Northern Guilford's Tyler Anderson had 18 tackles, including four sacks, and the Nighthawks' defense throttled Rockingham County last Friday for their third conference win of the season.
"We did a really good job defensively," said Coach Erik Westberg. "All around, it was a really good game on both sides of the ball."
After holding Rockingham's Cougars (2-7, 1-4) to -25 rushing yards in the 26-3 win, the Nighthawks are now 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the 2A/3A Mid State Athletic Conference; that puts them in fourth place in the eight-team conference.
In addition to senior middle linebacker Anderson's play, Trey Ruff, a senior defensive lineman, had eight tackles, four for losses, and one sack.
Offensively, junior quarterback Will Lenard threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns; senior Chuck Conaway had four catches for 87 yards and a touchdown, and senior Nyles Mosley had 16 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown.
"I thought we played well on both sides the past couple weeks," Westberg said.
That gives him hope heading into this Friday's home matchup against struggling Morehead. The Panthers are 3-6 overall and 1-4 in the conference, having lost four of their last five games, including their last two.
"It's our last home game. Senior Night," Westberg said. "I'm excited for our seniors. Hope they go out with a win."
A win, he said, should ensure his Nighthawks will make it to the post season, and closing out the regular season with a win at tough Western Alamance (7-2, 4-1) on Nov. 8 would ensure a good seed.
But, Westberg said: "We've got to take care of business this week first before we start looking at them."
Northern Guilford Men's soccer
Northern Guilford men's soccer, which has slugged through its conference schedule so far undefeated, is looking for a high seed in the state playoffs, several home games and a deep post season run.
"I've been proud of my team," said third-year coach Aaron King. "For the past month or so we've shown a lot of heart."
The Nighthawks are 18-3-1 overall and 13-0 in the Mid State 3A Conference. Two of their losses have been to nearby rival Northwest Guilford (18-2-2), currently ranked by MaxPreps.com as the No. 1 team in the state. The other loss was to Williams High in Burlington, which at 18-2 is also among the state's top teams.
State playoff seeds will be announced Nov. 4 and the first playoff games are Nov. 6.
King said he expects a third or fourth seed in the East. The higher seed plays at home.
In 2017, his first year coaching the Nighthawks, King's team made it to the third round of the six-round playoffs. Last year, his team made it to the fourth round.
The 12-year-old high school has had a strong soccer program almost from the beginning, winning its conference most years and making playoff runs. It's never made it past the fourth (quarter final) round.
While the Nighthawks' defense has been strong all year (they've only given up nine goals all season), King wishes this year's team were better at scoring; in his first two seasons at Northern his teams averaged about 100 goals; this year's team has scored only 77 so far.
"We graduated four all-region guys," he said of last year's squad. He said it's been challenging to fill that void.
Top scorers this year have been Josh Auger, a senior, with 18 goals and eight assists so far, and Nic Hasler and JT Buckley with 11 goals each. Hasler has 10 assists so far and Buckley has eight.
The Nighthawks were scheduled to wrap up the regular season Wednesday evening at home against Western Alamance (15-4-2, 11-2).
Northern Guilford Cross Country
Northern Guilford continued its dominance of 3A Mid-State Conference cross country last week, winning both the boys and girls conference title meets.
The boys have won the meet for 10 years in a row and the girls for 10 of the last 11 years, Coach Thanh Ngo confirmed in an email.
Jack Dingman won the boys race, covering the three-mile course in 17:44.06 and earning him his second conference male runner of the year award. Alyssa Hernandez won the girls race in 20:16.79 and earned the conference female runner of the year award.
The Nighthawks will compete in the regionals on Saturday for a chance at the state championships next weekend.
In the boys race, Northern took seven of the top 11 finishes. For the girls, Northern had seven of the top 10.
Other top finishers for the boys were Mateo De Lisa, second; Ernesto Barrios-Zavala, third; Logan Dingman, seventh; Will Fredericks, eighth; Hazen Harvell, 10th, and Jaxon Taborst, 11th.
For the girls, other top finishers were Emma Fredericks, second; Katie Howell, fourth; Kierston Kohler, fifth; Emma Hardiman, sixth; Hope Rackers, ninth, and Samantha Poole, 10th.
For the regionals, Northern will compete as a team. The top 25 percent of the team advance to the states. The top seven individuals in each race that aren't on any of the qualifying teams also advance to the states, Ngo wrote.
Northern Guilford Volleyball
Northern Guilford's volleyball season ended last week in the first round of the NCHSAA Volleyball State Championship.
The 18th-seeded Nighthawks lost 3-0 to No. 15 seed West Carteret (14-8).
Northern finished the season with a 14-11 overall record. They were tied for third in the Mid-State 3A Conference at 9-5.