SV at Webb and NV vs RR Previews

Full Vance County Friday Night Football and Team Schedules are below.

— by Jeff Jenkins

SV at Webb Preview

After last Friday’s trip to Stem, to dish out a serious 50-19 beat-down on 1A conference-mate Granville Central, 2-3 Southern Vance continues its 3-week tour of Granville County tonight (Friday) with a short trip to J. F. Webb in Oxford. With a good chance to even up their season at 3-3, and to improve their conference record to 2-1, Raiders’ Head Coach Darry Ragland would love to see his team play tonight like they did against the Panthers last week. If they do, the Raiders should come away with a win. Although the 1-4 Warriors scored 40 points in their win over Carrboro 2 weeks ago, they were shut out by Beddingfield in their opener 39-0, lost to 1A Gates County 42-28, and then last week took their medicine from Bunn in a 41-9 thrashing. They are averaging scoring just under 20 points per game, and they are allowing 33.

Webb’s last winning season was 2008, when the Warriors finished 9-4 overall, 3-2 in the conference, but missed out on post season play. In 2007, they were true contenders for a state championship, finishing 11-4 after a 4-1 conference record, and a deep playoff run that ended with a narrow loss in the 4th round. In those days. Webb was coached by John Hammet, who became Granville Central’s first football coach and Athletic director in 2010. Since 2011, the Warriors have finished 3-8 four times and 2-9 twice, and 5th year coach Tony Midgette has found a winning formula yet. This history sounds a lot like the Raiders last three seasons, and Webb defeated Southern Vance in both of the past two meetings. The Warriors won convincingly in 2015 by 34-18, but had to come back from a wide deficit last year to win a crazy overtime shootout 50-48. Unfortunately for Webb, those games were nonconference, and tonight will really count.

Furthermore, coaching changes and transfers have given Southern Vance a very consistent offense, with the potential for big plays, especially though the air. Thanks to last week’s production, the Raiders’ scoring average is up to 32 per game – at least a 7-year high; but even before last week, Southern was scoring 27 points per game, and they played Bunn much closer than Webb did, losing by only 4 points, 34-30. They also scored 30 in their opening day win over Bartlett-Yancey. The Raiders defense has struggled at times, allowing 33 points per game before holding Granville Central to 13 points last week until the Panthers slipped in a touchdown near the end.

The Raider defense should be effective against Webb however. The Warriors offense runs better than they pass, and they rely on one or two players for their ground game. The new starting QB, Soph Jordan Pugh is improving, but he has a 30% completion rate, for an average of 40 yds per game and 2 TDs on the season. Sr. WR Unique Heggie, a familiar name from last year’s game, has caught both TD passes, and has caught 6 passes total. On the ground, the Warriors rely on Sr. RB Tyrone Clark, Jr., who averages just under 110 yds per game and has scored four times on the gound. Clark finished with just under 1000 yards last season. Sr Jaquan Brandon only averages 30 yds per game, but he has 3 rushing TD’s. The 215 lb linebacker goes in on short yardage situations. Southern has had trouble against strong running teams, but those were teams like Red Springs and Bunn with stables of strong runners who could rotate in and out smoothly. Webb seems to have one small, fast back who can gain 100 yards a game, and one larger back for short yardage – and that might not be enough for a whole 4 quarters of football.

NV vs RR Preview

The Vikings of Northern Vance are happy to be home tonight (Friday), and they know they have to play Roanoke Rapids this season, and that the yellow jackets are in the same conference, but the Vikings would probably like to wait another few weeks to play them. Roanoke Rapids is undefeated at 5-0, and is destined to meet South Granville, the other 5-0 team in the league, on October 3 in what might be the conference championship game. The Vikings, with an 0-5 record, are coming off two exhausting losses: a not unexpected 46-0 drubbing from South Granville, and a disappointing 25-15 home loss to Warren County last week that could have gone the other way if the offense had been able to take advantage of a few of Warren’s numerous turnovers.

