Football Preview

Published 9:19 am Friday, November 7, 2014

The “Backyard Brawl” between Southampton High School and Franklin High school will highlight this week’s football games — the last week of the regular season. It’s the WLQM Real Country 101.7 game of the week. The game will air on sister station AM 1250, starting at 7:10 p.m.

Meanwhile, Southampton Academy will travel to Kinston, North Carolina, for its semifinal game against Arendell Parrott Academy. And Windsor will look to defeat Park View in its last game of the regular season.


The Franklin High School Broncos will travel up Route 58 to Courtland tonight to face off against rival Southampton High School Indians.

The “Backyard Brawl” could mean a lot to both teams in their respective divisions. In 3A East, the Southampton Indians currently stand as the No. 16 team, which would put them into post season play. A win would very likely ensure they get in, though they have several teams close behind them. Meanwhile, in Division IA East, the Broncos currently stand at No. 13 with fewer teams right on their heels.

Thoughts about potential playoff berths, however, are not the focus for the two teams.

“We are just focused on winning the football game and letting the chips fall where they may,” Southampton Head Coach Willie Gillus said. “There is nothing we can do about whether other teams win or what other teams do. We can only control our own destiny.”

“If we are thinking about the playoffs,” Franklin Head Coach Darren Parker said, “then that means we are overlooking Southampton. We are concentrating on Southampton. We are looking forward to traveling up 58 Friday night and giving them a very physical football game.”

Parker said they have had a great week of practice, and are looking forward to executing in all four phases — offense, defense, special teams and coaching.

“This is a game that we are looking forward to playing and coaching, “ he said. “For the last couple of weeks, we have been very physical. We look to step that up another notch in all three phases of the game.”

As far as handling running back Coby Williams, Parker said they are going to play Bronco football.

“I give Coby all the credit this year — he’s had a great year,” Parker said. “But we are not going to make adjustments for any one player. We have played against great running backs. We are going to play as a team, and everyone has their assignments. You win as a team. Always, God is great and we are looking forward to Friday night.”

Gillus said his team has also had a good week and they are excited about the football game tonight.

“The number one thing is this is a heated rivalry, and the kids are really excited about the game,” he said. “Our kids are excited about where they are in the season and the progression we have made. Franklin is beginning to play a lot better, as are we, so this looks to be an exciting football game.”

The Indians have to come out and dominate the line of scrimmage for both sides of the football.

“I think our guys have to be able to contain a very good offensive and defensive line of Franklin, who has caused some problems for people in last part of season,” Gillus said. “We have to match their aggressiveness and physicality. And we have to stay away from penalties.

“We’re just waiting for Friday at 7 o’clock.”


The Division 3A Park View Dragons (3-6) will travel to Windsor to face off against the 2A Dukes (2-7) in an TriRivers District match.

As it stands, Windsor is a few points behind No. 16 Bruton in the VHSL 2A East Bracket heading into the match. Park View is last in 3A East, but it is only a point behind No. 16 Southampton.

Windsor Head Coach Charles Parrish said the Dragons are a good football team.

“They do some things well on offense and defense,” Parrish said. “I expect that they will be ready to go. We’ve had a good week of practice, and we will work hard and go in and get a win.”

Despite how the season has gone, Parrish said his team is playing hard.

“Our guys have been working hard no matter what is going on, no matter what adversity we have faced,” he said. “If a guy gets injured, the next guy is ready to come play.”

Kickoff is at 7 p.m. in Windsor.


The Southampton Academy Raiders (8-2) will get a chance to rematch the Arendell Parrott Academy Patriots (9-1) in a NCISAA Colonial Carolina 8-man conference semifinal game.

The winner will go on to face the victor out of the St. David’s (7-3) and Rocky Mount Academy (10-0) game.

Head Coach Dale Marks said he feels good about this game.

“If we were at full strength, I would feel very confident,” he said. “But even without that, I still feel confident.”

Looking back on the film, Marks said the Raiders played one of their worst games of the season against the Patriots.

“We tackled very poorly,” he said. “We let them get the ball wide on us and throw on us, and we didn’t come up and make the tackles when we should have. As a result, they had some big plays on us that were a direct result of poor tackling on our part.

“It wasn’t like they beat us deep. We were in a position to make tackles and didn’t make a play.”

Marks said going into this game, the Raiders will be much more prepared.

The Patriots are one of the biggest schools in the conference, and as a result, Marks said they are deep. On the defensive side of the ball, Keywan Morgan is 5’11 and 300 pounds, and is someone they’d have to look out for. They also have a big quarterback and some quick running backs.

“We have fixed some of the things in our running game, like missed blocking assignments,” Marks said. “And hopefully we can get out there and tackle them better than last time. We feel very confident going in.”

KIckoff is in Kinston, North Carolina, at 7:30 p.m.