Jimmy Ray said he and fellow co-interim head coach Chris Martin decided themselves to split Athens Drive’s head coaching duties the rest of the year. Former head coach Chris Martin, no relation to one of the two men taking his place, resigned after an 0-3 start.
By Saturday, the two new coaches had already fielded numerous questions. Just how is this going to work?
“The usual question is ‘If it’s an end-of-game situation, how are you guys going to decide?’ Well, if it’s an offensive situation I’ll decide and if it’s a defensive situation, he’ll decide,” Ray said. “Anything in between, we’ll figure it out.”
Ray is handling the offense and Martin, a former head coach at Broughton, has the defense. The schemes are going to remain the same.
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“We’re not going to try to overhaul anything,” Ray said. “We’re going to make a positive out of a potentially negative situation, but I don’t see it as negative. I see it as an opportunity for everyone, including myself, to grow and get better.”
Splitting QB duties
South Johnston and Garner are both off to impressive starts, each ranked in The News & Observer’s top 11, while splitting time between two quarterbacks.
Garner (2-1) is playing senior Brodie West, who has played in more than 30 games already in his varsity career between Washington and Garner, and junior Braxton Brokenborough.
Leach and the rest of the coaching staff made the decision to have West start and Brokenborough play every third series against Cleveland in Week 2. Brokenborough went the distance in Week 1 against Cary with West recovering from a minor injury.
South Johnston has successfully split time between returning starter DeParis Patterson and Landen Lockamay, both juniors.
“We plan to go into games with both guys playing in the first half, then read it from there on who has the hot hand in the second half,” said South coach Hunter Jenks. “It’s something we think gives us a bit of an edge when teams start to game play against us. It’s something else teams have to prepare for when they play us.”
The starting 11: players of the week
Tucker Burkinshaw, Green Hope: Completed 14 of 17 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns.
Collin Eaddy, Garner: Ran 20 times for 183 yards and two TDs.
Zach Gemmell, Heritage: Caught seven passes for 156 yards and a TD.
Tripp Harrington, East Wake: Just another day at the office with six TDs (one rushing, five passing), while completing 17 of 25 throws for 305 yards.
Tony Mack, West Johnston: Ran 26 times for 212 yards and one TD.
Caiden Norman, Cleveland: Completed 19 of 21 passes for 219 yards and one TD while running 21 times for 117 yards and three TDs.
Albert Nyamayaro, Chapel Hill: Returned a fumble for a 50-yard touchdown and caught three passes for 121 yards and two more TDs.
Ryan Rock, North Raleigh Christian: Ran 20 times for 136 yards and six TDs, completed 5 of 7 passes for 32 yards.
Jaleel Scroggins, Southern Durham: Linebacker had 15 tackles and 7.5 were for loss.
Dominique Shoffner, Middle Creek: Ran eight times for 74 yards and two TDs, completed 19 of 31 passes for 287 yards and two more TDs.
Jake Slater, Fuquay-Varina: Offensive lineman paved the way for a large part of the Bengals’ 356 rushing yards.
3-point stance: top defenses
Wake Forest: The Cougars (3-0) took Southeast Raleigh, which had scored 99 points in two games, and held it to six points and 164 yards of offense.
Orange: Held Riverside to no points and just 136 yards of offense.
Cary Christian: The Knights (1-1) came out on top of a rare low-scoring 8-man football game, beating Halifax Academy 8-6.
▪ Live TV returns to the Triangle this week as Chapel Hill (2-1) visits Southeast Raleigh (0-3) on Thursday. The first live broadcast of a regular-season game was Week 2 when Garner played at Cleveland. “Before the game I was a little more anxious than the usual game,” said senior Cleveland offensive lineman Zach Jacobs, a three-year starter. “But when the game started I was so focused on doing my job that the game (being) on live TV did not cross my mind.
▪ The greater Triangle’s football teams are playing every day this week except Wednesday and Sunday. It kicks off with Week 3 rivalry make-up games on Monday (Northwood at Jordan-Matthews) and Tuesday (Northern Vance at Southern Vance). Besides Friday’s normal slate of games, Chapel Hill travels to Southeast Raleigh on Thursday and Southern Lee goes 1,099 miles one way for a game in Texas on Saturday.
▪ Wakefield quarterback Matt McKay rushed for just 123 yards on 84 carries as a sophomore. In two games as a senior, McKay already has 254 yards. The highlight was a 77-yard touchdown against Holly Springs in Week 2.
▪ ▪ The Southwest Wake Athletic Conference is the first to start conference play this week, though many of its teams still have one nonconference game left. When Apex Friendship fields a varsity team next year, the SWAC will have nine varsity teams and just three nonconference games. To date, the SWAC is 13-11 in nonconference.
Cary High HOF night: Hall of Fame night is always special at Wake County’s oldest high school. The Cary High Sports Hall of Fame started in 1994 and will have 118 members. This Friday, when Cary welcomes Panther Creek for a 7 p.m. game, the Imps will induct three new members at halftime: four-sport athlete and former N.C. Department of Labor Commissioner W.C. “Billy” Creel (class of 1929), state champion wrestler Jeff Farwell (1982) and eight-time swimming champ Suzanne Gardiner Mahar (1989).
Bonitta Best, D. Clay Best, Tim Candon, Cale Colosimo, Jibrell Davis, Jeff Hamlin, Leon Hargrove, Michael Held, Jessika Morgan, Mike Potter, Matt Purdy, Kelly Snow and Christian Worstell contributed.