Havelock’s last lost came in 2012 – by one point – to New Bern.
Since then, the Rams have run off 31 straight victories, which includes two state championships on top of the one they won in 2011.
The Rams and Bears are set to clash again at 7 p.m. today at Havelock High.
“It’s always a playoff-type of feel when you play Havelock,” New Bern coach Bobby Curlings said. “We know the crowd will be great and a good football team will be lining up against us. This week at practice, we have been working on some mistakes that we made in the Hillside game last Friday night.”
The Bears defeated Hillside 12-0 last week, forcing six turnovers and getting a touchdown run and touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Hughes.
Havelock started slowly but took care of Washington 37-6.
“If our defense is playing up to its capability, we can overcome a slow start on offense,” Bryant said. “It’s a big game for us because it is the next one. No matter who it is, the next one is the biggest one for us. In a rivalry game like this, against a good football team, big plays and special teams are huge and that usually swings it in a team’s favor.”
Kyran Bowman had a pair of touchdown catches and Matt Boykin returned a punt for a touchdown and also caught a touchdown pass against Washington. Quarterback Travis Sabdo threw for three scores.
“Anytime you play against a really good team like Havelock, you can’t turn the ball over and you have to play hard and together to be able to win,” Curlings said. “We can't afford to dwell on anything bad that happens to us throughout the game, just move on to the next play and learn from it.”
Bryant is 4-2 against New Bern since arriving in Havelock in 2008, including last year’s 31-13 triumph at New Bern High. The game marks the 45th meeting between the two schools, with New Bern holding the slightest edge at 22-21-1 in the series.
This year’s game also marks the 50th anniversary of the first meeting between the two schools, a 25-20 Havelock victory in 1964.
Jordan Honeycutt is a reporter for the Havelock News.