James Kenan and Wallace-Rose Hill set for annual clash
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 25, 2012 1:48 PM
Some football games simply matter more than others and in eastern North Carolina few -- if any -- mean more than James Kenan's annual battle with archrival Wallace-Rose Hill.
The Duplin County rivals will square off Friday at Legion Field in Teachey with the Tri-County 1-A Conference title and a potential number one seed in the state playoffs on the line.
"It's going to be another battle," James Kenan head coach Ken Avent Jr. said. "Every time our two schools get together it is a big game, but this year it means a little bit more."
The Tigers (9-0 overall, 6-0 TCC) enter the game ranked second in the state 1-A poll. The Bulldogs (7-3, 6-0) are the defending league champs and have emerged as a perennial contender in the 1-A ranks.
Wallace-Rose Hill won last year's meeting 16-6.
"We didn't help our defense out at all last year," Avent Jr. said. "We gave Wallace a short field multiple times after not being able to sustain a drive and they capitalized. We can not make the same mistake this season."
Since getting off to a slow start, Wallace-Rose Hill has won six consecutive games. The Bulldogs blew out Hobbton 47-25 last week and have beaten their conference opponents by an average of 16 points per game.
Quayle Robinson, Dijon Kenan and Marcus Scarborough have morphed into a productive running back trio. Emmitt Herring is a capable quarterback in the passing game and has excelled directing traffic in the Wing-T scheme.
"Wallace is not a typical Wing-T team because they use a lot of formations," Avent Jr. said. "They have the ability to spread teams out and go three-wide or use twin receivers on one side."
James Kenan remained undefeated with a 63-0 beat down of Heide Trask last week. The Tigers have allowed just 20 points over the past five games and 26 total points in conference play.
On offense the Tigers boast their own trio of runners with Marcelias Sutton, Ja'Quan Williams and T.K. Owens handling the bulk of the load. Dominique Barnes has made big plays in the passing game with 12 completions on the year including seven touchdowns.
"I feel like we have hit our stride a little bit offensively," Avent Jr. said. "I'm fully expecting us to put in a good week of practice so that we can come out and execute on Friday night."
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.