Bryant says Rams must ignore Topsail's 4-7 record

Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 04:32 PM.

Fans may look at Havelock’s first-round playoff opponent and see a 4-7 record. But that’s not what Coach Jim Bob Bryant sees.

Bryant sees Topsail as a big, physical team that lost games to tough 4A competition. He said the Rams simply can’t overlook the Pirates, who are scheduled to visit Havelock for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday.

“They’re better than their record,” Bryant said. “They played in a 3A/4A league so they played against some good competition. Laney, New Hanover and Hoggard — that’s three really good 4A football teams that play in their conference, so they’re used to playing good competition.”

Havelock (11-0), the two-time defending state champs, enters the playoffs as the No. 1 seed. Topsail is the 16th seed, having secured a playoff spot by beating South Brunswick 13-7 on Nov. 1.

The Pirates have struggled offensively since the first two games of the season in which they scored 69 points. In the last nine games, Topsail has scored just 54 points and has been shut out four times.

Meanwhile, Havelock’s defense has posted six shutouts this season, allowing just six offensive touchdowns all year. Andrew Ramirez has 87 tackles to lead the Rams, who have come up with 23 turnovers.

Still, West Craven was able to move the ball against the Rams in last week’s game, a 21-7 Havelock victory. The Eagles totaled 17 first downs and 232 total yards, 166 of which came in the air.

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