Roanoke Rapids got a new head coach in 2014, and immediately improved from 2-9 to 10-4, defeating Bunn for the Northern Carolina Conference crown, and losing to the #1 seed in the 3rd round of the playoffs. The Yellow Jackets lost to Bunn the past two years to finish second in the league, and they have not gotten past the 2nd round of the playoffs, but they have continued to dominate opponents during their regular season. They had a perfect season going last year until the lost to Bunn, but they still finished 11 and 2 overall, averaging 33 points scored per game, and allowing only 17 per game, both their best averages under coach McDaniel. So far this year, the Jackets have only had one close game – their opener against regional rival Northampton, which they won 30-22. Since then they have played four 1A schools, including back to back beat-downs of conference mates Granville Central and Louisburg. In those four games RR scored an average of 43.5 points per game and allowed only 7 – They shut out Granville Central 46-0, and allowed Louisburg 14 points.

The Yellow Jackets run up all those points with a pretty balanced attack. The Jackets have scored 18 times on the ground, with Sr RB Da’raj Watson scoring 8 of those while rushing for 529 yards in the 5 games. Jr. FB Ajalon Brown, at 5-9 and 231 lb, has 5 TDs in short yardage situations. Jr RB Cory Jenkins has crossed the goal line 3 times during his 200-yard season so far. The passing game is not just an afterthought, but clearly part of the game plan. Sr. QB Jack Neville has passed for 345 yards, with 7 TDs and 3 interceptions. Receiving is evenly divided among Sr. Montrell Govan, with 10 catches for 92 total yards, and 3 TDs; RB Jenkins; and FB Brown. The Jackets also has a reliable kicker in Sr Chase Johnson, who is 20 for 21 on extra points. The defense is obviously tough. Specifically, they have only allowed 10 points in 5 games, and they have 4 INTs and 9 fumble recoveries. They have blocked 2 kicks, and they are BIG, and experienced.

I hate to say it, but Northern Vance will do well to score on Roanoke Rapids. But the Viking Defense does have a knack for swarming the runners and has interceptions in every game. Their best strategy might be to work on keeping the Yellow Jackets to 40 points. Another intangible is that RR has only played 1A teams, and might be a little soft going into the game. A quick score like the Vikings had last week against Warren would be a real moral booster, and would no doubt keep the defense pumped.

VGCC announces Volleyball schedule

UPDATE – Please follow the link below for the updated schedule for VGCC women’s volleyball. A home match that originally was scheduled for Oct. 18 has been moved to Oct. 4.

VGCC Volleyball Schedule 2017

The Vance-Granville Community College women’s volleyball team is scheduled to play 18 matches, including seven home matches, during the 2017 season. The Vanguards compete in Region X of National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III, which includes a number of community colleges in North Carolina and Virginia.

The Vanguards will begin this year’s campaign on Tuesday, Aug. 29, at Guilford Technical Community College. VGCC’s first contest at home is set for Friday, Sept. 8, at 7 p.m., when the Vanguards host Walters State Community College (Tennessee) at Aycock Recreation Center in Henderson.

For more information on VGCC athletics, contact Jermiel Hargrove at [email protected] or (252) 738-3246.

Week Five Vance County Friday Night Football Preview

by Jeff Jenkins

Southern Vance

Southern Vance continues conference play on the road tonight, traveling to the wilds of Granville County to meet Granville Central, one of the Northern Carolina Conference’s two 1A members.  These two teams have not played each other since 2011 and 2012, when Central was a very new school, and Southern Vance was riding pretty high.  In 2011, the Raiders finished 9-3, while the fledgling Panthers ended up with 3-8 record.  That year, Southern won the contest 45-6, and in 2012, when the Raiders had begun to slip, they still smothered the Panthers 58-6.  Fortunes have reversed for both teams in the intervening years, with Granville Central enjoying 4 consecutive playoff appearances, and winning a Tar-Roanoke 1A conference championship in 2015.  During those year’s Southern Vance slipped further into mediocrity, winning only 3 games in the previous 3 seasons.

