10/10/04 — Hawks drop county rival, pick up EPC win

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Hawks drop county rival, pick up EPC win

Published in Sports on October 10, 2004 9:50 AM

LAGRANGE -- Tradition remains alive and well in Institute.

That was the one word pre-game pep talk North Lenoir head football coach Wayne Jackson gave his charges before taking the field at the Wheat Swamp to square off with their cross-county rival South Lenoir.

The Hawks did not disappoint, as they sent their guests back to Deep Run, smarting from a 27-6 drumming. North Lenoir claimed its seventh consecutive victory in the series, which it leads 27-14, and maintained possession of the Bragging Bowl -- the prize for winning the North-South Pigskin Classic.

North Lenoir improved to 3-4, while South Lenoir dropped to 1-6. It was the Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference opener for both teams.

North Lenoir won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, so South Lenoir coach Pat Whitford threw some gimmicks at their hosts on their first series of plays. The Blue Devils came out in a spread formation with one back, quarterback Brandon Rouse to take the snap, and the rest of the team on the other side of the field.

"Before the game, I told our team to expect some type of trick play on their first possession," said Jackson. "They adjusted well."

Rouse marched his team down to the Hawk 18, where the drive stalled due to a holding penalty.

Hawks quarterback Andrew Manning took over and put the ball in the capable hands of running backs Ervin Atkins, E.J. Brown and Antonio Hamilton. Manning threw just two passes in an offense that gained 333 yards.

Hamilton, ranked fifth among the area's rushers in yards per game, finished the night with 120 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries. Brown added 147 yards on 16 carries, including touchdown runs of one, one and 13 yards.

"Running is our bread and butter," said Jackson. "We have great running backs and a great line that opened the holes for them tonight."

Aided by a personal foul penalty, the Hawks scored their first touchdown at 9:47 of the second quarter. Brown hit pay dirt on a one-yard plunge off right tackle. The score was set up by his runs of 20, 17 and 11 yards.

It was Hamilton's turn next.

Manning connected with Anthony McPhatter, his only completion of the night, for 27 yards. The pass put the ball at the Blue Devil two-yard line. Hamilton plunged into the end zone at 7:49. Brown's two yard run for the extra point made it a 14-0 game.

After Rouse scored on a quarterback sneak at 4:03 of the third quarter, the North Lenoir road show resumed. The Hawks offensive ran 34 plays in the second half on drives of eight, 15 and 11 plays. A fierce, gang-tackling defense allowed South Lenoir just 23 offensive snaps.

North Lenoir's first drive stalled when William Brown came up a yard short of a first down on a fake punt. E.J. Brown converted on the next two series on runs of one yard with seconds left in the third quarter, and a 13-yard sweep at 10:27 of the final quarter.

"We just could not build any offensive momentum tonight," said Whitford. "It could have been a different ball game if we had scored on that first series. You make those kind of mistakes and you pay the price."

South Lenoir welcomes SouthWest Edgecombe next Friday for Homecoming. Meanwhile, the Hawks take on Greene Central.

"We matched their intensity tonight, particularly on defense," said Jackson. "They're a tough, tough team. I don't think we've beaten them in six years.

"They will be a major challenge."

South Lenoir 0 0 6 0 -- 6

North Lenoir 0 14 6 7 -- 27

Second quarter

NL -- E.J. Brown 1 run (kick blocked), 9:47

NL -- Hamilton 2 run (E.J. Brown run), 7:49

Third quarter

SL -- Rouse 2 run (kick failed), 4:03

NL -- E.J. Brown 1 run (pass failed), 0:13

Fourth quarter

NL -- E.J. Brown 13 run (Jarman kick), 10:27

S. Lenoir N. Lenoir

First downs 13 19

Rushes-yds 47-122 50-306

Passing yds 78 27

Total yards 200 333

Att.-Comp.-Int. 11-4-0 2-1-0

Fumbles-lost 4-2 4-1

Punts-avg. 3-37.0 2-32.5

Penalties-yds 5-51 6-65


RUSHING -- South Lenoir -- Jonathan Hernandez 14-79; Brandon James 12-26; Carlos Amaya 3-15; Brandon Rouse 7-10 TD; Carel Rogers 2-(-8). North Lenoir -- E.J. Brown 16-147-3 TD; Antonio Hamilton 21-120 TD; Ervin Atkins 7-37; Eric Whitfield 2-5; William Brown 1-4; Josh Reece 1-(-1); Andrew Manning 2-(-6).

PASSING -- South Lenoir -- Brandon Rouse 4-11-0, 78. North Lenoir -- Andrew Manning 1-2-0, 27.

RECEIVING -- South Lenoir -- Paul Novicki 2-37; Jonathan Hernandez 1-26; Dusty Murphy 1-15. North Lenoir -- Anthony McPhatter 1-27.