10/11/05 — Saints throttle Warriors

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Saints throttle Warriors

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 11, 2005 2:18 PM

DUDLEY -- Through the first six games, Anthony Council and the Southern Wayne offense has done plenty of damage to opposing defenses, averaging an area-best 299 yards per game.

Monday night against Eastern Wayne, the Saint defense turned in one of its most impressive outings of the season -- limiting the Warriors to just 112 yards of total offense and one touchdown in a 26-10 win at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex.

Southern Wayne, which has won three straight against the Warriors, improved to 5-2 overall, while Eastern Wayne fell to 4-2-1. The game -- originally scheduled for last Friday but moved to Monday due to Tropical Storm Tammy -- was the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference opener for both teams.

"Our defense has allowed our offense to be successful. They stopped a lot of potential drives, so I can't say enough about how our defense played," Southern Wayne coach Bob Warren said. "I also can't say enough about our offense ... good blocking and running. I was pleased with an overall, good team effort."

The Saints forced punts on the Warriors' first three possessions as the Southern Wayne offense capitalized for scores on the first two. Set up with a short field after a negative-six yard punt by Eastern Wayne, Council carried in from one yard out to make it 6-0 just under three minutes into the game. The touchdown was set up by a 33-yard rush around the right side by Derrick Lathan.

Council finished with another big night with 165 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries, while the senior Lathan complemented the sophomore's effort with 95 yards on 15 carries with one score. Southern Wayne, which ran 58 plays to Eastern Wayne's 40, amassed 271 yards of total offense.

"We're thoroughly embarrassed as a football team. We didn't do anything well and Southern Wayne played a heck of a football game," said Eastern Wayne coach Jeff Price. "There are a lot of things you can blame it on, but we just didn't come ready to play. There's nothing good to expound on tonight."

Council capped the Saints' second scoring drive on as many possessions with a 5-yard rumble with just under four minutes left in the first to make it 12-0.

After forcing a fumble at the Saint 20 early in the second quarter, the Warriors only moved the ball five yards and were forced to settle for a 35-yard field goal by Clint Rouse to cut the lead to nine at 12-3.

Southern Wayne answered with a methodical 11-play drive, capped by a 10-yard run by Lathan, to complete the first-half scoring. Southern Wayne missed one extra point and failed on two, two-point conversions in the first half.

The Saints limited Eastern Wayne to seven first downs on the game with just one coming in the first half as the home team took an 18-3 lead into intermission.

On its most productive drive of the game, Eastern Wayne moved the ball all the way down the Saint 22 keyed by hard running by Al Graham, Andrew Blevins and Kendrick Best. Facing fourth-and-10 at the 22, Tyler Ham's pass was batted down by Marcus Oates -- ending Eastern Wayne's third-quarter threat.

Southern Wayne followed with another long drive as Council crossed the end zone for the 18th time this season on a 27-yard run around the right side to make it 26-3.

Taking advantage of a Saint fumble late in the fourth near midfield, the Warriors struck for their only touchdown on a six-yard rush by Blevins to push the score to its final margin. The scoring drive was set up by a 34-yard rush by Graham, who had 15 carries and accounted for 93 of Eastern Wayne's 112 yards.

The two teams combined for only seven pass attempts in a fast-moving contest. Southern Wayne's Emmanuel Hinton was 2-of-2 for 21 yards, including a 16-yard completion to Council on a screen pass midway through the second quarter. Under pressure on most of his passes, Ham was 0-for-5.

"We switched up the blitzes and changed sides and they just couldn't stop us," said Southern Wayne linebacker David Combs. "We just mixed it up, played hard and filled our gaps."

Combs and fellow linebacker Derrick Lathan had 10 tackles and 1/2 sack each, while Jo Jo Davis added six tackles and a sack and Joey Legg notched two sacks.

Eastern Wayne was paced defensively by Adrian Black with seven tackles and seven assists as Kendrick Best notched five tackles, two assists and a fumble recovery, and Travis Turner contributed five tackles.

On Friday, the Saints host unbeaten and state-ranked Wilson Beddingfield, while the Warriors battle Wilson Hunt in New Hope.

Notes: Southern Wayne has now held three opponents to less than 14 points this season and has scored at least 26 points in its last four games during a four-game winning streak ... The 26 points allowed proved the most Eastern Wayne has allowed in a game this season as it was held to its second-lowest offensive output of the season ... Council is now averaging 181 yards per game this season, while Graham is averaging 87 yards per contest.