Assistant coach Matt Handley is a defensive guy, but he liked what he saw from Havelock’s offense toward the end of last week’s win over West Carteret.
The Rams closed out that victory by scoring the game’s final 32 points.
They will attempt to keep up that offensive production on Friday at White Oak – Havelock’s fourth road game in a row. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“Offensively, they really started to click a little bit last week,” Handley said. “We are finally figuring out who is going to be playing where because we’ve been shuffling people around because of injuries. They are just getting more comfortable every game.”
Running back Tony Sharpe gained 160 yards on the ground, his third 100-plus yard rushing game this season, with three touchdowns last week. The senior has 685 yards and eight touchdowns.
Quarterback Corey Cooper passed for 243 yards against West Carteret with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He has 1,165 passing yards with 10 touchdowns while getting picked off eight times. He’s also picked up 259 rushing yards and four scores.
“It just brings more bodies into the box,” Handley said about Havelock’s running game. “That leaves our athletes out in space which is part of our offense. Having that balance is really important for us.”
Havelock (6-0, 1-0 Coastal 3-A) is averaging 229 rushing yards and 199 passing yards per game.
The Rams’ opponent, White Oak, runs a triple option offense led by running backs Tyrique Meadows (415 yards, four touchdowns), Edward Anthony (296 yards, six touchdowns) and Junior Ellis (252 yards, two touchdowns).
“With a triple option, our kids are focused on that defensively,” Handley said. “They run the triple option so that forces us to be sound and to make sure everyone is doing their job and responsibilities.”
White Oak (1-4, 1-0 Coastal 3-A) notched its first win after beating Swansboro, 38-20, last week.
Havelock, the top-ranked team in the state, is giving up just 11 points per game.
The defense has forced 20 turnovers, while Destin Flloyd leads in sacks with 3.5 and Tyiyon Johnson has a team-high in tackles with 45.
“Our kids are always going to be pretty confident,” Handley said. “This is a fun group of kids. They are always enjoying practice and having fun with each other.”
Havelock Rams at White Oak Vikings
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Where: White Oak High School, Jacksonville
Records: Havelock (6-0, 1-0 Coastal 3-A); White Oak (1-4, 1-0 Coastal 3-A)
Coaches: Havelock – Jim Bob Bryant; White Oak – Eric Leary.
Key returners: Havelock – QB Corey Cooper, RB Tony Sharpe, WR Quinzel Lockhart, DL Destin Flloyd, LB Tyiyon Johnson, DB Montrece Gatling; White Oak – RB Tyrique Johnson, RB Edward Anthony, RB Junior Ellis, DB John Jones
Adam Thompson is the sports editor at the Sun Journal. He can be contacted at 252-635-5669. Follow Adam on Twitter @A_ThompsonNBSJ