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August 23, 2012This Friday night the defending 4AA state champion Page Pirates travel to defending 3AA state champion Northern Guilford to take on the Nighthawks.
The Pirates are coming off their first defeat since losing in the 2010 4AA state championship to Davie County. Last week was QB Jordan Putnam's first game since making the transition from WR. The senior scored two first half touchdowns, but the offense stalled in the second half.
The defense was dismal, giving up 230 yards on the ground to Davie County RB Cade Carney. Despite their poor performance they still managed to force three turnovers in Davie's final four possessions, but eventually fell 14-7.
Northern Guilford opens up their 2012 season on Friday night. They open up as one of the favorites in the 3AA, hoping to defend their back-to-back state championships. The Nighthawks are one of the two teams ever to be called back-to-back state champions in North Carolina.
The Nighthawks return star RB TJ Logan. The UNC commit is the NCPreps.com 3A Pre-Season Player of the Year. Last season he rushed for 2,468 yards and 38 touchdowns. The do-it-all back also excelled on defense racking up 49 tackles and three interceptions. Although the Nighthawks return their star, they must replace five starters on both sides of the ball including a two-year starter at QB Daniel Downing.
Keys to the game
T.O.P. - The biggest asset of the Page offense is their offensive line. If they can create running room and give QB Jordan Putnam time, the Page defense should have a good night. In Page's case, a good offense will equal a good defense by controlling the ball and keeping it out of TJ Logan's hands.
Batman and Robin - If TJ Logan is Batman, Malik Parker is Robin. When the Pirate defense focuses in on Logan, running room will open up for the Junior TB Parker. If Parker plays well, it will be double trouble for the Pirate's defense.
Redeem Team - Last week, the Pirates' defensive front was slaughtered giving up 230 yards on the ground. They can potentially redeem themselves this week with an impressive performance against the top RB in the state.
There is no way a team like Page can start 0-2. Last season Northern Guilford's only defeat came at the hands of Page, losing 35-14. The only thing is, this isn't last season. Northern Guilford and TJ Logan start the season strong defeating the Pirates, 34-17.
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