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Conference grind continues for area teams

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Friday night’s 3-A Big East Conference game, at least from the Southern Nash High side of the ledger, doesn’t seem like too much trouble on paper for the Firebirds.
After all, Southern enters with a No. 7 ranking in the latest North Carolina Associated Press 3-A poll and a 7-1 record. Hunt sits 2-6 and 0-2 in league play as it prepares to welcome Southern Nash to Warrior Stadium.
But games aren’t decided on paper. Southern Nash head coach Brian Foster, perhaps moreso than anyone, has no trouble driving that point home at any given opportunity.
“We don’t think anybody’s weaker than us,” Foster said. “We’ve worked hard to have halfway decent seasons, and we know what it feels like not to win. I think that’s a credit to our assistant coaches who have played here and been through good and bad.”
Hunt, which has dropped a pair of 20-14 outcomes at Northern Nash and Rocky Mount to open conference play, is coming off a tough loss where the Gryphons embarked on a 99-yard scoring march to score the winning TD with just seconds remaining.
“Something like that, it’s going to hurt for about 24 hours, 48 if you let it,” Hunt head coach Keith Byrum said. “But what I told the kids on Friday night was I’ll give you one day to get it out of your system. Then, we’ve just got to start over. Because when next week starts, last week doesn’t matter.”
In other games, Fike (5-3, 1-1) will observe Homecoming festivities at Buddy Bedgood Stadium when it entertains ancient rival Rocky Mount (3-4, 2-0). Beddingfield (5-3) attempts to go to 3-0 in the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference when it travels to Nash Central (6-2, 1-1), while SouthWest Edgecombe (7-1, 2-0) aims for the same unblemished EPC mark at Farmville Central (4-4, 1-1).
Also observing Homecoming will be Greene Central (5-4, 2-2) when it hosts South Lenoir (1-8, 0-4). North Johnston (4-4), still looking for its first win in EPC play after an 0-2 start visits a young North Pitt (1-7, 0-2) squad. Charles B. Aycock (1-8, 0-4 ECC) will attempt to put the skids on an eight-game losing streak as Wayne County rival Southern Wayne (0-8, 0-3) visits Hardy-Talton Stadium in a matchup of teams eagerly hunting a victory.
At all sites with the exception of Farmville Central and North Pitt, kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The EPC contests, per league rule, begin at 7:30.
The Beddingfield-Nash Central game will serve as The Wilson Times Game of the Week, with Alton Britt, F.T. Franks and Cole Page on the call beginning with the pregame show at 7 on
wilsontimes.com.
Hunt will enter its game with Southern Nash relatively healthy, but will be without senior free safety Jadequis Liles, who finds himself in the concussion protocol. Southern Nash senior quarterback Lorenzo Sessoms won’t play due to an ankle injury, putting the reins of the Firebirds’ double-wing offense in the hands of senior Nadir Thompson. The Virginia Tech commit is week-to-week with nagging injury issues of his own, but Foster said Thompson will take the majority of the snaps Friday. Hunt will enter its game with Southern Nash relatively healthy, but will be without senior free safety Jadequis Liles, who finds himself in the concussion protocol. Southern Nash senior quarterback Lorenzo Sessoms won’t play due to an ankle injury, putting the reins of the Firebirds’ double-wing offense in the hands of senior Nadir Thompson. The Virginia Tech commit is week-to-week with nagging injury issues of his own, but Foster said Thompson will take the majority of the snaps Friday.  Fike will continue to ride a ground game that produced 329 yards behind Cody Cooper-Speight and Justin Daniels in last week’s resounding win over Franklinton.
While Beddingfield waits to have all its offensive playmakers back at full strength, sophomore Jalil Hutcherson remains as Beddingfield’s home run threat in the backfield.
Hutcherson eclipsed the 200-yard mark in last week’s 55-19 victory over North Pitt.

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