Each Friday Topsail News Online’s Lee Wagner will give a breakdown of each game our four local high school football teams will play. The feature will include breakdowns for not only our local team but their opponents. Stay tuned each week.
NORTHSIDE MONARCHS AT TOPSAIL PIRATES
WHERE & WHEN: At Topsail High School, Hampstead, 7:30 p.m.
COACHES: Topsail – Bryan Davis, 7th year (35-23); Northside – Bob Eason.
SEASON’S RECORD: Topsail is 2-1 after a 16-13 win over Trask, a 26-7 win over 4A Ashley, and a 22-20 loss to Pender. Northside is 4-0 with wins over R. L. Fike (34-21), Jacksonville (12-0), West Craven (26-0), and White Oak (35-0).
NEXT GAME: Topsail travels to East Duplin for an East Central 2A Conference game. Northside returns to Jacksonville to face Swansboro in a conference tilt.
LAST PLAYED: Northside beat Topsail 43-21 on Sept. 16, 2011.
COMMON OPPONENTS: None at this time.
KEY PLAYERS FOR NORTHSIDE: QB Jake Erickson, WR Jose Cabrera, WR Shadell Markee.
KEY PLAYERS FOR TOPSAIL: Sr. RB/OLB Devin Williams, Soph. QB Austin Schoenleber, Sr. QB/WR/OLB Matt Gilgo, Sr. TE/DE Trevor Savidge, Sr. TE/LB Mason Kimmel, Sr. OL/DE Ben Houghton, Jr. OL/LB Jakeem Smith, Sr. PK Alex Webster, Sr. P/WR/DB Palmer Rice.
FOR NORTHSIDE TO WIN: Well, the Monarchs are 4-0 but the four teams they have played are a combined 5-10 and Jacksonville has three of their wins so it is hard to determine just how good this team is. They appear to have a good mix of running and passing, and QB Erikson can get the job done through the air but can he do that against – perhaps – one of the better defenses he will have faced to this point. Must mix it up and keep Topsail’s offense on sidelines and, defensively, must contain running of Williams and Hunter Jacobs (and Josh Jessup if he is healthy) while keeping Schoenleber off balance when he passes.
FOR TOPSAIL TO WIN: I was impressed with the way the Pirates shut down Quincy Rhodes and the high-powered offense last week, and they will need the same effort this week against a Bob-Eason coached Ashley triple-option offense. Mistakes kept Topsail from scoring more against both Trask and Pender and if they can eliminate them offensively I think they can move the ball against a good Northside defense that has pitched three shutouts in their four wins.
MIDWAY RAIDERS AT TRASK TITANS
WHERE & WHEN: At Trask High School, Rocky Point, 7:30 p.m.
COACHES: Trask – Interim Coach Bill Mercier takes over for the ill Glenn Sellers, 1st game as a head coach (0-0). Sellers was 14-27; Midway – Tommy Sloan.
SEASON’S RECORD: Trask is 0-3 after a 42-14 loss to Ashley, a 26-14 loss to North Brunswick and 16-13 loss to Topsail. Midway is 3-1 with wins over Southside (34-21), Rosewood (44-7), and Princeton (62-30), and a loss to South Johnston (33-10.
NEXT GAME: Trask is at home against Lakewood, and Midway is at home against Wallace-Rose Hill.
LAST PLAYED: Trask beat Midway 44-26 on Sept. 19, 2011.
COMMON OPPONENTS: None so far.
KEY PLAYERS FOR MIDWAY: QB Taylor Calcutt, WR Troy Spell, RB Aaron Thurman, K Jansen Wrench, RB Jeremy Robinson, LB Jordan Thompson, LB Luke Clark.
KEY PLAYERS FOR TRASK: QB/FS Larry Johnson, WR/FS Arthur Brown, WR/DB Ethan Bishoff, FB/LB Quan Brown, RB/DB Jakita Lane, RB/LB D. J. Love, TE/DE Kemodrick James, T/NG Josh Smith
FOR MIDWAY TO WIN: If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Raiders are 4-0, have scored 150 points in those four games while yielding just 91, and 33 of those came in only loss to South Johnston and 30 came after Raiders had large lead in 62-30 win over a not-very-good (0-4) Princeton team. Must move the ball consistently against an inconsistent Titans’ defense, and must work defensively on curtailing Quan Brown’s running, and the QB leadership of Johnson. Just for the record, Midway’s four opponents have a combined 6-10 record with South Johnston (3-1) and Southside (2-2) recording five of the six wins.