This year, both teams have new head coaches, and both schools started off their season with games against Bartlett Yancey.  Southern Vance won that game 30-22 in OT, while the Panthers defense led the way to a 7-6 victory.  Central won its only other nonconference game 33-8 , against everyone’s favorite creampuff Kipp Pride; but got a rude introduction to its new conference last week with a painful 46-0 shut out at unbeaten Roanoke Rapids.   After 4 games, The Raiders are 1-3, but have averaged scoring 27.5 point per game, almost double last season’s average.  The defense has allowed 33 points per game, but Southern has not been beaten by more than 13 points.  At 2-1, Granville Central has only averaged 13 points scoring and is allowing 20 (thanks to the 46 scored by Roanoke Rapids).

On offense, the Panthers keep the ball on the ground, dividing the work among Jr. Deandre Moore, averaging 66 yards per game and 3 total TDs, Jr. Mike Wood, (50 yards per game and 1 TD), and Soph Jed Evans (30 yds per game).  Two soph QB’s, Kobe Jones and 5’2”, 120 lb Brady Smith, have played so far, but neither has passed much, and no TDs have been scored through the air.  The Panther defense held Bartlett Yancey to 6 points – better than the Raiders, and Central has returned one fumble recovery for a score.  Also, unlike Southern Vance, Granville Central has two players who have kicked extra points:  Jacob Burnette is 1 for 1, and the diminutive Smith is 3 for 5.

If the Raiders play as they have for the past 4 weeks, they should come out on top.  But they can not think of Granville Central as a 1A team, and they will have to be prepared for a defense that was quite effective until they ran into  Roanoke Rapids.  And so far, Southern Vance is no Roanoke Rapids.

Northern Vance

The Vikings of Northern Vance are happy to be home tonight hosting the Eagles of Warren County.  They are happy to have made it out of Creedmoor alive last Friday, after the 54-0 drubbing they took from South Granville   – all 54 points scored in the first half.  and they should be happy to be playing against a team tonight that is not picked to win any championships.  Warren is 3-1 on the season, with a win over 1A conference member Louisburg last week, and therefore have a right to be ranked third in the Northern Carolina behind unbeaten South Granville and Roanoke Rapids.  But it must be pointed out that all of Warren’s wins have been against 1A competition, including longtime pushovers Northwest Halifax and Kipp Pride Charter school.  They lost to Northampton County 22-17 – a good close game to be sure, but that looks like their only real test so far.   But in spite of the weak schedule, Warren ahs shown that they can score points and play defense:  they average scoring 31 points per game, and have only allowed 14 per game, and those numbers create a type of momentum that Northern Vance has not had a chance to create.

These two teams got together quite a bit during the offseason, matching up at a couple of 7 on 7 events in the summer and participating in a jamboree or two, so they know each other pretty well.  Jr. QB Cornelius Davis, who had a tough time in the starter role last year, has settled in well this season, passing for over 150 yards per game for 5 TD’s and 4 interceptions.  Davis can also run, gaining about 50 yards per game on the ground.  Three of Davis’ TD passes have been caught by Sr. WR Cornell Hendrick, who has 19 grabs for 336 yards on the season, and Jr. WR Laquan Satterwhite has the other two scoring catches.  The eagles 11 rushing touchdowns have been evenly divided among Jr. RB Dekarri Green who has 5, Hendrick with 3, and Davis with the other 3.

