Rams to face big, defensive-minded Orange for eastern title

Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 05:09 PM.

Playing in the eastern regional championship for the fourth straight year sure hasn’t gotten old for the Havelock Rams.

"They’re excited," Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant said of his players. "They know that making it this far in the playoffs is a blessing. Every team in the state doesn’t get the chance to do that. Right now there are only 16 football teams in the state practicing. We’re one of the 16, so we feel very blessed and we’re excited for the opportunity to play a good Orange football team."

The Rams (13-1) take on Orange (11-2) for the eastern 3A title at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Havelock High.

Bryant said Orange has a balanced offense with big-play potential and a very good defense with a lot of size.

"They’re big all the way around," Bryant said. "They’ve got a big football team, so it’s going to be a real challenge for us. This is the best team we’ve played by far in the playoffs."

The Panthers give up just 10 points per game and have recorded three shutouts this season. Last week, Orange came up with four turnovers and shut down explosive Eastern Alamance 14-13 to advance to Friday’s title game.

"They’ve been averaging in the playoffs getting about four or five turnovers a game," Bryant said. "They do really well at getting you to turn the ball over, so we’re going to have to be careful with the football, wrap it up and not throw interceptions."

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