Southern Wayne upends Eastern Wayne, climbs into ECC race
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 24, 2004 9:44 AM
A blunder by Southern Wayne's special teams cost their team the only points allowed at Eastern Wayne on Friday. Later, the punt team bounced back and made up for it in a big way.
Saint punter Thomas Gainey's booming, 56-yard punt near the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter hit an Eastern Wayne player near the goal line. Teammate David Combs alertly fell on the ball in the end zone for Southern Wayne's second score -- pushing the Saint advantage to 14-2.
The Saint defense picked off two passes after the recovery, while Walter Best capped a 254-yard rushing performance with a 53-yard touchdown scamper in the final minute to finish a 20-2 win at the Little Big Horn.
Best, averaging close to 170 yards per game, now has eight touchdowns.
Early in the first quarter, a Southern Wayne long snap sailed over Gainey's head and towards his own end zone. Gainey wisely kicked the ball through the end zone for a safety, giving the Warriors a 2-0 lead that stood until halftime.
"He did a good job of kicking it out of the end zone and only giving up two points instead of the touchdown," Southern Wayne coach Bob Warren said. "Then, we made a big play on the punt. Our snapper did a great job after that. Those things happen every once in a while."
The win improves Southern Wayne (5-4 overall) to 4-2 in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference. Eastern Wayne (4-4 overall) fell to 4-2 against ECC foes. The Saints, Warriors and Charles B. Aycock have identical, third-place conference marks -- all one game behind Kinston for second place with two games left.
Southern Wayne's defense limited Eastern Wayne to 123 yards of total offense as the Warriors managed just 41 yards on the ground. Eastern Wayne played most of the game without leading rusher Al Graham, who went down with an injury early in the game.
Combs emerged with 12 tackles, including five for a loss, with seven assists and an interception from the linebacker spot. Defensive end Terriel Troublefield added eight tackles and six assists, while dominating off of the end with three sacks, three batted balls and a forced fumble.
"Our defense gave the offense every opportunity they had. Terriel created havoc for their offense all night long," Warren said. "We beat a good Eastern Wayne team tonight. I can't say enough about our defense keeping us in it when we were sputtering offensively."
Eastern Wayne's defense bent several times in the first half but didn't break. The Saints picked up 127 yards on the ground -- 107 from Best -- and seven first downs. But Southern Wayne turned it over on downs three times and fumbled once.
The Warriors' Quinn Davis picked up a fumble at his own 18 late in the second quarter with the Saints driving. Davis dashed all the way to the Southern Wayne 25, giving the Warrior offense good field position.
Eastern Wayne's ensuing drive stalled and a 44-yard field goal attempt landed short.
"Our defense played a good football game. I think both defenses played very well," Eastern Wayne coach Jeff Price said. "We struggled on offense, but our defense kept us in the game."
On the first play of the second possession of the second half, Saint quarterback Logan Porter hit Gainey over the middle for a 46-yard touchdown connection. Porter fired from midfield to Gainey at the 25, as Gainey broke several tackles and rumbled down the left side to make the score 6-2.
From there, Eastern Wayne punted once, while Southern Wayne's Combs and Michael Warren had one interception each on the Warriors' final two drives. Eastern Wayne quarterback Zach Williams finished just five-for-19 for 82 yards.
Brian Sutton, filling in for Graham, emerged with 56 yards on 14 carries.
"They brought everything they had, and we didn't have the speed to check it," Price said. "Southern Wayne did a super job."
Best did most of the damage in the Saint backfield, rushing for 254 of his team's 296 yards.
Eastern Wayne's Trey Johnson intercepted a pass inside his own five on Southern Wayne's first drive after intermission
Both teams look to improve on their 1-1 records against Wayne County foes on Friday. The Saints host Goldsboro, while the Warriors travel to Charles B. Aycock.
Southern Wayne 0 0 6 14 -- 20
Eastern Wayne 2 0 0 0 -- 2
EW -- Safety (ball snapped out of endzone), 6:54
SW -- Gainey 46 pass from Porter (run failed), 4:34
SW -- Combs fumble recovery in end zone (Cox pass from Porter), 7:05
SW -- Best 53 run (Cifuentes kick), :33
First downs 16 9
Rushes-yds. 49-294 25-41
Passing yds. 61 82
Total yards 355 123
Att.-Comp.-Int. 7-2-1 20-5-2
Fumbles-lost 2-1 2-1
Punts-avg. 2-43.5 4-35.5
Penalties-yds. 7-80 3-25
RUSHING -- Southern Wayne -- Walter Best 31-254, TD; Brian White 10-39; Derrick Lathan 4-22; Logan Porter 4-(-19). Eastern Wayne -- Brian Sutton 14-56; Al Graham 7-7; Tyler Ham 2-(-9); Zach Williams 1-(-11); Dion Nickerson 1-(-2).
PASSING -- Southern Wayne -- Logan Porter 2-7-1 61, TD. Eastern Wayne -- Zach Williams 5-19-2 82; Tyler Ham 0-1-0 0.
RECEIVING -- Southern Wayne -- Thomas Gainey 1-46, TD; Antwan Williams 1-15. Eastern Wayne -- Riley Wilkins 3-48; Taylor Jackson 2-33.
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