VCFNF: Northern Vance at South Granville

— by Jeff Jenkins

Northern Vance and South Granville, – both sets of the Northern Carolina’s 2A Vikings – will kick off their conference schedule tonight (Friday) at Creedmoor, and these two teams could not be more different right now: Northern Vance is 0-3 after is three nonconference outings, and did not locate the goal line until last week at 28-12 home loss against a tough Beddingfield squad out of Wilson. Both of those touchdowns came from Sophomore quarterback Samien Burwell, who started his first game last week and passed for one, 64 yards to Phadol Jorden, and ran 30 yards for the other. The Northern defense, in spite of allowing an average of 23 points per game in the first quarter of the season, has shown some ability to defend the passing game with good pressure on the passer and close secondary work that has produced at least one interception per game. But they do not do well against a good solid running offense, and that will be a BIG problem tonight.

South Granville, under veteran coach Mike Hobgood, has always relied on running for its offensive production, a strategy has taken those Vikings to the state playoffs for six years straight. Last year’s offense was abit more varied: with QB Tucker Brown passing for over 1200 yards and 11 TDs and leading the team in rushing with just under 800 yards, South finished 8-5, averaged scoring just under 30 points and allowed 20 per game. So far this season, QB Brown, now a senior, hasn’t even been called on the pass the ball much. At 3-0, the South Vikings squeaked by 4A Person County 7-0, easily handled 3A South Johnston 21-7, and then ran wild over independent Ravenscroft 41-12, all by rolling up an average of 273 yards per game on the ground (over 300 in the last two game), to only 9 yards passing. Brown has continued to run the ball, with 50 yards per game, but late-blooming Sr. RB Allajah Mitchell, a 6-1 220 lb D-I college prospect, is leading the team with just under 120 yards per game so far (he only had 21 yards rushing total last season). 5-7 170 lb Sophomore FB Bryson McCall, who had a good freshman year with just under 50 yards per game, rushed for 114 yards against South Johnston this year. The South Granville defense is led by their linebackers, including Mitchell, who starts at OLB and has 7 tackles per game, fellow Sr. Sean Deuger, who, at just 159 lb, has 10 per game, and Jr. Justin Bullock, the 198-lb middle Linebacker, who also has 10 stops per game.

VCFNF: Southern Vance vs. Bunn (Sept 8)

— by Jeff Jenkins

Southern Vance begins conference play at home tonight (Friday) against Bunn, a team that has been in the running for Northern Carolina conference champions every year since at least 2004, and is on a 12-game Northern Carolina 2-A win streak stretching back to Halloween, 2014. In 2015 the Wildcats were Eastern 2A champions and lost the state 2A Championship to unbeaten Monroe, ending the year with a 13-3 record, and a 48-point per game scoring average. Last year they were nearly as good, especially on defense, allowing only 17 points per game, including the playoffs, where they were upset in the 2nd round to end former Coach David Howle’s 34-year career at Bunn.

Everyone should expect some changes and challenges for the Wildcats this year under new head coach David Weathersby, a former assistant under Howle who is known for bringing Bartlett-Yancey from a can’t-win program to respectability and the playoffs in 2 short seasons. But the Bunn faithful were probably not prepared for the 1-2 start the Wildcats have had this season. While it is not uncommon for Bunn to lose a nonconference game – coach Howle always gave his team some tough tests to start each season – two unusual things have already happened. First, Bunn won its season opener to North Lenoir by only one point 31-30, and historically, Bunn rarely loses a close game. next, the Wildcats lost to Franklinton, their cross-county former conference rival 32-22, the first loss for Bunn in that rivalry since 2011. And finally, Bunn suffered a 55-7 pasting from 3A Southern Nash last Friday night. The Wildcats have always had trouble with Southern Nash, with almost no wins over the 3A program in the past decade, but the last time the Wildcats were beaten that badly was a 66-6 playoff defeat by Reidsville. in 2009.

