08/31/06 — Friday Night Forecast - More wins, rain in the forecast

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Friday Night Forecast - More wins, rain in the forecast

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on August 31, 2006 1:47 PM

I soaked in my alma mater Crest's 26-0 drubbing of county rival Burns for a few minutes last Friday. Then, shook hands with a few friends and family and it was time to hit the road and get some rest for the big class reunion on Saturday night.

But, who was I kidding?

First of all, there were homemade cookies upstairs. Second, I wouldn't be able to sleep before I found out what happened in this area. I figure a good (used loosely) forecaster needs to check his work.

A call from sports editor Steve Roush keyed me in on Eastern Wayne's blanking over Goldsboro. I picked neither a Warriors' win nor a low-scoring game. Not a good start for me, but an excellent win for Jeff Price's bunch in New Hope, who picked up their second shutout in three years against the Cougars.

My dad's computer was running pretty slow this weekend, but it was plenty fast enough to check out some online scoreboard sites before I got home. The Charlotte/Piedmont-based highlight show did me no good for getting scores from the east, but it provided ample background noise. As an aside ... Charlotte's WBTV has the best Fright Night highlight show in the state.

The first wave of scores on ncpreps.com offered very little good news as far as my predictions ... Hobbton 34, Spring Creek 6; C.B. Aycock 25, Clayton 0; James Kenan 14, Northside 12 (at least I got one right).

Despite the missed pick, I couldn't help but be pleased for coach Randy Pinkowski and the Golden Falcons to get their first win over Clayton in four tries. It was also Aycock's first victory over a 4-A program since defeating Southern Wayne in 1994 back in the Saints' Mideastern Conference days.

There were a few scores that shocked me from Friday, and Spring Creek losing by close to 30 at Hobbton was one of them.

A glance over to ncihigh.com to see what they had posted .... Wallace-Rose Hill 54, Southern Wayne 12 (I see Wallace is still Wallace); Southside 20, Rosewood 7; Greene Central 28, Beddingfield 14.

Not that I didn't think they were legit, but Greene Central surprised me a little with a two-touchdown win over Beddingfield. Both now 2-0, the Aycock-Greene Central matchup is shaping up to be arguably the best non-conference game in the area this year.

So I'm a weak 3-4 heading into my last click of the refresh button of the evening. One more click before bed ...

North Duplin 27, Chatham Central 7; East Duplin 27, North Lenoir 26; Princeton 13, North Moore 12 (congrats 'Dawgs, this was indeed THE week). The three wins boosted me up to 6-4 and salvaged my first week of forecasting, at least somewhat.

I'm shooting for much better than .600 for the rest of the way, so let's see what kind of damage I can do in Week 3. Hopefully, Ernesto won't do too much damage himself to the Friday night slate, but we look to be headed for some Monday Night Football.

Undefeateds of the Week

Greene Central (2-0) at C.B. Aycock (2-0) -- Something's got to give in the toughest pick of the year so far. A good football team will get their third win, while another good one will take their first loss. Both teams are playing solid on both sides of the ball, but the Golden Falcons have been awfully tough at home over the past several years (12-1 since 2004).

My pick -- Aycock.

Farmville Central (2-0) at James Kenan (2-0) -- Did I say Aycock-Greene Central was the toughest pick? Both of these squads are loaded, and if either doesn't make a lengthy playoff run, a lot of people would be real surprised. Both staffs are familiar with each other ... Kenan's coach Ken Avent Jr. (formerly of North Duplin and North Johnston) going head-to-head against a former Carolina 1-A nemesis, Dixon Sauls, of Farmville Central. The Jags shouldn't lose too many after this one.

My pick -- Kenan.

Rivalry of the Week

Kinston (1-1) at North Lenoir (0-1) -- This isn't the Kinston team that went 1-10 in 2005 as the Vikes seemed to be revamped with basketball standouts Bo Ingram and Miquel Starkey on the field. The Hawks were a two-point conversion away from beating 2-A stalwart East Duplin on the road last Friday. It won't take much to get either team up for this one, and this should come down to the fourth quarter in Wheat Swamp.

My pick -- Kinston.

Someone's Gettin' a Win of the Week

Jones Senior (0-2) at Goldsboro (0-2) -- The Cougars demolished the Trojans last year in Trenton in Tremé Boone's first 100-yard game of his career (164 yards with five touchdowns). Boone should notch his first 100-plus performance of 2006 on Friday, but Jones Sr. had a formidable junior varsity program last season and is improved by all accounts. It's a little earlier to call any game a "must win," but Goldsboro needs this one.

My pick -- Goldsboro.

Super Six at Carolinas of the Week

Union (2-0) at Princeton (1-1) -- Princeton will avoid the chance of a short week with this Thursday contest at home (weather permitting), which will bode well for the Bulldogs next Friday at Midway. The Spartans cruised at Jones Sr. last week and look to be one more good team in the Super Six, which is 8-1 in the first two weeks as a conference. Princeton hasn't suited up coming off a win since its second game of the 2004 season.

My pick -- Union.

Hobbton (1-1) at Rosewood (1-1) -- Hobbton rolled up close to 400 yards of offense last week against Spring Creek, so the Eagles' defense will have to step up. Some ball control by the Rosewood offense and establishing the running game with Devon Bennett -- much better than last Friday at Southside -- will also be key.

My pick -- Hobbton.

Midway (1-0) at Spring Creek (0-2) -- The Raiders beat a 2-A, North Brunswick program last week in their opener, while the Gators suffered a disappointing setback at Hobbton. Spring Creek turned it over five times and ran just 26 offensive plays against the Wildcats.

My pick -- Midway.

Carolina at Coastal Plains of the Week

North Duplin (1-0) at Topsail (1-1) -- The first-of-two matchups for the Rebels with teams from the Coastal Plains Conference. After an open week, North Duplin hosts Holly Ridge Dixon on Sept. 15. The Pirates bring back nine starters on both sides of the ball from a team that went 6-5, so this should offer Hugh Martin and the Rebels a tough road test.

My pick -- Topsail.

Former ECCs of the Week

South Central (0-1) at Eastern Wayne (1-0) -- Eastern Wayne's defense will get a stern test on this Monday nighter from lightning-quick Tyrell Worthington, who shines in all phases of the game for South Central. The Warriors were up to the task in pitching a shutout at Goldsboro last week, and they are 3-0 all-time against the Falcons.

My pick -- Eastern Wayne.

Former Mideasterns of the Week

Wilmington Hoggard (0-0) at Southern Wayne (1-1) -- Hoggard is untested and lost 8 seniors to graduation on defense from a team that captured its fourth straight Mideastern 3-A/4-A Conference title. The Saints should be able to get Anthony Council and Kelvin Flow going on the ground, but stopping a potent Vikings' offense will be the biggest challenge.

My pick -- Hoggard.