Football preview

Published 9:10 am Friday, October 24, 2014

Tonight, Southampton High School will be looking for a win against a Windsor High School team that’s equally hungry for a TriRivers District victory. It’s this week’s WLQM Real Country 101.7 Game of the Week, and they will start broadcasting at 6:40 p.m.

Meanwhile, with each team in their last game of the season, Isle of Wight Academy will take to the road looking to secure the No. 4 seed for the postseason; and Southampton Academy will be at home against Halifax Academy looking to secure the No. 3 seed. Franklin High School will also be in action, taking to the road against Greensville High School.


Both VHSL Div. 3A Southampton (1-6) and Div. 2A Windsor (2-5) have struggled to pick up victories this season, and the Dukes will head into Courtland for a 7 p.m. kickoff looking to spoil the Indians’ homecoming game.

“They have some speed, and they play power football,” Head Coach Charles Parrish said about Southampton. “They have a great running game, led by Coby Williams, who is a good back. But they’ve got a couple of other good backs too — it’s not just him.”

Indians Head Coach Willie Gillus said this match is a lot like last year’s contest between the two teams.

“They came over, and both teams were struggling, and it turned into a dog fight,” he said. “I’m expecting the same thing this week. These guys are a team that’s real hungry to get a win under their belt.”

Even though the wins have not fallen like the teams would like, Gillus said both teams have athletes that are still playing hard for all four quarters.

To win, Gillus said, they are going to have to avoid turnovers and penalties, which have been the difference in a few contests that have been close over the last several games.

“We’ve had too many penalties that have stopped drives, and effortless penalties like jumping offsides,” Gillus said. “You don’t mind penalties when it’s just about a guy giving extra effort, but not focusing, that frustrates you as a coach.”

Parrish said the Dukes have had a good week of practice and are ready to take the field.

“They are going to be physical and come at you on defense,” he said of Southampton. “But we’ve had a good week and our guys’ spirits are up. We just keep working each day to get better.

“We’re going to go over there and compete.”


The 2-5 Greensville Eagles will host the 1-6 Franklin Broncos this week in an out-of-division TriRivers District match.

Head Coach Darren Parker said the Broncos are looking forward to it.

“The biggest thing we have to do is execute in all four phases of the game — offense, defense, special teams and coaching,” he said. “We’re coming off a tough loss against Sussex, but we have had a great week of practice and are really looking forward to this week’s battle with Greensville.”

Parker said Greensville is fast and athletic.

“They run a variation of things on offense, and they’ve got a lot of kids back from last year,” Parker said. “On defense they have a lot of schemes. But we’ve looked over a lot of tape and studied them as coaches and players. We’ll bring in a game plan in, and we’re very confident.”

Parker said he isn’t giving up on making the postseason, as once you get in, you can throw records out the door.

“Right now, we are looking to go 1-0 every Friday night,” Parker said. “And we will let the chips fall where they may at the end of the season. But right now, we’re getting ready for Greensville.

“As always, God is great.”


The Chargers of Isle of Wight Academy (4-4) will travel to Newport News to face the upper division Hampton Roads Academy Navigators (1-6) in a VISAA match. For the Chargers, being tied for the fourth spot in the conference with a team that beat them, it is a win or go home for the post season situation.

Sealing the spot might also depend on losses for Blessed Sacrament-Huguenot and Broadwater Academy.

“We are pretty much in a situation where we need to win the ball game to get into the playoffs,” Head Coach Dale Chapman said. “Our team knows it. Injuries have been an issue, which has put us behind the 8-ball, but our guys still are in good spirits and are ready to play.”

Chapman said the Chargers have to cut down on penalties and finish the game.

“Throughout the course of the season, we’ve lost by 1, by 7, by 6, and that’s really disheartening,” he said. “But we’ve got to learn how to finish ball games and not make mistakes and hurt ourselves.”

If they get the VISAA Div. IV No. 4 seed, they would likely travel to Farmville to play Fuqua Nov. 7.


Southampton Academy (6-2) will host the Vikings of Halifax Academy (5-3). The Raiders currently sit at the No. 3 spot in the NCISAA Colonial Carolina 8-Man polls, with the Vikings tied with St. David’s for the No. 4 spot. Head Coach Dale Marks said win or lose, they will likely have the No. 3 seed going into the playoffs, which start Oct. 31.

“They definitely run the ball more than they throw it,” Marks said. “They are a very straight forward running team — not using a lot of misdirection. They don’t use a lot of deception, they just snap the ball and go.”

To win, Marks said, they need to win the turnover battle and to give the Vikings a long field.

“They are not really a big play team. They are more of a move the chains and extend the drive team,” he said. “We want them to be in long drives, so we have more of a chance of them committing a penalty that stalls a drive, or giving us an opportunity for a getting a turnover.”

Marks said they would be without senior Quarterback Matt Rose this week, with junior Andrew Lowe stepping in to fill his shoes. Marks said they would know more about Rose’s status for the playoffs come Tuesday.

Should they secure the No. 3 seed, Marks said they would likely face Hobgood Academy in Courtland.