10/23/05 — Undefeated Bruins rout Eastern Wayne

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Undefeated Bruins rout Eastern Wayne

By David Miller
Published in Sports on October 23, 2005 2:17 AM

Already considered an unwelcomed guest on homecoming night in New Hope, state-ranked and unbeaten Wilson Beddingfield turned downright unhospitable against Eastern Wayne.

Senior quarterback Bennett Johnson recorded his second consecutive 300-yard passing effort in the Bruins' 47-17, Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference victory at Little Big Horn. The Bruins (9-0) claimed their third win against ECC opposition and remained on a collision course with county archrival Wilson Hunt.

Eastern Wayne (4-4-1) tumbled to 0-3 in conference play.

Johnson wasted little time validating the Bruins' No. 5 ranking after the opening kickoff. Johnson, who completed 13 of 21 passes for 339 yards, threw a 61-yard touchdown strike to senior wideout Jeremy Atkinson on the opening play from scrimmage.

The Warriors, who are 1-3-1 at home, answered with a 10-play drive. Quarterback Tyler Ham used the trio of Daniel Bell, Kendrick Best and Travis Turner to move the ball from Eastern Wayne's 47 to Beddingfield's 26. The drive stalled, but Clint Rouse booted a 44-yard field goal to close the visitors' lead to 7-3.

But Eastern Wayne's defense had no answer for Johnson. A veteran Beddingfield offensive line neutralized the Warriors' pass rush. Once Johnson put the ball in the air, speedy Bruin receivers easily outmatched secondary.

Despite trailing 33-3 at halftime, the Warriors appeared rejuvenated for third-period play. Ham engineered a 13-play drive, hitting Rouse and Andrew Blevins with crucial passes. However, Beddingfield intercepted Ham to stop the drive.

The Warriors successfully converted their next possession. Bell broke loose for a 45-yard touchdown -- his first of the season. Ham and Riley Wilkins hooked up for 55-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter.

"There's a reason for Beddingfield's high ranking," said Price, whose team faces Charles B. Aycock next Friday. "They're a very sound program and they have very good, veteran players.

"We're a bit deflated now. We've played three of the strongest programs in the state (Beddingfeld, Hunt, and Southern Wayne) in the last 12 days. That's a challenge for any team, let alone one like ours with only 30-35 players."