength -- defense. The offensive line is the key for Goldsboro -- the speedy skill players stand no chance if they do not get an initial push up front.

Rosewood (1-5, 0-1) at North Johnston (5-1, 0-1)

No one is panicking in western Wayne County, but Rosewood has lost four in a row and is up against the conference's up-and-comer on a talented Panther squad. Adrian Briscoe leads the area in total yards with 615. The Panthers average 336 yards a game. Three of Rosewood's secondary players had double-digit assists in last week's loss to Ayden-Grifton.

Greene Central (3-2) at Havelock (3-2)

The Rams try another tough opponent from a bigger classification. The Havelock Rams are perennially one of the better programs in the east, much better than their 3-2 record would indicate. Greene Central must focus on finishing off an opponent. Jim Bob Bryant's Rams had the lead late against D.H. Conley last week before a rally cost them the game. Greene Central's defense has surrendered just 202.6 yards per game on average -- best in the area.

North Duplin (1-3, 0-0) at Princeton (1-4, 0-1)

Two struggling teams face off as the Rebels open Carolina 1-A Conference play in the Bulldogs' yard. Princeton is improving on offense each week, with quarterback Bren Hall leading the way at nearly 130 yards through the air per game. Keith Johnson has sat out the last two games, but Decarious Scarboro has come on strong as a rusher. North Duplin's defense allows 344 yards a game. The Rebels offense averages 134 per outing.

West Craven (5-1, 3-0) at Eastern Wayne (3-2, 3-0)

The surprising Warriors have won three straight league games, keyed by improved offense. Al Graham is the running back of choice, with 337 yards so far, while the passing game is starting to bear fruit with Riley Wilkins and Clint Rouse catching passes from Zach Williams and Tyler Ham. The big test is against the Eagles, the gold standard in Eastern Carolina Conference when it comes to football. West Craven is 24-0 in league play with a bruising running game melded with a deft passing attack and fleet-footed backs and ends.

Spring Creek (1-4, 1-0) at Ayden-Grifton (2-3, 1-0)

The Gators have a gem in wideout Lelo Burt -- with 23 catches for 409 yards and three touchdowns. Spring Creek also has an up-and-comer in quarterback Josh Wright, a versatile runner who is learning to adjust his passing while just a sophomore. In two games he is already over 50 percent on completions and has a pair of touchdown passes.