SW Edgecombe shuts out Greene Central
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 24, 2004 9:43 AM
PINETOPS -- The Greene Central football team had never experienced defeat in three outings against SouthWest Edgecombe since the two began competition in the Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference in 2001.
Until Friday evening.
The Cougars converted two second-half turnovers into touchdowns and shut out the Rams 25-0 before a Senior Night crowd at Cougar Stadium. SouthWest claimed its first win against Greene Central since 1984 when both teams battled in the old Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference.
The playoff-eligible Rams (4-5, 1-2 EPC) suffered their fourth defeat in their last five games.
"We just played a really good football team tonight and played a really good football team last week," second-year Greene Central coach Jim Bob Bryant said. "We didn't play well and the other team played well. When that happens, you get beat."
SouthWest (6-3) recorded its fourth shutout in the 11-game series and improved to 3-2 at home against the Rams.
A powerful and big offensive line, and a blitzing defense caused concern for Bryant and his coaching staff. The Cougars used eight different ball carriers in the game and amassed 285 yards rushing on 44 totes. They averaged 6.2 yards per play on 53 offensive plays.
"They're big up front and their offense is geared for a power offense," Bryant said of SWE's wishbone attack. "They run it straight at you, and that's one of our weaknesses on defense because we are real small up front.
"We're athletic and we can run, but if big guys get on us like they did tonight ..."
The Cougars (2-1 EPC) collected at least one first down on each of their five first-half possessions. However, one ended on a fumble and another ended on an interception. They punted once and turned the ball over on downs.
Junior halfback D.D. Bush provided the first half's only score -- a five-yard run midway through the second quarter. SouthWest's defense pitched a shutout for a 6-0 lead at intermission.
"Our offensive line has been slow coming along, but they're getting better," SouthWest coach Raymond Cobb said. "As we got a feel defensively, we knew we needed to pound it at them and we needed to try to eat that clock up."
Greene Central, which has failed to score in six consecutive quarters, struggled in its passing game. The Cougars' defensive package, a blitzing scheme, bothered starting quarterback Travis Rouse and forced the left-hander to intentionally ground the ball twice.
Cobb praised the scheme constructed by defensive coordinator A.B. Whitley, one of several coaches he brought with him from North Edgecombe to Pinetops. The Cougar defense allowed the Rams to convert just four third-down conversions in 15 tries.
"Coach Whitley does a great job and you don't know where he's going to send somebody," Cobb said. "We put pressure on the quarterback and he hadn't been pressured a lot on the tape we had.
"We're used to having fast and smaller athletes, and at times this year we've been hurt by quicker teams. But I think we're getting better. Fundamentally, it's taken a long time to learn the concepts defensively that we teach."
An early third-quarter fumble set SouthWest up for its second touchdown -- a one-yard dive by quarterback Walter Randolph. The Cougars added another touchdown -- a 32-yard rumble by Antwun Cotton with 21 seconds left in the third period.
The Rams, behind sophomore quarterback Cameron Shelton, drove down to the Cougars' eight-yard line on their next possession. Three rushing plays netted six yards, giving the visitors a fourth-and-goal at the two-yard line. Rouse replaced Shelton and threw a fade pass to Dreyan Willis in the right corner of the end zone, but Antonio House intercepted it to end the threat.
"Once we get it inside the one-yard line, we have to be able to line up and stick it into the end zone," Bryant said. "We weren't able to do thattonight."
G. Central 0 0 0 0 -- 0
SW Edgecombe 0 6 12 7 -- 25
SWE -- Bush 5 run (kick failed), 5:43
SWE -- Randolph 1 run (kick failed), 4:14
SWE -- Cotton 32 run (kick failed), 0:21
SWE -- Staton 59 run (Munguia kick), 6:15
First downs 12 14
Rushes-yds 27-32 44-285
Passing yds 159 41
Total yards 191 326
Att.-Comp.-Int. 32-15-3 7-1-1
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-1
Punts-avg 5-30.6 3-36.0
Penalties-yds 14-120 9-75
RUSHING -- Greene Central -- Damion Phillips 4-9; Travis Rouse 7-(-28); Mario Brown 10-19; J.J. Thompson 1-7; Tim McNair 4-22; Dreyan Willis 1-3. SW Edgecombe -- Antonio House 1-0; Monted Council 5-32; Jaquincy Staton 10-96, TD; Antwun Cotton 7-61, TD; D.D. Bush 13-68, TD; Walter Randolph 4-21, TD; Olajdie Pittman 1-1; Darryl Randolph 3-6.
PASSING -- Greene Central -- Travis Rouse 2-9-1 0; Cameron Shelton 13-23-2 159. SW Edgecombe -- Walter Randolph 1-7-1 41.
RECEIVING -- Greene Central -- Best 1-6; Rouse 3-32; Phillips 1-(-6); Bynum 4-60; Smith 3-44; McNair 1-12; Willis 2-11. SW Edgecombe -- Pittman 1-41.
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