New Bernese football gives Hope Mills a triple attacking option for second-round showdown with South View in NCHSAA playoffs
Four Cumberland County high school football teams have advanced to the NC High School Athletic Association playoffs.
But after the first round, South View is the county’s last hope for state honors. Patriot 4-A / 3-A conference champions and seven-game winning streak winners, the Tigers (7-1) will host New Bern (6-1) at Hope Mills on Friday for a 6:30 p.m. kick-off at Randy Ledford Field .
Here are three things to know ahead of the Bears-Tigers second-round showdown and the picks for other games involving teams tied to the 910 area code.
HELLO, TRIPLE OPTION
Ah, yes, the triple option attack is not as common in offenses today, but New Bern continues to be effective in their execution of the heavy attack under the guidance of the head coach. Torrey Nowell. The sophomore head coach led Pamlico County to the 1-A State Championship game in 2017 before taking the post of chief in New Bern. In his first season with the program, coming off a 2-10 campaign in 2018, Nowell led the Bears to a 10-3 record and a third round appearance in the state playoffs.
Now, Nowell has returned the Bears to relevance with the triple option and a squad full of veterans. This season, New Bern’s offense is averaging 298.8 rushing yards per game, with senior William Lovick leading the charge with 676 yards and seven touchdowns in six games. In 2019, Lovick ran over 2,300 yards and hit 20 touchdowns. In last week’s first round victory over Scotland, New Bern took a 37-0 lead and never looked back.
Despite a tough offense to prepare in the quick playoff turnaround situation, South View’s defense is filled with seniors who have grown used to facing heavy teams like Gray’s Creek and Terry Sanford over the past two seasons. The Bears are averaging just over 338 rushing yards per game in their Wing-T offense this spring and the Bulldogs have relied heavily on Dorian Clark in 2019 and second student Jre Jackson this year in an offense that totaled in averaging 292 rushing yards.
For the Tigers, it all comes down to disciplined football and assignment. Behind seniors Donta Autry, Michael Herbert, Joshua George and Mahlik Gonzalez, the South View defense limited Gray’s Creek to 133 rushing yards in the regular season finale. As the Tigers’ three-headed monster on the defensive line, Herbert, George and Gonzalez have combined for 40 tackles for loss this season. If South View controls the line of scrimmage like it has throughout the spring season, the Tigers will be in a good position to move forward.
AGAIN FROM WIMBLEY
It will be tough for South View quarterback Cedavion Wimbley to top what he did in the first round of the playoffs against Jack Britt. The folks in Cumberland County and beyond are still talking about the junior’s incredible 78-yard touchdown run in which Wimbley went from his own goal line to the opponent’s end zone for a full score that went served as the Bucs’ backbreaker.
But, as Wimbley and head coach Rodney Brewington pointed out after the win, there is still room for improvement when it comes to ball safety and knowing when to play for the next game. Wimbley had a pair of interceptions against Jack Britt and comes into the New Bern game with seven over the season. The Bears have eight interceptions and 14 pass deflections in seven games. Wimbley’s big play ability is undisputed, but if he can take care of the ball, the Tigers will have even more opportunities to rack up on t
Prediction: South View 29, New Bern 22
In the first round of the playoffs, I finished 10-3 with my picks – kudos to New Bern, Pinecrest and Eastern Randolph for proving me wrong. My overall toll is 73-10 (88%). Here is a look at my picks for other playoff games involving teams from the region.
- Richmond Senior 28, Cardinal Gibbons 27
- Wake Forest 26, Pinecrest 24
- Reidsville 36, Wallace-Rose Hill 20
- St. Pauls 32, SouthWest Edgecombe 21
- Cleveland 28, Lee County 27
Editor Rodd Baxley can be reached at [email protected]