Friday, December 14, 2018

Northeastern and Reidsville in Only Battle of Unbeaten Teams This Week

In the only matchup between two undefeated teams in this year’s state championship games, a Northeastern Eagles team looking for their first ever football state title will face off against a Reidsville Rams team that’s still looking to shake off the bitter taste of last year’s overtime title game loss this Saturday morning at NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium.

Reidsville was able to squeak by a pesky Brevard team in the regional final to reach the state title game for the twenty-third time in their history. Out of those twenty-two previous appearances, the Rams have held up the champion’s trophy sixteen times and have proudly taken hold of the “Title Town” moniker bestowed on them by fans and media alike.

Offensively, the Rams balance their running and throwing attack well. Senior running back Trevion Canada leads the team with over 1,400 rushing yards and has reached the end zone twenty-two times. But, it’s the Reidsville defense that lives up to the cliché of “defense wins championships” as the Rams have shut out six opponents this season while only giving up more than fourteen points once in 2018, last week’s 24-21 win over Brevard in the western regional final.

The Eagles from Northeastern sport a rushing attack that has given teams fits this season with an impressive three players who have rushed for over 1,000 yards so far. Aaron Harris leads the team with 1,687 yards and fifteen touchdowns, Tyquan Mercer has scored seventeen touchdowns while rushing for over 1,200 yards, and Traveon Freshwater has scored sixteen touchdowns while also leading the Eagles defense with over 100 tackles. The fact that Freshwater was able to amass these stats while missing three games makes it even more impressive.

An interesting side note to this game – in 1969, both Northeastern and Reidsville were both 3A and won their respective regions. However, in the 1960s, the state association did not play state title games in the 3A classification so these two teams never got to settle who was the best 3A team in the state. In the minds of some, this year’s game between these two teams is for both the 1969 and 2018 state title.