Game of the week -- Saints get possessive with Goldsboro
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 18, 2005 2:10 AM
A "grind-it-out" offensive game plan and fatigue certainly factored into the overall outcome of Friday evening's three-hour-plus marathon between county prep football rivals Southern Wayne and Goldsboro.
Time of possession played the biggest role of all.
The Saints controlled the ball for nearly 19 minutes in the second half of their 43-27, non-conference conquest of the Cougars at Cougar Stadium. Southern Wayne has won every meeting since 2001, including scoring 40 or more points in two of the last three encounters.
Goldsboro finished winless (0-3) against county opposition this season.
"Nothing comes easy for the Saints and right now we're earning everything that we get," said Southern Wayne coach Bob Warren. "The kids are scrapping hard on the line of scrimmage and we're trying to make things happen. We are making some things happen.
"It just seems like it stays tough ... never completely easy as you're going down the stretch. That's the way it's supposed to be, I guess."
Southern Wayne (3-2) owned a 31-14 lead at halftime and players looked bedraggled as they removed their shoulder pads for the much-needed 18-minute break. Warren has six two-way starters on the roster and conserving energy proved critical for the second half.
Using heralded sophomore tailback Anthony Council as their workhorse, the Saints ran 30 offensive plays in the second half compared to 14 for Goldsboro. The grinding scheme exhausted 18 minutes, 27 seconds off the clock and kept the Southern Wayne defense a little fresher.
"We've got a lot of kids that go both ways, but they're hard-core football players," said Warren. "They're going to take their break between plays. They are some tough kids."
Meanwhile, the bigger and more-physical Cougars wore down defensively.
"They're a grind-it-out team," third-year Goldsboro coach Maurice Jackson said. "Hat's off to them because they did a good job of executing their offense. Defense ... we held for a while, but we can't get any rest if we don't get off the field.
"We can't be out there for nearly 20 minutes when there is only 24 minutes in a half."
Hykeen Coley's 65-yard touchdown jaunt closed the Saints' gap to 31-21 just 67 seconds into the third quarter.
After trading possessions, Southern Wayne responded with two quick scores. Derrick Lathan broke loose for a 20-yard touchdown and Council added a 25-yard romp -- his fifth of the game -- with 6:26 remaining in the game.
Antwan Baynard recovered a fumble on the kickoff after Lathan's touchdown, which helped set up Council's score. The area's leading rusher, Council concluded the night with 214 yards on 34 carries. He needs just 48 yards to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark.
Warren didn't realize the Saints had an overwhelming edge in time of possession.
"I'll take an 80-yard run, but we did have a lot of possession ... moving the ball down (field)," said Warren. "We got some penalties that set us back, but in some cases we were able to overcome those. I'm proud of our kids."
Goldsboro (1-4) lost three first-half fumbles which led to three Southern Wayne touchdowns. Senior linebacker Joey Legg recovered two fumbles and Kendrick Thompson returned a fumble 20 yards for a touchdown. Council collected four touchdowns and 132 yards by intermission.
Treme Boone accounted for the Cougars' two first-half scores. The sophomore registered an 18-yard touchdown run and hooked up with Q.T. Battle on a 51-yard touchdown strike. The touchdown pass occurred on fourth down after Boone out-ran several white-shirted Saints defenders to find a wide-open Battle in the flat near the Southern Wayne sideline.
Falling behind early forced Jackson to eliminate the running game. The Cougars scored touchdowns on big pass plays, but could never find any rhythm against a Saints defense that recorded 14 tackles for loss.
"We had to put the ball in the air a little bit more than we like to do," said Jackson, whose team had 12 possessions to last a total of 13:35. "The muffed punt return gave them new life. Turning the ball over six times and losing three is uncharacteristic for us.
"We're kind of looking ahead before we get the ball. We need to keep grinding it out."
Southern Wayne entertains Southern Nash next Friday. Goldsboro welcomes Winston-Salem Carver for a 2 p.m. game Saturday.
Notes: Southern Wayne's total time of possession was 34:25. ... The teams combined for 232 yards in penalties, including several 15-yard infractions. ... Saints PK Preston Grantham, who battled cramps in his kicking leg, converted just 1-of-7 PATs. ... Goldsboro lost its seventh consecutive home game.
Southern Wayne 12 19 0 12 -- 43
Goldsboro 7 7 7 6 -- 27
SW -- Council 9 run (kick failed), 9:23
GHS -- Boone 18 run (Edwards kick), 7:44
SW -- Council 38 run (run failed), 6:14
SW -- Council 8 run (kick failed), 9:08
SW -- Thompson 20 fumble return (Grantham kick), 8:14
GHS -- Battle 51 pass from Boone (Edwards kick), 5:09
SW -- Council 6 run (kick failed), 1:22
GHS -- Coley 65 run (Edwards kick), 10:53
SW -- Lathan 20 run (kick failed), 11:52
SW -- Council 25 run (kick failed), 6:26
GHS -- Herring 72 pass from Lewis (pass failed), 4:19
First downs 20 12
Rushes-yds 52-318 23-48
Passing yds 34 191
Total yards 352 239
Att.-Comp.-Int. 8-4-0 19-7-0
Fumbles-lost 3-1 7-4
Punts-avg. 2-34.5 1-30
Penalties-yds. 13-133 12-99
RUSHING -- Southern Wayne -- Anthony Council 34-214, 5 TDs; Derrick Lathan 11-69, TD; Joey Legg 6-37; Emmanuel Hinton 1-(-2). Goldsboro High -- Hykeen Coley 1-65, TD; Treme Boone 11-50; Q.T. Battle 3-(-4); Adrian Lewis 8-(-63).
PASSING -- Southern Wayne -- Emmanuel Hinton 4-7-0 34; Anthony Council 0-1-0 0. Goldsboro High -- Adrian Lewis 6-18-0 140, TD; Treme Boone 1-1-0 51, TD.
RECEIVING -- Southern Wayne -- Marcus Oates 1-25; David Combs 1-6; Anthony Council 2-3. Goldsboro High -- Brandon Herring 2-73, TD; Artez Harris 2-48; Q.T. Battle 1-51, TD; Brandon Davis 2-19.
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