09/04/08 — Young Hawks are enjoying success

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Young Hawks are enjoying success

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on September 4, 2008 1:02 PM

LaGRANGE -- Two weeks into the 2008 football season, a team's success has become a matter of perspective -- especially for North Lenoir.

Winless a year ago and riding a 13-game losing streak, the Hawks are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2000. They'll try to make it 3-0 tonight against county rival Kinston, which mauled South Lenoir on Monday.

"We are really excited to be where we are at this point," said North Lenoir head coach and alum Wayne Jackson. "Our group of seniors has taken a leadership role, and even though we only have six of them, they are doing a great job leading this young team."

The Hawks established their running offense in a season-opening victory over Richlands. The unit has steadily improved within the old wing-T system.

"The kids are starting to understand what we are trying to teach," said Jackson. "We have been able to run the ball effectively and that is always the key to our game."

Marquez Powell has emerged as North Lenoir's top running back. The senior has compiled an area-leading 414 yards on 49 attempts, and averages 8.7 yards per carry.

"Marquez has game speed. For his size at six feet tall and 230 pounds, he has burst," said Jackson. "On his final touchdown run last week, there were players in the secondary that had the angle on him, and he just out-ran them all."

The same effort from Powell and his teammates will be needed to beat Kinston.

"Our best defense will be our offense if we can control the ball," said Jackson. "Kinston has a strong stable of backs, and they are a very good team, so it will be a tall order."

Despite an 0-2 start in Pikeville, Charles B. Aycock head coach Randy Pinkowski hasn't fallen into the tunnel vision trap. His young squad has matured over the past two weeks and could be on the doorstep for its first victory in 2008.

The Golden Falcons, weather permitting, entertain Greene Central on Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Hardy Talton Stadium.

Limited offensively in a season-opening loss at perennial 2-A power Bunn, Aycock turned its fortunes around against Clayton. Pinkowski's team compiled 216 yards of total offense and lost 33-28 against a bigger, stronger squad.

However, the Golden Falcons have struggled to slow down opposing offenses. They've surrendered an average of 30 points and 361 yards of total offense in those two defeats.

"We are growing up and if you look at stats from two weeks you've seen four touchdowns this week versus none the first week," said Pinkowski. "We put up a couple hundred yards in offense. I'm pleased, but we definitely still have a couple of lessons to learn.

"We've had to learn it again the second week when you see kids in the right spots but doing something in technique that is incorrect but easy to fix."

Greene Central won last year's meeting in triple overtime, 27-21.

"We've some had pretty good football games with (Greene Central) over the years," said Pinkowski. "I think their coach is getting his stuff installed. They're a young team, too. Whichever team learns their lessons and stops making those mistakes is going to have a good chance to win."