The West Carteret football team accomplished two things Monday night.
The Patriots put themselves in position to win their first conference championship in 57 years.
And they likely set up a humdinger of a regular season finale versus Croatan.
West defeated White Oak 35-22 in a homecoming contest that was postponed Friday due to the threat of inclement weather.
The win over the Vikings puts the Morehead City squad at 2-0 in the 3A Coastal Conference, tied with Swansboro. Those two will meet next Friday, Oct. 22 at West.
The Patriots will travel this Friday to Richlands, which is 0-2 in the league.
Victories in those two contests would guarantee West its first league title since its first year as a program in 1964.
The county rivalry matchup with Croatan on Friday, Oct. 29 would then provide the opportunity to win an outright conference crown.
The Cougars would also need to hold up their end of the bargain to make the regular season finale a doozy.
They travel to Swansboro this Friday and next week host a Dixon team that is 0-2 in conference.
Wins in those games would put Croatan at 3-1, setting up a tilt with the Patriots that would give the Cougars a shot at sharing the championship.
A win by Croatan – and if White Oak wins its final three games against Dixon, Richlands and Swansboro – would create a three-way tie for the league title among West, Croatan and White Oak.
It’s also been a while for the Vikings when it comes to winning a conference title. They last captured one in 2000.
This same scenario played out last year.
Croatan went into the 1A/2A Coastal 8 Conference regular season finale sporting a 5-0 conference mark, followed by East Carteret and Southwest Onslow at 4-1 apiece.
A win by the Mariners in that contest would’ve created a three-way tie for the championship.
Instead, the Cougars held on for a 44-29 triumph in an exciting matchup to capture the program’s first-ever outright conference crown and its second overall.
And while that was fun, this would be even better.
Let’s face it, West- Croatan is a much bigger rivalry than East-Croatan.
Imagine the crowd in Ocean on Friday, Oct. 29 for that game if this plays out the way we hope.
The only thing making it better would be if they each came into that contest with the same record, making the winner the champion and the loser the runner-up.
But we’ll take what we can get, and if we can get this, it’ll be pretty good.
(Send comments or questions to email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @jjsmithccnt.)