West must hold the line

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 24, 2005

GASTON – It’s the classic example of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.

Northampton County High School – West is a team of power football. The Hurricanes will line up in a wishbone set and blow you off the ball.

Manteo is a classic finesse team, preferring the Wing-T offense and a backfield full of speedy runners.

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&uot;It will be Clydesdales against thoroughbreds,&uot; fourth-year West coach Diego Hasty said.

The Hurricanes, seeded second in the state playoffs, enter Friday night’s eastern 1-A semifinal 12-1 on the season. The Redskins of Manteo come into the contest 11-2 and the state’s third seed.

&uot;They are quick,&uot; Hasty said of Manteo. &uot;They’re quick and talented. They have a quarterback (Emanuel Davis) who runs the option well, can throw the football and is also an excellent defensive back.&uot;

Hasty said the Redskins were not a team that just had one or two running backs that could hurt you, but every one of their skills positions are solid.

&uot;Manteo is probably the fastest team we’ve played as far as skilled people,&uot; Hasty said. &uot;Their defense seems to be really quick too.&uot;

The thing that will play in West’s favor, according to Hasty, is the offense is similar to the one used by Roanoke last week.

&uot;They run a lot more option than Roanoke, but it’s the same type of offense,&uot; he said. &uot;Their defense is similar to that of Southside.&uot;

Hasty said because of that and the fact that he and his former player turned Weldon head coach Grady Williams run similar offenses, means the two semifinal games will be a lot alike. Weldon meets Southside in the other semifinal.

&uot;We’ll probably make one or two small adjustments, but nothing major,&uot; Hasty insisted. &uot;It’s too late now.&uot;

As he looks toward Friday, Hasty said the key would be the Hurricanes controlling the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense.

&uot;The best thing we can do is control the ball on offense and keep them from getting a lot of touches,&uot; Hasty said. &uot;Our offensive line and defensive line have to have a big game Friday night.

&uot;We have to minimize big plays and make them earn everything they get,&uot; he added.

The Hurricanes’ contest with Manteo will be aired locally in Gaston. The game will be broadcast on WYTT 99.5 FM and WCBT 1230 AM. It will be broadcast by &uot;Talkin’ Sports&uot; host Gattis Hodges along with analyst Trent McGee.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Friday night.