I have to say Friday night's meeting of Hunt and SouthWest Edgecombe was an eye-opener. I don't think anyone expected the 2-A Eastern Plains Conference Cougars to manhandle the 3-A Big East Conference Warriors the way they did in SWE's 42-8 win.
Hunt did a credible job on offense but three straight first-half drives into SWE territory ended with turnovers. On the flip side, the Cougars offense barely gave their defense time to rest, scoring on drives of three plays, five plays and six plays for a total of 237 yards, 22 points and 5 minutes, 44 seconds.
Cougars junior fullback Quandre Pittman looked like a man out there, dragging Warriors just as big as he is at 6-foot-1, 215 pounds. Even when the Warriors went 4-8 last year, they rarely if ever looked as outclassed as they did at times in the first half Friday night. It was, as one Hunt bystander said on the sideline: "Embarrassing."
But the Warriors needn't be embarrassed. After all, SouthWest Edgecombe entered the contest ranked No. 20 among all state teams by Drew Pasteur in his Fantastic 50. The Warriors, ranked 47th, were five-point underdogs. Granted, Pasteur's rankings took a hit Friday when No. 8 Rocky Mount was slapped down 41-21 by No. 48 Hertford County but the Fantastic 50 does a good job of assessing talent. Probably better than The Associated Press, whose voters like myself really don't get to see that many teams around the state.
The Cougars will visit Rocky Mount Friday and a win there should surely put them among the top 2-A teams in the state and maybe even near the top of the EPC if Tarboro gives up another touchdown to go along with the one the Vikings surrendered Friday night. Seriously, the Vikings and Cougars could probably dominate a lot of 3-A leagues but they're still not assured of winning every other EPC meeting, not with Kinston and Beddingfield in the league.
Hunt better get its head up quickly because it has to play at Beddingfield Friday night and that's always a tough one for the Warriors, who with Rocky Mount's surprising loss, might still be a good bet to win the Big East. Unless Southern Nash keeps chugging along and so far, the Firebirds show little sign of slowing down.
We're a month into the season and already I can see a dozen or more subplots starting to develop!