Week 1 keys to victory

Aug. 22, 2014 @ 05:52 PM

Northern Vance is the only area team at home Friday as the Vikings host Ravenscroft.

Southern Vance is on the road at Elizabeth City Northeastern, Webb travels to Granville Central and Warren County opens next week at Northern.

Northern fell 34-14 to open the 2013 season against the Ravens while Southern was downed 43-0 by Northeastern. Webb was the only area team to claim a win in Week 1, topping Granville Central 29-14.

The keys to victory for the area schools in Week 1 won’t be much different than a year ago.

RAVENSCROFT AT NORTHERN (7:30 p.m.)

Northern has depth at running back, good size on its offensive front and head coach Eric Watkins likes the improvement he’s seen in the passing game.

On special teams, the Vikings have a capable kicker and a stable of dangerous return men.

Head coach Eric Watkins said defense was the focus in practice this week for Northern and the performance of the Vikings’ defenders will play a crucial role in Friday's outcome.

SOUTHERN AT NORTHEASTERN (7:30 p.m.)

The Raiders have their work cut out for them to stay close in Elizabeth City.

Never mind the 160-mile trip; Northeastern dominated the matchup last season and some say the Eagles may be even better this season.

“You just hope you can stay close and be competitive as long as you can,” said Southern head coach Lewis Young.

Young said the performances tonight of Raiders’ defensive end Juwan Harris and defensive back Kris Cruz will be key along with putting pressure on the Eagles’ quarterback.

WEBB AT GRANVILLE CENTRAL (7:30 p.m.)

Kyle Williamson is Webb’s only senior offensive lineman.

Warriors’ head coach Tony Midgette said how those linemen block for starting running back Tevin Evans and a new quarterback will be a major factor against the Panthers, who haven’t defeated Webb in five tries.

Contact the writer at kholtzman@hendersondispatch.com.