Southern Vance and Bunn traded 1st and 2nd place finishes in the Northern Carolina 2A every year from 2004 to 2007, but the Raiders have not won a match-up with the Wildcats since 2007. But with Bunn’s struggles in nonconference match-ups this season, history could change tonight: Going into the conference opener against Southern Vance, the mighty Bunn Wildcats are 1-2, the same as the Raiders; they have averaged scoring just under 20 points per game (against the Raiders’ 26 per game), and have allowed over 38 points per game (to 28 allowed by SV). For the first time in recent memory, then, Southern Vance has an advantage over Bunn on paper going into tonight’s game. Furthermore, the two teams faced similar quality opponents in the past 3 weeks, and the Raiders can claim more momentum than the ‘Cats, since Southern scored 36 points in 14-point loss last week while Bunn score one TD in a 48-point thrashing.

Bunn is continuing its tradition as a run-oriented offices, but the team was decimated by graduation, Coach Weathersby does not have last year’s top three runners, two of whom scored 18 TDs apiece, or last year’s starting QB. Bunn is averaging 175 yards per game rushing so far, and only 43 yards passing, as Soph QB C. Collier settles into his role. The leading runner so far is Sr. D Moses, who only ran for 217 total yards last season, and has 54 yards per game this year. Moses is followed by fellow Sr. T Davis with 36 yards and Soph J Rogers with 37 per outing. Rogers, who rushed for 100 yards in his only varsity game last year, has scored 2 of the Cat’s 5 rushing TDs.

High School Football Tonight (Thursday)

The Northern Vance High School football game versus Beddingfield is tonight.  That game was scheduled long ago.

The Southern Vance High School football game at North Lenoir originally schedule for Friday night has been moved up to tonight due to the threat of heavy rain.

Listen Live on WIZS 1450 AM or online starting at 6:45.  Spread the word.  The remainder of the season schedules are posted below as well.

Orange County Speedway, Rougemont, Saturday, August 26

Though Chris Denny started the night nine points behind division leader Terry Dease, after missing the rain-delayed next day conclusion of the previous Mike Bledsoe Mechanical Heating and Air Late Model Stock race at OCS only 49 days ago, he made up for it by winning both LMSC 35-lap twin races to on Saturday Night. Dease had his own measure of success, settling for second in both races after a fifth-place start in the first one and a fourth-place start in the second. Chuck Lawson followed that pattern by taking third in both events.

In race one Daniel Moss proved to be no lightweight, waging a strong battle with Dease for second until contact between the cars of those two, initiated by Dease, caused Moss to nearly spin his car on the backstretch twelve laps from the finish. Moss held on to finish fifth just behind the fourth-place car of Camden Gullie.

In race two, it was Lawson who got the action going when the nose of his car made contact with Gullie’s, spinning Gullie’s car into the fourth-turn wall, bringing out the caution before the first lap was complete. Gullie was able to continue, completing the night with a fifth-place finish. After the green flag fell on the next attempt to start the race, Moss decided on a little payback for Dease, bumping the rear of leader Dease’s car but almost spinning himself out in the process and dropping him to third, giving Dease a comfortable lead. From there, it was a battle between Moss and fourth-place Denny with Denny getting the best of that one. After a brief caution on lap 16, Dease lost the lead to Denny on the restart but kept his car on Denny’s bumper the remainder of the event.

An 11-car field for the Limited Sportsman race dwindled down to five lead-lap cars by the time the checkered flew on lap 35, giving 12-year-old Gage Painter of Statesville his first OCS win. Painter did it by outgunning cagey veteran Daryl Carver, winner of two races this season, but an owner of a second-place finish on Saturday, on his bumper the last five laps of the race. It was pole-sitter Carver and the other front-row starter Brent Evans, Jr showing their impatience that drew swift action from officials. After one or the other seemed to jump not only the start of the race, leading to a redo, but two more restarts, officials placed both cars at the back on a lap 10 restart. Evans worked his way back up to take third at the end of the race.

