We will have the BIG GAME for you tonight with (8-6) Northeast Guilford at (14-0) Dudley. Pre-game on AM950 radio gets started at 7pm and the kickoff is slated for 7:30.
There are a lot of thoughts going into this game.
Will the kicking game be a factor?
For Dudley it hasn’t mattered all season. Denzel Jones handles the kickoffs and the two-point conversion runs with Lewis, Bryant, and Overby have been working fine.
Will Northeast try an onside kick if they begin the game on defense and thus have the opening kickoff?
The Rams tried that last time with a sky pooch kick and Dudley covered and took the ball in to score on their opening drive and then NEG fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Dudley took that in and scored and the Panthers were up 16-0 in only one minute and fifty-six seconds. Only 1:56 had run off the game clock and it was 16-0 Dudley and they went on to win 52-7.
Will Dudley try and throw the ball early on?
Last time against NEG they did and had success, but last week versus Ragsdale, the Panthers tried to force the pass on their first two possessions and they ended up giving the ball back to the Tigers and one of those early drives resulted in an interception.
The ground game seems better suited for the Dudley personel that they have on hand, with Ricky Lewis Jr., Fred Overby, and JR Peterson…..
Can the Northeast defense stop the Dudley Panthers?
It hasn’t happened in totality all year, but if you can create or receive some turnovers, it sure will help…….
Will the NEG QB Darius White have time to get his offense rolling?
It all comes down to the “O” line and that’s a tall order when you are facing the Dudley Panther defensive front with Hall, Neal, Jones, Bryant, and Sheppard coming at you and breathing down neck.
To pull off the upset, NEG would have to run quick plays and they will have to have success early and sustain that success into the second half. Ragsdale experienced success early against Dudley, but by the time the second half rolled around, Dudley had the long scoring-drive to start the half and then they gave Tiger QB Tim Romer no time at all to operate the Ragsdale offense.
If Dudley avoids costly turnovers they win this game like all the others, and move on to the State Championship. If Dudley can get off to good start, then this game would be over by halftime. NEG has to find some way to stay in the game.