09/26/12 — Spring Creek, Princeton each need to win Carolina 1-A opener

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Spring Creek, Princeton each need to win Carolina 1-A opener

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on September 26, 2012 1:48 PM

Spring Creek and Princeton each need a win, and someone is going to get it when the football rivals open Carolina 1-A Conference play Friday evening.

Entering the seventh week, the Bulldogs have fashioned a 1-4 non-conference record that has included several near misses. The Gators (0-5 overall) are nearing must-win territory if they want to make the postseason for the first time with fourth-year head coach Aaron Sanders.

Spring Creek is coming off a 33-7 loss to Dixon last week, but has shown significant improvement on offense over the past three games.

"We did some really good things in the ballgame against Dixon offensively," Sanders said. "We just need to work on making that last play that gets the ball into the end zone."

If the Gators are going to take a step forward, it will likely be on the strength of dual-threat quarterback Devante Faison. The junior signal caller has completed 17 of 30 attempts for 190 yards. Faison has also tallied 219 yards on the ground on 68 carries.

Since starting tailback Tre Hammonds was sidelined with concussion-like symptoms three weeks ago, Faison has been shouldering much of the Gators' offensive load. There is no word on whether or not Hammonds will play on Friday night.

"(Faison) has really been doing all that we ask him to do," Sanders said. "He has been making good decisions and he has been directing the offense which has allowed us to move the ball."

Princeton's story has been close calls.

The Bulldogs have lost three of their four defeats by seven points or less and earned a one-point win over East Carteret on Sept. 14.

Princeton had a bye last Friday night and has had two weeks to hopefully fine tune its offense.

"I think having the week off to get some guys healthy both physically and mentally was good for us," first-year Princeton head coach Derrick Minor said. "Coming off a close win against East Carteret, the guys needed some time to kind of catch their breath."

Johnny Frazier has emerged as one of the top rushers in the area and will look to exploit the Spring Creek defensive front with his downhill running style. Frazier has tallied 741 yards and eight touchdowns on 84 carries.

Michael Wooten will direct the Bulldogs' attack from under center. Wooten has completed 36 passes in 86 attempts for 395 yards.

"Johnny has been great, but it hasn't been just him," Minor said. "We have some other guys over the last game or two really step up. A guy like Cameron McDougald comes to mind carrying the ball and we are going to need everyone to play well against Spring Creek."

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at "The Swamp."