The night’s attrition first started when the cars of Austin and Corey Purnell got into each other in turn one on the second lap, putting the car of Austin out of the race and bringing out the night’s first caution flag. Corey Purnell did manage a fifth-place finish. After six more laps of action, the caution flag flew again for the spin and brief oil line fire from the car of Jacob Borst, putting that driver out of the race.
Two laps after the restart, the car of Tracey Chambers got into the one of Justin Newlin, which in turn brought the car of Jerry Hinesley crashing into those two between turns one and two. Hinesley got the worst of it, parking his car for the night with an eighth-place finish. Chambers was able to continue, salvaging a sixth-place finish, two laps in arrears. Newlin’s car sustained the least damage, allowing him to complete the night in fourth-place.

Pure Stock racers completed their 25-lap event with pole-sitter Chase Sandefur leading all laps except the last one, getting passed by division points leader and now four-time season winner Danny Winstead on the last lap, leaving Sandefur winless this year. A hard-charging Bobby Clayton, Jr used a fifth-place start to garner a third-place finish with Trevor Winstead finishing behind him. Lonnie Glosson took the checkered in fourth on the lead lap with Jamie Kerr the fifth-place car, five laps down. The most spectacular crash of the night happened when the cars of Thomas Penny and Taylor Tolar attempted to take the green but Tolar’s car plowed underneath the rear of Penny’s car, causing those two to crash into the inside wall of turn one, leaving Tolar’s car suspended on the wall and out of the race. Penny’s car made three more laps after the restart, retiring with smoke billowing from underneath the hood.

Hill’s Complete Carpet Care Super Mini-Trucks finished their 20-lap race under caution, giving points-leader John Comstock his third season win and leaving a seething three-time winner Jeffrey Martin in second. Breaking up the Martin clan was the third-place truck of Devin Parrott, followed by 13-year old Noah Martin, making his first OCS start, in fourth. Fifth-place went to the truck of Kiser Martin. Jeffrey’s disappointment was the result of Kiser’s truck spinning out on the last lap and ending the race under the yellow.

The 25-lap Smokey Dave’s BBQ Mod4s finished the night with first-time season winner Corey Purnell taking the checkered in front of the hard-charging car of pole-sitter Harold Summey, after stealing the lead from Summey at the start of the race. Summey had to recover from a lap one backstretch spin to finish second, a lap that included Randy Ayers spinning his car out at the start/finish line. Ayers finished the night in fifth, behind the car of Timmy Wilder. Dennis Capps, winner of the season’s last two races, started behind Purnell in third and finished the night in that position.

The 600-horsepower Grand American Modifieds, sponsored by Quality Collision Solutions of Graham, roared around OCS for 35-laps with the car of Gary Young, Jr starting on pole and finishing out front, giving him his third season win. Young, Jr qualified in second but inherited the top starting spot after the pole-sitting car of Josh Nichols had a problem with pre-race inspection, placing him at the back of the field for the start of the race. Nichols made quick work of the field, squeezing past the second-place car of John Barilka, six laps in. Nichols held on to finish there with Barilka behind him, followed by the fourth-place car of Richard Thomas. Connie Ray Wallace took fifth, the last car on the lead lap.

The Allison Legacy Series, the much smaller NASCAR look-alikes, ran their 35 laps with Kyle Campbell starting out front and finishing there for the win. Brett Suggs finished behind Campbell with the car of Matthew Davey coming home in third, followed by Jake Garcia in fourth, the last car on the lead lap. Ethan Elder appeared to have the car to beat after starting sixth in the nine-car field. After making a bold move past Suggs for second on lap 24, Elder’s car inexplicably spun in turn four, violently slamming the turn four wall. Though uninjured, his car was too damaged to continue.

Jacob Clayton, driving a 1956 Chevrolet, took home the trophy in the Carolina Collector Auto Fest Vintage Sportsman 10-lap race.

