Eastern Wayne wins Saturday showdown
By David Williams
Published in Sports on October 17, 2004 2:01 AM
The game was one that deserved a huge crowd, bright lights, bands playing and both stands going crazy.
But that was denied to both Eastern Wayne and Goldsboro when their annual backyard battle was postponed from Friday night after threats of violence were rumored to erupt at the game.
So, with a sparse but vocal group full of parents in the stands supporting their children, the two teams put on a defensive, nose-to-nose battle Saturday afternoon at Cougar Field. In the end, it was the Warrior defense and the hard running of Al Graham that spelled the difference as the Warriors bested the Cougars 15-12.
The victory made Eastern Wayne (4-3, 4-1 Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference) playoff eligible and ensures the Warriors would stay tied with Kinston for second place in the ECC.
Goldsboro (1-8, 1-5) will not get the required four wins to make the playoffs this season after falling for the second straight week.
The Wayne County Public Schools decided to postponed the game Friday afternoon and were to play Saturday's game in front of only the media.
But Friday night, the schools decided to let in the parents after their children or school officials identified them at the gate.
Graham, a junior, was the stud for Eastern Wayne with 125 yards on 32 carries, while the Eastern Wayne defense limited Goldsboro to 50 yards of rushing offense and 134 total yards.
"It was important for us to come in here and keep a lock on second, and get a home playoff berth," said Eastern Wayne coach Jeff Price. "Every week we find a new challenge."
Goldsboro opened the game with a 15-play, 65-yard drive as Goldsboro's Kelvin Ingram was able to get outside on the Eastern Wayne corners, Ingram banged in from three yards out to take first blood at 6-0.
Eastern Wayne got even early in the second quarter after a Goldsboro player touched the ball on a punt by Eastern Wayne. The Warriors fell on the ball to gain possession at the 24-yard line, and Zach Williams quickly found Riley Wilkins for a 19-yard pass to the 5-yard line. From there, Graham bulled over to score, with Stephen Stackhouse splitting the goalposts for a 7-6 Warrior lead.
The game stayed right there as both defenses hunkered down, withstood penalties and miscues and kept each other away from the end zones.
Early in the third quarter, Goldsboro took advantage of a mistake as Coriante Thompson scooped up a fumble at the 34 and sprinted down the sideline to score and give the Cougars a 12-7 lead early in the third period.
But Eastern Wayne held its poise, worked field position and used its stingy defense to shut Goldsboro down.
The Warriors drove down to the Cougar seven, but Brandon Herring intercepted a Williams pass in the end zone to turn Eastern Wayne away. But Goldsboro fumbled away the ball on the next play to set Eastern Wayne up at the 22. Graham did the work, carrying six times until he found the end zone from four yards out. The point-after kick missed and Eastern Wayne led by a scant 13-12.
Goldsboro had its chance with 6:32 to play, getting the ball on its own three after Eastern Wayne went for a touchdown and was turned away by the Cougars.
Goldsboro slowly drove to the Warrior 38, but the Warriors sacked quarterback Treme Boone. He released the ball and the Warriors pounced on it.
Goldsboro got one more chance with 24 seconds to play, but Boone was sacked twice, the final time in his own end zone for a safety.
Goldsboro coach Maurice Jackson noted the Cougars took bad penalties and had bad breaks, but credited the Warriors and Graham for a solid effort.
"I thought Jarrett Bryant and Tyshaun Lofton did a good job hitting him and trying to break his will," Jackson said. "He tip-toed more after we started hitting him."
Eastern Wayne has another county battle next week, hosting Southern Wayne. Goldsboro will host Kinston Friday as it begins to play the spoiler's role.
E. Wayne 0 7 6 2 -- 15
Goldsboro 6 0 6 0 -- 12
G -- Kelvin Ingram 3 run (run fail) 6:30
EW -- Al Graham 5 run (Stackhouse kick) 11:13
G -- Coriante Thompson 66 fumble return (run fail) 11:11
EW -- Graham 4 run (kick fail)
EW -- Safety, quarterback tackled in end zone :00
First downs 9 8
Rushes-yds 35-120 34-50
Pass yds 60 84
Total yds 180 134
Comp-att-int 6-16-1 7-16-0
Fumbles-lost 2-2 3-2
Penalties-yds 13-110 15-83
Punts-avg 2-21 3-22
RUSHING -- Eastern Wayne -- Al Graham 32-125, 2 TD; Brian Sutton 1-3; Tyler Ham 1-(-2); Zach Williams 1-(-6). Goldsboro -- Kelvin Ingram 16-54, TD; Aaron Phifer 2-7; Brandon Herring 110; Quanterrio Battle 4-11; Jacob Sykes 1-2; Treme Boone 4-(-20); Adrian Lewis 6-(-22).
PASSING -- Eastern Wayne -- Zach Williams 6-13-1-0, 60 yds; Tyler Ham 0-3-0-0. Goldsboro -- Adrian Lewis 4-7-0-0, 50 yds; Treme Boone 3-9-0-0, 34 yds.
RECEIVING -- Eastern Wayne -- Al Graham 1-3; Riley Wilkins 2-32; Brian Sutton 1-10; Taylor Jackson 1-2; Clint Rouse 1-13. Goldsboro -- Charles Grantham 3-31; Jacob Sykes 3-35; Jerry Gills 1-18.
Revised on Monday, October 18, 2004
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