Coming off one of the best high school football games I have ever seen, last week's 44-41 New Bern win over J.H. Rose, tonight's 'Game of the Week' on 103.7 WTIB and 94.1 WNBU features another intriguing Craven County versus Pitt County match up. It's the Coastal 3A Conference opener for both the visiting West Craven Eagles and D.H. Conley Vikings at 7 o'clock tonight in Winterville.
Conley (3-1) is a two-point conversion away from being undefeated, and enters the game as one win shy of their win total from all of last season. West Craven is coming off its first win, a 48-0 spanking of Pamlico last week in Vanceboro.
Entering the game, the Vikings are averaging a robust 32.8 ppg and hung a staggering 62 points on Farmville Central two weeks ago. One problem has been Conley's defense, which is allowing opponents to 25.5 ppg, including surrendering 41 to Farmville Central. Coach Brian Paschal has been preaching to his club the athleticism the 1-3 Eagles possess, especially on offense. He also has concerns over the Vikings' kickoff coverage. Conley has allowed a kickoff return for a touchdown in each of the last three weeks. West Craven had excellent special teams play in the win last Friday over the Hurricanes, including M.J. Bryant busting free and returning a pair of punt returns for touchdowns.
The Vikings ripped North Pitt last week for 329 yards, including Keith Clark scoring two touchdowns in a 144 yard effort. Jaquel Daniels added a score and 108 yards on just 11 carries in the 27-19 Conley win over the Panthers.
West Craven was the victim at home last season to a Conley team which entered the game on a 22-game losing streak.
The Eagles enter tonight's contest a work in progress according to their head coach Kevin Yost. The former U.S. Marine, Yost has challenged his team with a very difficult non-conference schedule. West Craven's first three opponents (South Brunswick, Northside-Jacksonville and New Bern) are a combined 12-2. Despite two games in five days last week, the Eagles do have a steady running back in senior Ernest Carmen who rushed for 106 yards last week. They also Demetres Abrams installed at quarterback for a third straight game, after he returned from prep school a couple of weeks ago. Abrams threw for a pair of scores last week.
Coach Ken Whitehurst and I are looking forward to the call of this match up tonight between the tradition rich Eagles and the upstart Vikings. Hope you'll tune our way at 7 o'clock during the 'Game of the Week' on 103.7 WTIB and 94.1 WNBU.