Orange County Speedway, Saturday, August 26

Mike Bledsole Mechanical Heating & Air Late Model Stock 35 laps, 1st rac

1) Chris Denny

2) Terry Dease

3) Chuck Lawson

4) Camden Gullie

5) Daniel Moss

Mike Bledsole Mechanical Heating & Air Late Model Stock 35 laps, 2nd race

1) Chris Denny

2) Terry Dease

3) Chuck Lawson

4) Daniel Moss

5) Camden Gullie

Limited Sportsman 35 laps

1) Gage Painter

2) Daryl Carver

3) Brent Evans, Jr

4) Justin Newlin

5) Corey Purnell

6) Tracey Chambers (-2)

7)  Jared Gillis (-17)

8) Jerry Hinesley (-22)

9) Jacob Borst (-23)

10)Richard Hayden (-26)

11)Austin Purnell (-29)

Pure Stock 25 laps

1) Danny Winstead

2) Chase Sandefur

3) Bobby Clayton

4) Trevor Winstead

5) Lonnie Glosson

6) Jamie Kerr (-5 )

7) Thomas Penny (-22)

8) Taylor Tolar (-25)

Hill’s Complete Carpet Care Super Mini-Trucks 20 laps

1) John Comstock

2) Jeffrey Martin

3) Devin Parrott

4) Noah Martin

5) Kiser Martin

6) Dalton Martin (-4)

Quality Collision Solutions of Graham Grand American Modifieds 35 laps

1) Gary Young, Jr

2) Josh Nichols

3) John Barilka

4) Richard Thomas

5) Connie Ray Wallace

6) Roy Cook (-1)

7) Jonathan Cook (-1)

Smokey Dave’s BBQ Mod4s 25 laps

1) Corey Purnell

2) Harold Summey

3) Dennis Capps

4) Timmy Wilder

5) Randy Ayers

6) Mike Dudley (-4)

7) Darrell Haynie (-6)

Allison Legacy Series 35 laps

1) Kyle Campbell

2) Brett Suggs

3) Matthew Davey

4) Jake Garcia

5) Ashely Pantoulas (-4)

6) Kayla Lyons (-9)

7) Ethan Elder (-11)

8) Tim Niesen (-13)

9) Justin Taylor (-30)

Carolina Collector Auto Fest Vintage Sportsman 10 laps

1) Jacob Clayton

2) Paul Blalock

3) Kenneth Smith (lapped)

Vance County Friday Night Football Week 2 Preview

by Jeff Jenkins

Southern Vance

The Red Devils of Red Springs traveled nearly 150 miles from their home south of Fayetteville to visit the Raiders tonight.  Southern Vance, of course, hopes this will be a long wasted trip for the Devils, but the Raiders will have to bring an A game that they might not know they have.  Like Southern, Red Springs is a 2A member of a pretty large mixed 1A/2A conference that includes many of the teams they have become accustomed to playing over the past few years.  But unlike the Raiders, the Red Devil have been quite successful against those accustomed opponents.  Last year, Red Springs finished 6-5 for the regular season, and only 3-4 in their conference; but the wins they had were big ones. The Diablos scored 49, 50 and 75 points in their three conference wins, and had much closer losses.  They ended up averaging 32 points per game and allowed 24.  Their conference was so large that their 5th place finish allowed them into the playoffs for the 2nd straight year.  2015 was even better, with an 8-4 overall finish and a 4-3 league record.

Red Springs, also like Southern Vance, has a new head coach this year; and like Southern, they seemed to be on the same page as their new coach for last week season opener.  The Raiders stumbled around for much of the game last week – Coach ___ told the dispatch that he kept seeing the light flicker while his team was on the field but he could not keep it burning – but eventually found their way and hung on for a 30-22 OT win.  The Red Devils had an easier time of it, judging from their 33-0 victory over 3A south Brunswick.  On the way to the lopsided win, QB, Soph. Denym McKeithan passed for 117 yards, with three TDs. Sr WR Wilkerson  Monte’ caught two of the TD passes, and accounted for 71 total yards.  Soph TE Corey Newton caught the other scoring strike, and Jr. RB L McLean ran for 115 yards on 18 carries and a score.  The Defense was devilish, too, adding a touchdown on Sr Safety Bobby McCrea’s 38-yard return of an interception – one of four total picks.

