Hawks snap Rams EPC win streak
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 17, 2004 2:01 AM
SNOW HILL -- The monkey -- or more appropriately, the Greene Central Rams -- are finally off the backs of North Lenoir's football team and coach Wayne Jackson.
Thanks to a dominant second-half effort, the Hawks snapped Greene Central's 12-game Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference win streak with a 28-14 victory at the James R. Fulghum Athletic Complex.
The win was also Jackson's first over the Rams in his six-year tenure at the helm with the Hawks (4-4 overall), who improved to 2-0 in conference play.
"They (Greene Central) showed more fight than we did in the first half, so I challenged them to come out and fight in the second half and they did," Jackson said. "This is wonderful. This is a good win. This is one of the better wins North Lenoir has had."
Greene Central (4-4, 1-1) took a 14-6 lead into halftime and looked poised to go up by two scores later in the third quarter, after the Hawks drew closer with a safety to pull within 14-8.
Ram quarterback Travis Rouse connected with Devon Smith on a 48-yard completion, putting the Rams at the Hawk 32 with just over five minutes left in the third. On the next play, North Lenoir recovered a fumbled snap out of the shotgun formation to end the threat.
"The quarterback center exchange is crucial in the shotgun offense, and we've done well with that all year," Bryant said. "For whatever reason, we didn't get the snap clean on that one."
Rouse's completion to Smith would prove to be Greene Central's last first down until the waning minutes of the fourth quarter.
Following the turnover, North Lenoir's ground game went to work against a Ram defense that spent a majority of the second half on the field. William Brown, who scored all four Hawk touchdowns, finished a four-play drive with a 13-yard touchdown run with 3:16 left in the third.
The Rams fumbled the ensuing kickoff and North Lenoir took advantage of the short field as Brown rushed in from the one to put his team up 21-14 late in the third.
North Lenoir's defense held Greene Central to a three-and-out on its next drive, then proceeded to march 51 yards on six plays. Brown capped the drive with another score early in the fourth quarter to push the game to its final margin. Brown finished with 55 tough yards on 13 carries with four touchdowns.
The Rams had a pair of 15-yard face mask penalties that aided two of North Lenoir's scoring drives in the second half.
Despite giving up two fumbles inside the Ram 20, Antonio Hamilton paced the Hawks' rushing attack with 232 yards on 26 carries.
The Hawks rushed for 354 yards on a whopping 66 carries for the game and had 44 plays from scrimmage to Greene Central's 16 in the second half. North Lenoir had 14 rushing first downs after intermission.
"We've got four starters back on the offensive line, and that should be a strength of ours," Jackson said. "Greene Central beat us a few times with their quickness, but I think our strength prevailed in the end."
Rouse finished with 192 yards through the air with 125 coming in the first half. Rouse connected with Dreyan Willis on the fourth play of the game for a 52-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring. Midway through the second quarter, Rouse and Devon Smith hooked up for a 21-yard score through the air to go up 14-6.
Greene Central mixed in its running game to pick up three first downs on the ground in the first half, but the Rams had just one running play out of five in the second half that went for positive yardage.
North Lenoir's Jarelle Parks stopped a Greene Central running play for a safety and a five-yard loss with less than 10 minutes left in the third to pull his team to within 14-8.
Both teams continue EPC play next week as North Lenoir hosts North Pitt, while Greene Central travels to SouthWest Edgecombe.
North Lenoir 6 0 15 7 -- 28
Greene Central 7 7 0 0 -- 14
GC -- Willis 52 pass from Rouse (Fernandez kick), 10:32
NL -- W. Brown 1 run (run failed), :14.3
GC -- Smith 21 pass from Rouse (Fernandez kick), 5:36
NL -- Safety, 9:56
NL -- W. Brown 13 run (Baird kick), 3:16
NL -- W. Brown 1 run (kick failed), 1:36
NL -- W. Brown 13 run (Baird kick), 10:29
First downs 25 8
Rushes-yds 66-354 16-26
Passing yds 47 192
Total yards 401 218
Att.-Comp.-Int. 10-5-0 24-13-0
Fumbles-lost 3-3 2-1
Punts-avg 1-35 5-27.8
Penalties-yds 8-57 5-40
RUSHING -- North Lenoir -- Antonio Hamilton 28-232; E.J. Brown 15-36; William Brown 14-55, 4 TD; Tyrone Spencer 5-26; Andrew Manning 3-6; Ervin Atkins 1-(-1). Greene Central -- Damion Phillips 6-23; Travis Rouse 6-(14); Tim McNair 3-14; Mario Brown 1-3.
PASSING -- North Lenoir -- Andrew Manning 5-10-0 47. Greene Central -- Travis Rouse 13-24-0 192, 2 TD.
RECEIVING -- North Lenoir -- E.J. Brown 4-41; William Brown 1-6. Greene Central -- Dreyan Willis 5-110, TD; Tim McNair 1-(-5); Dashon Bynum 1-4; Devon Smith 4-76, TD; Kendrick Best 1-6; Damion Phillips 1-1.
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