Battle for Duplin County Friday as Wallace-Rose Hill and East Duplin meet for the Regional Title

WRH at East Duplin Friday 7 PM
Battle for Duplin County Friday as Wallace-Rose Hill and East Duplin meet for the Regional Title
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 6:07 PM EST
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BEULAVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Regional football championship games are on the line all over the state this week but it means a little bit more in Duplin County. Wallace-Rose Hill and East Duplin meet for a spot in the state championship game.

“It means a lot for our County you know,” says East Duplin head football coach Battle Holley, “It says a lot about Duplin County. We got two teams in the same county playing for the Eastern Championship.”

“They know too much about us, and we know too much about them,” says Wallace-Rose Hill head football coach Kevin Motsinger, “It’s really special for our county.”

It’s a huge rivalry game. The Panthers won the regular season meeting again this fall week 10. But it came right down to it 13-12.

“Last year was a bad feeling losing to them in the playoffs after beating them one time,” says East Duplin senior Jackson Gause, “It would be really special to knock them out of the playoffs and get to go to the state championship.”

“I know a lot of them pretty well,” says W-RH senior Antwon Montgomery, “But it’s more important, not just because it is ED, but nobody is trying to have this as our last game. Play in states and try and get a ring.”

The Bulldogs made it to the state championship game last fall but lost to Shelby. The players have experienced the big games before.

“Same as every week,” says Montgomery, “We are just ready to play. Practice, practicing to get better.”

East Duplin is loaded with seniors hungry to get their shot.

“We’re just trying to stay locked in the whole week learning everything we need for this game,” says Gause, “Stay locked in on our keys. Just take it like its another game. Cause it really is. Except it’s the 5th round and it’s Wallace.”

Wallace-Rose Hill has made 11 state finals appearances. They have won 7 state titles. Coach Mot is versed in preparing his Bulldogs for the moment.

“We’ve grown up a lot. We are a different team now than they’ve seen before,” says Motsinger, “But East Duplin is really good. They’ve got a senior team. And a lot of people thought they were the favorite to win the east all year long and that’s why they are here.”

Downplaying the hype is part of this week. But for coach Holley at East Duplin, he has to conquer one of the schools his dad jack, the winningest coach in North Carolina football history coached at to end his 44-year hall-of-fame career.

“Well I mean you know people on both sides of what we call the river have been real good to me,” says Holley, “It’s another football game with just a little extra meaning to it.”

We’ll have highlights and reaction coming up Friday at 11 PM in our WITN End zone.

We will have more with New Bern on Friday at 6 before their regional final game as well.