Southern, Webb, Warren brace for road tests

Sep. 18, 2013 @ 11:41 PM

Three area teams are on the road Friday while Northern Vance has an open week.

Southern Vance is looking for its third consecutive win at Northern Nash while J.F. Webb head coach Tony Midgette returns to Pasquotank County and Warren County travels east to Northwest Halifax.

The Vikings return to action Sept. 27 at home against Southern Durham.

Southern Vance (2-1) at Northern Nash (1-3)

Southern has responded from a season-opening loss at home to Northeastern with wins over Cedar Ridge and Northern Vance.

Northern Nash, of the 3-A Big East Conference, picked up its first win last week in a 21-8 victory at Warren County.

The Knights’ three losses came to strong teams in Corinth Holders, Northeastern and Tarboro.

“Their defense has played really well,” said Southern head coach Lewis Young. “They seem to be really physical.”

Young expects a balanced offense from Northern Nash, which needed a fourth-quarter touchdown to seal the win in Warrenton.

Young said the Raiders’ defense has continued to show improvement.

“That’s been the focus,” Young said of defense. “Right now, the guys are learning to understand their responsibilities.”

Southern and Northern Nash haven’t met since 2010. The teams played each season from 2005-2010 with the Raiders holding a 4-2 advantage. The Knights won the last meeting 49-14.

Webb (1-2) at Pasquotank County (3-1)

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Webb head coach Tony Midgette, a Pasquotank County native who played at Northeastern in Elizabeth City before suiting up for Elizabeth City State.

Midgette also got his coaching start at Northeastern, serving as an assistant.

Midgette and twin brother, Antonio, Webb’s offensive coordinator, played at Elizabeth City State with Pasquotank head coach Kendrick Parker.

“Of course it’s very exciting to be going back home,” said Tony Midgette. “People calling you, making sure they know when the game is, family coming to see you, It’s very exciting for us and the kids.”

Tony Midgette expects a pass-heavy offense from Pasquotank, a 2-A school that competes in the Northeastern Coastal Conference.

“They want to get as much as they can get on every play,” he said.

Each of the Panthers’ opponents this season have been 1-A, including Perquimans County, which topped Pasquotank 28-23.

Tony Midgette said Webb’s focus after an off week has been focus itself and he wants the Warriors to treat Friday’s long trip to Elizabeth City like a playoff game.

Warren County (1-2) at Northwest Halifax (0-4)

Warren County’s defensive performance against Northern Nash last week — for three and a half quarters — was the best head coach John Ward has seen since he’s been in Warrenton.

On the flip side, Ward said the Eagles’ offensive display was one of the worst he’s seen although he did credit Northern Nash’s defense.

Northwest Halifax hasn’t won a game, but Ward isn’t overlooking the 1-A Vikings.

“Paper means nothing,” said Ward. “That’s all it is. Just paper.”

Paper indicates Northwest has been outscored a combined 211-36 in its four losses to North Edgecombe, Northampton County, Southeast Halifax, and Franklinton.

Paper also shows Northwest’s opponents have a combined record of 12-3.

“They’re not without talent,” Ward said of Northwest. “They’ve lost and they’ve been beaten badly a couple of times, but they are every bit as fast, if not more athletic than we are.”

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.