Chatham on the Gridiron — Week #4

Posted 9/13/19

One thing’s for certain in week four: Chatham County football will get its initial win of the season after going 0-9 in the opening three weeks.

Jordan-Matthews travels to Bear Creek Friday …

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Chatham on the Gridiron — Week #4

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Posted

One thing’s for certain in week four: Chatham County football will get its initial win of the season after going 0-9 in the opening three weeks.

Jordan-Matthews travels to Bear Creek Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. contest, which will force the first victory inside the county as all three schools, including Northwood, stand at 0-3 overall.

Northwood will travel to Western Harnett in Lillington for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

In Bear Creek, all eyes will be on the Jets and Bears renewing their longtime rivalry with each team in desperate need of a win.

Chatham Central is favored in the contest, perhaps for the first time ever in the series, but has gotten off to a poor start after most expected the Bears to enter the contest at 2-1. Central has left a few wins on the table, however, and now will seek to down rival Jordan-Matthews, which owns a 49-2 lead in the series including a 39-7 triumph in Siler City last year.

To garner a win Chatham Central will have to stop the speed of Jordan-Matthews and its rushing attack. Avoiding penalties, which have plagued the Bears thus far in 2019, will be another key.

Jordan-Matthews will have to hang on to the football as well as stop the passing and rushing of the talented Michael Moore and Riley Lagenor. The Jets have faced a schedule of teams that are a combined 8-1 on the season.

Northwood, meanwhile, will battle an improved Western Harnett team, which comes in with a 2-1 record, but off a tough loss to Overhills 41-12 last Friday night.

The Chargers have been a turnover machine thus far against some very stiff competition in Apex Friendship, Lee County and Southern Lee.

Holding on to the ball this week will be imperative as the locals need to get a passing game on track to open up the runnings lanes for Deuce Powell, Aaron Ross and Justin Brower.

Defensively, eliminating the big plays and forcing some turnovers will go a long ways in determining if Northwood brings home a win from Lillington on Friday night.

FROM THE BEAR’S DEN AND JETS HANGAR

This week: Jordan-Matthews (0-3) travels to Chatham Central (0-3). Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. at Chatham Central High School, Bears Stadium.

Head Coach: Chatham Central coach Sherman Howze; Jordan-Matthews coach Sam Spencer

Leading returnees for Chatham Central: QB Michael Moore, RB Riley Lagenor, WR Tyler Oldham, WR Brady Cunnup, DE Nick Wilson, DE Ja’ aron Wise, WR Micah Gurley, WR Hunter Strickland, K/RB Abad de la Sancha.

Leading returnees for Jordan-Matthews: RB Jerrell Brooks, LB Jaquez Thomson, RB Ethan Jordan, QB Calvin Schwartz, DE Johnny Person, DB Stashad Newby.

Last week: North Stokes 35 Chatham Central 12, South Stanly 45 Jordan-Matthews 8

Last meeting: 2018 Jordan-Matthews 39 Chatham Central 7

Notable: Jordan-Matthews leads all-time series 49-2

Game keys: The game certainly has lost some of its luster with the poor starts by both teams, but still, it’s a rivalry game and both teams will lay it all out on the line down in Bear Creek on Friday night. To garner a win Chatham Central will have to stop the speed of Jordan-Matthews and its rushing attack, specifically Jaquez Thompson, Ethan Jordan, and Jerrell Brooks. The Bears were also crippled with penalties up at North Stokes last Friday evening and voiding of these penalties which have plagued the Bears thus far in 2019, will be another key.

Jordan-Matthews has suffered with the turnover bug and will have to hang on to the football. The return of a host of starters this week should certainly aid in that cause as the Jets will dress closer to 30 than the 19 dressed at South Stanly last week. Stopping Michael Moore and Riley Lagenor will be a challenge for the Jets who will have to find a way to get pressure on Moore like the previous three teams have been able to do. The Jets have faced a schedule of teams that are a combined 8-1 on the season so a young group should be a bit battle tested.

From the coaches: CC’s coach Sherman Howze says his team will have to: “Cut out our own mistakes will be a key to the game, we have hurt ourselves repeatedly in the past few weeks. It’s a fun week for our kids, playing Jordan-Matthews is always a good rivalry.”

J-M’s coach Sam Spencer says his team will have to: “We’ve got to tackle well and to get pressure on Moore, he’s really good. Lagenor is a tough runner. For us we need to sustain drives and make some big plays. The team with the least mistakes will come out with the win.”

ON CHARGER BOULEVARD

This week: Northwood (0-3) is visiting Western Harnett (2-1, 2-8 last year; 3A Tri County 6 Conference) Kickoff: 7 p.m. at Western Harnett High School, Chargers Stadium.

Head Coach: Blake Culbertson

Leading returnees: QB Tristin Ung, RB Daquan McNeill, WR Tyrese Jones, WR Kahlil Mclean, LB Xavier Jackson, DL Ny’Heim Abrams, DL Nate Campbell.

Notable: Northwood captured a 30-14 victory over Western Harnett last fall in a game that took three days to play due to Hurricane Florence.

Game keys: Northwood enters the game on Friday night in much need of a win after an 0-3 start. The Chargers have played a much tougher schedule than Western Harnett who beat Douglas Byrd 24-20 and Smithfield Selma 24-6 to go 2-0 before falling to Overhills 41-12 last Friday night. Take care of the football, the biggest issue for the Northwood offense. And then complete some passes to take pressure off the running attack. Defensively, Northwood must contain McNeill who has rushed for 246 yards in three games. Tristin Ung and the Eagles passing attack has been anemic in 2019, completing just 19-of-50 passes for two scores while suffering seven interceptions. Northwood needs to help Western Harnett continue that trend on Friday evening.

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