Charles B. Aycock and Eastern Wayne first met on the football field in 1967.
The two county rivals played each other four times from 1971-74.
They didn’t meet again until 2001 when the Warriors dropped from 4A to 3A and joined the Golden Falcons in the 3A/4A Eastern Carolina Conference.
Since then, they’ve faced off against each other every year in a series that in recent years has tilted toward Eastern Wayne, which has won eight of 12 games since 2010.
And even though the two schools are no longer in the same conference, they are still making room in their schedules to play against each other.
“These kids know each other from playing against each other in middle school, and it brings the communities together, and we just love the competition with Aycock along with Goldsboro and Southern Wayne,” Eastern Wayne head coach Leander Oates said.
“This has always been one of the best biggest games of the year. It’s just a natural rivalry, so I think it helps motivate our guys to have that natural rivalry there,” C.B. Aycock head coach Thomas Zietlow added.
Going into Friday night’s game at Hardy Talton Stadium, C.B. Aycock will attempt to rebound from a tough loss, while the Warriors will look to defeat its second county rival in a row.
Against Southern Wayne last week, Eastern Wayne found itself down 14-8 at halftime. The Warriors scored 22 points in the third quarter and went on to defeat the Saints 40-22.
Oates is not worried about his team suffering a hangover from last week’s win. He knows C.B. Aycock wants to rebound from a tough loss to Rosewood.
Oates wants to see the Warriors maintain a balanced attack against the Golden Falcons. He wants to use the Warriors’ ground game and ability to throw the ball to keep the C.B. Aycock defense off balance.
“On the offensive side, we were able to show that we can run the ball. I feel like we have a balanced attack with great receivers, and Trevor (Warrior’s quarterback Trevor Warren) is able to throw the ball, and we just want to balance it out,” Oates said.
As for the Golden Falcons. They led 20-12 at halftime against Rosewood in The Little River Rivalry, but Rosewood rallied in the second half and won 27-26.
C.B. Aycock head coach Thomas Zietlow said the Golden Falcons have turned the page and are looking forward to facing off against another county rival.
“We were telling the boys to have a short memory and get ready for another game. I was praising their effort against Rosewood because they competed. Our effort all game was there,” Zietlow said. “Our keys to the game are we need to control the ball and the clock and finish off our drives.”
All week, the C.B. Aycock coaches have been focused on correcting the mistakes the Golden Falcons made because Zietlow knows the margin of error against Eastern Wayne is razor-thin.
“There are some things that we need to clean up, and if we clean up those things, then I think we’ll be better moving forward,” Zietlow said.