FOR TRASK TO WIN: With all due respect to Mercier and the rest of the Titans’ coaching staff, this could be a tough game in dealing with the loss due to illness of head coach Glenn Sellers. Truthfully, a lot depends on how the Trask players respond to that loss. Other than that, I am worried about whether the Titans’ defense can stop Midway. Offensively they can move the ball but they must avoid the turnovers and penalties that doomed them against Ashley.
HOBBTON WILDCATS AT PENDER PATRIOTS
WHERE & WHEN: At Pender High School, Burgaw, 7:30 p.m.
COACHES: Pender – Tony Hudson, 2nd year (4-10); Hobbton – Jeff Byrd.
SEASON’S RECORD: Pender is 1-2 after a 22-20 win over Topsail, a 41-18 loss to Whiteville, and a 21-16 loss to North Brunswick. Hobbton is 1-3 with an opening-game win over 0-4 Princeton (20-14), and consecutive losses to Fairmont (36-0), West Columbus (32-24), and North Duplin (42-7).
LAST PLAYED: Hobbton beat Pender 21-14 on Sept. 16, 2011.
COMMON OPPONENTS: None so far.
NEXT GAME: Pender is at Union and Hobbton plays host to James Kenan.
KEY PLAYERS FOR HOBBTON: RB Rashad Davis, RB Charles Chestnut, K Eli Escalar.
KEY PLAYERS FOR PENDER: Soph. FB Sam Dixon, QB Nickey Wells, OL/DL Kymothy Murphy, OL/DL Jacob Dew, RB/LB Caleb Johnson, WR/S Rashawn Deloach, RB/CB Julius Powell, G/DE Zach Jones, T/DE Andre Donaldson
FOR HOBBTON TO WIN: Don’t want to jinx the Patriots but I don’t see it happening. Wildcats have given points in bunches (124) while scoring just 51 against four teams with a combined 6-10 record. To have any hope, Hobbton must shut down Dixon, keep the Pender option from getting outside, and force Wells into mistakes. Offensively must move the ball against a fairly-decent Patriots’ defense.
FOR PENDER TO WIN: Dixon, Dixon, and more Dixon until Hobbton proves it can stop him, then go outside with speed. Defensively just stay in their lanes and flow to the ball Hobbton does not have an omnipotent offense.
DIXON BULLDOGS AT NORTH DUPLIN REBELS
WHERE & WHEN: At North Duplin High School, Calypso, 7:30 p.m.
COACH: Dixon – Ray Swaney, 4th year (12-25); North Duplin – Hugh Martin.
SEASON’S RECORD: Dixon is 2-1 after wins over Princeton (24-20) and Mattamuskeet (34-0), and a 30-22 loss to Swansboro. North Duplin is 2-1 with wins over 2-2 Southside (48-14) and 1-3 Hobbton (42-7) around a 20-0 loss to 3-0 Lakewood.
NEXT GAME: Dixon play host to Spring Creek and North Duplin will be on the road at Lejeune.
LAST PLAYED: North Duplin beat Dixon 41-12 on Sept. 16, 2011.
COMMON OPPONENTS: None as yet.
KEY PLAYERS FOR NORTH DUPLIN: Sr. FB/LB Julio Mora, Sr. QB/DB Tyler Royal, K Antonio James.
KEY PLAYERS FOR DIXON: Sr. QB/S C. D. Hansley, Sr. C Travis Padgett, Sr. TE/DE Bryan Moore, Sr. T/DT Austin Rosensteel, Sr. DT Jake Strong, Sr. DT Eric Parker.
FOR NORTH DUPLIN TO WIN: Rebels can move the ball as evidenced by the fact they have put up 90 points in their two wins, albeit those two teams have a combine mark of 3-5. Mora is a good running back and he must be able to lead his team up and down the field against a better-than-average Dixon defense. Defensively the Rebels must contain Hansley and keep Dixon from sustaining long drives.
FOR DIXON TO WIN: Hey, I’m becoming a bit of a believer and this game could go a long way to propelling the Bulldogs to a good season. Record against the Rebels is not overly good the past few years. Hansley must run the offense precisely with no turnovers to keep a seemingly high-powered Rebels’ offense on the sidelines, and to do that the offensive line must have a very good day. Defensively let’s shut down Mora and the Rebels running game and see what Royal can do in the air.