Havelock aiming big against West Craven

HAVELOCK | The past talent has set the bar high for Havelock’s offense.

Recent former star players like Derrell Scott and Pharoh Cooper, who helped the Rams win state championships, have elevated the standards.

Havelock (7-0, 2-0 Coastal 3-A) is averaging nearly 40 points per game and gaining nearly 420 yards per game – doing it with the run and the pass.

“With our offense, we expect to maintain a certain level when we’ve had guys like Derrell Scott and Pharoh Cooper running through the past few years,” said Havelock assistant coach Matt Handley. “Coach (Jim Bob) Bryant and the offensive guys love being able to run the football. That’s where a lot of it starts. Most offenses, if you run the ball, it opens up the pass.”

The top-ranked Rams, who have scored at least 28 points in every game, will take on ninth-ranked West Craven at 7 p.m. on Thursday at Havelock High.

West Craven (6-0, 2-0) has limited opposing offenses to 10.3 per game.

“We have to make sure we get someone to block them, which is easier said than done,” Handley said. “They have four really good defensive linemen, probably one of the best in the state.”

Senior running back Tony Sharpe leads the Rams’ ground game with 738 yards with three 100-yard games and 10 touchdowns. Cameron Hutchinson has 283 yards and eight rushing touchdowns and quarterback Corey Cooper has 259 rushing yards and four scores.

“If they do what they are coached to do – block who they are supposed to block, run where they are supposed to run – that certainly helps,” Handley said. “They are skilled so they are going to make plays.”

Cooper completed all seven passes for 183 yards with two touchdowns in last week’s 42-7 win over White Oak. Cooper has passed for 1,348 yards with 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

He has the luxury of throwing to receivers Quinzel Lockhart (475 yards), Khalil Barrett (313 yards), Kenyatta Frazier (227) and Welton Spottsville (205).

“Coop is a battler. He’s always trying to improve to make himself better. He works hard every week,” Handley said. “Our receiving corps is really good. We have a bunch of kids that can catch the ball and run with it.”

Havelock is seeking its eighth-straight win over West Craven. During that span, the Rams have outscored the Eagles, 262-55.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Adam Thompson is the sports editor at the Sun Journal. He can be contacted at 252-635-5669. Follow Adam on Twitter @A_ThompsonNBSJ