We’ve hit the approximate one-third point of the high school football season – there is no exact one-third point when you play 11 games – and so it seems like a good time to access where the three county teams stand.

Let’s start with Croatan.

The Cougars have 11 turnovers in their last three games and somehow won one of those.

They had a fumble and interception in a 19-10 loss to Swansboro.

They fumbled five times versus Pamlico but took advantage of seven Hurricanes fumbles to earn a 32-28 comeback win.

On Friday, they fumbled three times and were intercepted once in a 28-6 loss to Southwest Onslow.

Turnovers shouldn’t factor into the outcome Friday versus a Lejeune team that is 1-3 and has been outscored 115-10 in its last three games.

But in two weeks Croatan will host West Carteret in what should be a competitive matchup so ball security will be paramount.

The Patriots are probably looking forward to a competitive ballgame.

They earned their one victory by 35 points and have dropped their three losses by deficits of 42, 54 and 48.

West will travel to Farmville Central on Friday and while the Jaguars aren’t world beaters it’s hard to imagine seeing a spread similar to the one in the Patriots’ first four games.

The Jaguars haven’t been in a competitive contest either, losing by margins of 26, 25, 42, 28 and 29.

And like the Patriots, they’ve mostly lost to tough programs.

Farmville Central dropped tilts to Kinston, North Lenoir, North Edgecombe, Ayden-Grifton and Greene Central. Kinston (3-2) is ranked 41st in 2A by MaxPreps, North Lenoir (5-0) is 56th in 2A, North Edgecombe (2-3) is 18th in 1A, Ayden-Grifton (4-0) is 29th in 2A and Greene Central (2-2) is 59th in 2A.

West fell to New Hanover, West Craven and D.H. Conley. New Hanover (3-1) is 32nd in 3A, West Craven (2-2) is 35th in 2A and D.H. Conley is 35th in 3A.

West should get a win on Friday but it shouldn’t be by five touchdowns, which is the smallest spread it’s been involved in this season.

East Carteret fans would love to see a competitive affair. The Mariners are 0-4 and have lost their games by margins of 52, 35, 24 and 47.

Take heart East fans, some easier-to-watch games are on the horizon.

Why?

Well, the 1A/2A Coastal 8 Conference is … not great.

Southwest Onslow, Croatan and Dixon are each 2-2 and look solid.

The rest?

Lejeune, Pender, Richlands and Trask are a combined 2-14 and have been outscored a combined 540-192. Trask and Pender have each lost four games in a row, Lejeune has dropped three straight and Richlands has fallen in two consecutive.

In 2A, Trask (0-4) ranks 107th out of 114 teams while Richlands (1-3) is 92nd. In 1A, Lejeune (1-3) is 68th out of 72nd teams while Pender (0-5) is 55th.

(Send comments or questions to jj@thenewstimes.com or follow him on Twitter @jjsmithccnt.)

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