Whatever you do, don’t call Havelock’s second-round playoff game against Jacksonville a rematch.
Sure, the Rams beat Jacksonville 42-14 in a Coastal 3A Conference game on Oct. 12, but Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said his team will be facing a far different Cardinals team in the second round of the playoffs at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Havelock High.
"They’re more efficient on offense than they were earlier in the year," Bryant said. "They’re the same on defense, which is very good."
Seventh-seeded Jacksonville (8-4) beat No. 2 Rocky Mount 27-14 in the first round last week, holding the Gryphons scoreless until the final two minutes of the game.
Meanwhile, quarterback Vincent Siders ran for 58 yards and two scores, and threw for 105 yards and another score.
Against Havelock on Oct. 12, Siders was intercepted twice as the Cardinals managed just two first downs and 133 total yards.
"I’m sure they’re going to tweak their offense and their defense a little bit as everybody does," Bryant said of the Cardinals. "We tweak ours from week to week depending on who we’re playing. They’ve got a really good coaching staff and some good players, so I think they will have a couple of little change-ups for us."
Bryant said the Rams would be prepared for the changes.
"We always practice for the what-ifs, what if they do this or what if they do that," Bryant said. "We always practice for those."
The Rams are coming off a 49-0 victory over Currituck in the first round. Havelock had just seven first downs but averaged 12.8 yards per play.
Havelock and Jacksonville have split 14 previous meetings. The Rams have won the last five times the teams have played.
"Playing the same team twice, it may be hard," Havelock linebacker and running back Taylor Woods said. "We have to have a good week of practice and do well on Friday."
Of note, the Rams are 8-4 all-time in games played during presidential election weeks, 4-1 when the Democrats take the White House and 4-3 when Republicans win.