hawks tops Cougarsd, set up EPC title game
By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on October 31, 2004 2:00 AM
Kinston Free Press
LAGRANGE -- Junior Eric Whitfield and senior Antonio Hamilton took it upon themselves Friday to make sure North Lenoir didn't have a repeat of last week's loss.
Whit-field and Hamilton combined for 317 of the Hawks' 404 total yards, lifting the Hawks to a 36-19 win over Southwest Edgecombe in Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference football.
The Hawks (5-5 overall, 3-1 Eastern Plains 2A) win, coupled with Greene Central's win over Tarboro, makes next week's final regular-season game at Tarboro a contest for the EPC title.
The Hawks went to its strength, rushing the ball for 400 yards. The team was led by Whitfield with 208 yards on 18 carries, including one touchdown. Hamilton finished with 109 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries.
"That's our trademark," Jackson said. "We are going to run the ball. Our strength is our running game. When we can run the ball is when we are at our best."
The Hawks finished with 400 yards on 44 carries as a team, averaging nine yards per carry.
The Cougars (6-4, 2-2) led 13-12 at halftime, but the Hawks came to life in the second half, scoring on three of their first four possessions.
The tide started to turn for North Lenoir in the early moments of the second half, in large part because of its defense.
North Lenoir's defense held the Cougars on downs at their own 46. Three plays later, the Hawks took their first lead of the night when Whitfield scored on an eight-yard run with 7:17 remaining in the third quarter.
From that point, the Hawks never trailed.
The Cougars made one last run, cutting the Hawks' advantage to 20-19 with 9:59 remaining in the game. But the Hawks scored 14 unanswered points in the final 8:03 of the game, setting up Friday's title match at Tarboro.
Senior E.J. Brown added 79 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries for North Lenoir.
SW Edgecombe 0 13 0 6 -- 19
North Lenoir 0 12 8 16 -- 36
SWE -- Staton 28 run (Munguia kick), 11:53
NL -- Brown 2 run (pass failed), 8:12
SWE -- Cotton 8 run (Kick failed), 2:52
NL -- Brown 4 pass from Manning (Kick failed), :19
NL -- Whitfield 8 run (Maning run), 7:17
SWE -- Cotton 3 run, (Run failed), 9:59
NL -- Brown 9 run, (Brown run), 8:03
NL -- A. Hamilton 4 run, (Manning to Brown), 6:12
First downs 13 15
Rushes-yds. 52-284 44-400
Passing yds. 5 4
Total yards 289 404
Att.-Comp.-Int. 2-8-0 1-3-0
Punts-avg. 2-42.5 0-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 4-4
Penalties-yds. 3-25 3-25
RUSHING -- SW Edgecombe -- Staton 18-153; Bush 17-62; Cotton 8-31; Pullen 1-13; Council 2-13; Randolph 6-12. North Lenoir -- Eric Whitfield 18-208, TD; Antonio Hamilton 10-109, TD; E.J. Brown 12-79, 2 TD; Ervin Atkins 3-4; Tyrone Spencer 1-0.
PASSING -- Southwest Edgecombe -- Randolph 2-8-0 5. North Lenoir -- Andrew Manning 1-3-0 4, TD.
RECEIVING -- Southwest Edgecombe -- Byrd 1-3; House 1-2. North Lenoir -- E.J. Brown 1-4, TD.
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