City League: Beechcroft, Northland to meet in North Division clash
Two of the City League-North Division’s traditional powers will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, when Northland plays host to Beechcroft.
Both teams have new coaches and are coming off their first victories.
The Cougars — who followed an opening 25-0 loss to Marion-Franklin on Sept. 17 by beating East 34-24 on Sept. 25 — won six in a row in the series before Northland won the matchups in 2017 and 2018.
Last fall, Beechcroft closed the season with a 27-0 win over the Vikings to finish 7-3 while Northland finished 4-6.
In the Cougars’ first win under new coach Humphrey Simmons, senior Diante Latham (RB/DB) had two interceptions, one touchdown and one two-point conversion and senior Devin French (RB/LB) scored two touchdowns.
Northland avenged a 33-7 loss to Centennial last season by beating the Stars 20-6 on Sept. 26 for its first win under new coach Ryan Sayers.
Senior quarterback Shemar Watson threw one touchdown to junior wide receiver Japhrone Chapman and freshman Amir Brown rushed for more than 100 yards, while Sayers said sophomore linebacker Gentry Ross led the defense.
In the playoffs, which will begin Oct. 9, Northland will be in Division II, Region 7 and Beechcroft will be in Division III, Region 11.
Regional brackets are expected to be announced Oct. 1.
•Centennial will play host to Whetstone on Friday, Oct. 2, looking for its fourth consecutive win in the series. The Stars opened with a 36-14 loss Sept. 17 at Walnut Ridge before falling to the Vikings to drop to 0-2.
After losing 52-6 on Sept. 17 at South, the Braves edged Mifflin 12-6 on Sept. 25 to improve to 1-1.
Whetstone will be in Division II, Region 7 and Centennial will be in Division III, Region 11 for the playoffs.
Last season, the Stars qualified for the Region 11 postseason for the first time but lost 70-28 to Jackson in the first round to finish 9-2.
The Braves never have qualified for the playoffs, but every team is eligible for the postseason this fall and every team in the City is planning to participate.
•Two teams off to strong starts will match up at noon Saturday, Oct. 3, when South plays at Marion-Franklin.
The Red Devils followed their win over Beechcroft by beating Independence 34-22 on Sept. 26 as senior running back Taylen James ran for two touchdowns and junior running back Michael Griffin added another rushing score.
The Bulldogs followed their opening win over Whetstone by defeating West 64-0 on Sept. 26.
Marion-Franklin has won the past 17 meetings between the programs, including 45-14 last season when it made the Division IV playoffs. The Red Devils are preparing for the Region 15 playoffs and the Bulldogs are in Region 11.
BEECHCROFT at NORTHLAND
•When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1
•Last meeting: 2016, Beechcroft 27-0
•Beechcroft (1-1) to date: Lost to Marion-Franklin 25-0; defeated East 34-24
•Northland (1-1) to date: Lost to Eastmoor Academy 49-0; def. Centennial 20-6
•Top Cougars: James Austin (OL/DL), Devin French (RB/LB), Muhammad-Ali Kobo (WR/TE/LB/DL), Diante Latham (RB/DB), Antoine Reed Jr. (TE/LB) and J.J. Simmons (WR/DB)
•Top Vikings: Japhrone Chapman (WR/DB), Corey Craddolph (OL/DL), Rob Dorsey (WR/DB), Shemar Watson (QB/WR/DB) and Isaiah Willis Jackson (WR/DB)
SOUTH at MARION-FRANKLIN
•When: Noon Saturday, Oct. 3
•Last meeting: 2019, Marion-Franklin 45-14
•South (2-0) to date: Def. Whetstone 52-6; def. West 64-0
•Marion-Franklin (2-0) to date: Def. Beechcroft 25-0; def. Independence 34-22
•Top Bulldogs: Jerome Dillard (TE/DB), Shermar Lindsey (OL/DL), Ronmel Robinson (QB/LB), Delquan Rodgers (RB/DB) and Tony Souvanhly (OL/DL)
•Top Red Devils: Leviticus Brown (OL/DL), Taylen James (RB/DB), John Martin (QB), Giovanni Scales (WR/DB) and Quannaire Tatum (OL)
WALNUT RIDGE at INDEPENDENCE
•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2
•Last meeting: 2019, Walnut Ridge 35-0
•Walnut Ridge (1-1) to date: Def. Centennial 36-14; lost to Eastmoor 25-19 (OT)
•Independence (1-1) to date: Def. East 58-12; lost to Marion-Franklin 34-22
•Top Scots: Ras Anderson (OL/DL), Daaron Brown (WR/DB), Jamarius Dinkins (OL/DL), Antonio Felts (RB/LB), William Felts (WR/DB), Javarus Leach (RB/LB) and Howard Thornton (QB)
•Top 76ers: Vontez Brice (RB/DB), Michael Johnson (LB/WR), Orlando Jones (QB/DB), Shawn Munnerlyn (WR/TE/LB), Jalin Sample (RB/DB) and Benzle Sieh (DB)
WHETSTONE at CENTENNIAL
•When: 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2
•Last meeting: 2019, Centennial 55-7
•Whetstone (1-1) to date: Lost to South 52-6; def. Mifflin 12-6
•Centennial (0-2) to date: Lost to Walnut Ridge 36-14; lost to Northland 20-6
•Top Braves: Zane Fent (OL/DL), Alex Hurd (QB/DB), Darric McClinton (RB/DB), Abdourahman Sallah (DB) and Khris Watkins-Sellers (WR/DB)
•Top Stars: Jake Barnes (OL/DL), Justin Grimes (OL/DL), Tyreek Gunnell (WR/DB), Noah Hatem (OL/DL), Kevin Motely (OL/LB), Tavarres Overton (WR/DB) and Syquee Womack (QB)