The Raiders will, of course want to play the way they did abut ½ the time during last week’s game against Bartlett-Yancey.  The 30-22 Overtime win to end Southern’s  16-game losing streak seemed miraculous, in light of the numerous dropped passes score-erasing penalties and other errors committed by the Raiders, but they player and their first year coach hung in an drew power from the memory of a deceased teammate to come out on top.  This is a clear improvement over last year, when the Raiders had a big problem coming back from behind.  If they can cut down on enough penalties to keep the touchdowns they score and hang a bit tougher on defense, Southern Vance may have a shot against the Devils – also a young team with a new head coach, but one that scored 75 points in one game last year and 33 points in their season opener last week.

Northern Vance

The Vikings travel to Durham tonight to take on a new opponent – the Pirates of Riverside, led by former Vikings coach Cory Lea.   Over the past four years, Northern Vance received some of their worst thrashings at the hands of Southern Durham, so the Vikings may not be anxious to go back to the Bull City, but Riverside is no Southern Durham, and tonight’s contest looks pretty even on paper.  The Pirates finished near the bottom of their 4A conference the past two years – 4-7 overall in 2016, with a 2-4 league record, and only 3-8 overall in 2015.  Records like these made it necessary for Riverside to seek out a new head coach, and Coach Lea, who started pulling Northern Vance out of their doldrums with back-to-back 5-6 seasons during 2015 and 2016, made an attractive candidate.  Coach Lea was an assistant at Riverside before taking his first few head coaching positions, and found it impossible to pass up a chance to go back to Durham, even though he would probably agree that his work with the Vikings was not finished.

Coach Lea has inherited a similar challenge at Riverside to the one he had here in Henderson:  his new team only scored 15 points a game last year, while allowing 18;  The Vikings wee a bit tougher last year, scoring an average of 18 points per game and allowing 18.   Last week’s opener was tough on the Vikings, ending in a 12-0 shut out to Franklinton, while the Pirates opener against Chapel Hill had to be finished on Monday for bad weather, but ended in a hard-fought 22-14 win for Riverside.  Riverside showed to dame kinds of first-game problem that Northern did :  fumbles, interceptions and penalties, and Chapel Hill scored once on a 95-yard fumble run-back.  But the Pirates won the game through the air:  Sr. QB Cole Infinito hit Sr. WR C.J. Bell, Jr. for 2 TDs of 30 and 57 yards.  Sr. DB Ryan Odom returned a punt to the Tiger O yd Line, but the Pirates could to cross the goal line on that possession.  The Pirate defense held when it counted, forcing the Chapel Hill into a 4th and 10 on its final drive and sacking the Tiger QB to ice the game.

With only one game to go by, its hard to tell, but it appears that Riverside relies on the pass for its offensive production, but can be rattled by a good pass rush.  Last year, with the same starting QB, the Pirates only passed for 45 yards per game and rushed for 125.  Last year’s leading receiver graduated; but last year’s leading rusher, Jr. Kaligah Murrell, with 80 yards per game,  does not appear on the roster this year.  The Pirate defense is capable of causing fumbles and interceptions, but so is Northern Vance, and if the Vikings can keep their heads and pressure the Pirate backfield, this could be a close game.

Vance County Friday Night Football On-Air Schedule

WIZS will provide double coverage of tonight’s Vance County Friday Night Football matchups.

Both the Raiders and the Vikings are at home this week. Southern takes on Bartlett Yancey High School out of Caswell County. Northern defends home against an old southern rival in Franklinton.

The pregame broadcast begins at 6:45 with the kickoff of both games set for 7:00. WIZS provides the broadcast over the airwaves of 1450 AM, as well as online at WIZS.com and the free TuneIn Radio App.

This season’s broadcast schedule is below. Please tell a friend, like and share on Facebook and re-tweet on Twitter! The links to share on social media are just below the schedule.