11/12/12 — Rosewood, Princeton prepare for third-round battle

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Rosewood, Princeton prepare for third-round battle

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on November 12, 2012 1:48 PM

Separated by a few miles and the Wayne-Johnston county line, archrivals Rosewood and Princeton get another crack at each other on the football field Friday evening.

The stakes are higher this time.

The winner punches its ticket to the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A (small-school) eastern championship game. Kick-off is 7:30 p.m. at Branch Pope Field.

"We get another try," first-year PHS head coach Derrick Minor said after the Bulldogs' 43-12 rout of North Edgecombe on Friday evening.

"It's going to be an awesome game. You get a chance to show what you're capable of and if we keep playing like we're playing (right now), it's going to be an exciting game. It's going to be a fun one to be a part of."

Rosewood won the previous meeting, 43-41, in triple overtime more than weeks ago. The Eagles' defense limited the Bulldogs to just five yards of total offense on 21 plays through three quarters.

The teams responded with a mind-boggling, fourth-quarter and overtime offensive explosion that left players on both sides seeking oxygen masks. The teams combined for nearly 300 yards of total offense and 77 points in the final 12 minutes of regulation and three extra sessions combined.

Spencer Garrison's two-point conversion capped the Eagles' win.

Rosewood leads the all-time series 32-9.

"I can't much about the rivalry," said Garrison after the memorable ending at Princeton on Oct. 26. "They're our neighbors. I still love them, they are my friends."

The sixth-seeded Eagles (5-7 overall) and eighth-seeded Bulldogs (4-8) are peaking at the right time. Rosewood has prevailed in four of its last five outings, while Princeton is riding a modest two-game win streak.