10/08/06 — Game of the Week - Eastern Wayne snaps 3-game skid against Saints

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Game of the Week - Eastern Wayne snaps 3-game skid against Saints

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 8, 2006 2:25 AM

Ah, sweet revenge.

Humbled in recent meetings by Southern Wayne, the Eastern Wayne football team unleashed some pent-up frustration against its cross-county archrival on a rainy and damp Friday evening at Little Big Horn.

The Warriors seized a convincing 34-12 victory and snapped a three-game losing streak against the Saints in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference opener for both teams. Eastern Wayne (5-2) defeated an ECC opponent for the first time in more than two years and ended a stretch of eight consecutive league losses that started on Oct. 1, 2004.

"It was a great team effort and it's great to get a win over those folks because they're so good," said Eastern Wayne coach Jeff Price, who improved to 3-1 in conference-opening games. "We played well enough to win."

Southern Wayne (4-3) had its three-game, road winning streak snapped despite its domination in nearly every statistical category but one in particular -- turnovers. The Saints committed four miscues, which enabled Eastern Wayne to seize some momentum in the opening half.

The Warriors cashed in two turnovers for 14 points during a two-minute stretch and built a 21-12 lead at halftime. Quarterback David White threw a 29-yard scoring strike to Kendrick Best and Dwight Ulmer added a 25-yard run after the Saints' lone fumble.

"Our defense really played well," said Price. "The offense found what they needed to have to get the job done."

The Saints ran a whopping 73 offensive plays compared to 43 for the Warriors. They moved the chains consistently between the 30-yard lines behind fullback Kelvin Flow, who shouldered most of the offensive burden after Anthony Council sustained a second-quarter hip injury.

Flow accumulated 170 yards and one touchdown on 29 carries. The bruising runner, along with speedsters Tristan Bass and Eric Futrell, consistently moved the ball into four-down territory throughout the game. But Southern Wayne stumbled from that point on numerous possessions.

Drive-killing penalties and hits from the Warrior defense behind the line of scrimmage compounded the Saints' offensive troubles. The long-yardage situations forced the visitors to throw passes into a swirling wind, which played into the hands -- literally -- of Eastern Wayne.

Warrior defensive backs Best and Corey Schley combined for three picks against Southern Wayne quarterbacks Michael Holland and Jordan Williams. The duo completed just one of 14 passes for eight yards.

"We moved the ball consistently sometimes, but never could stay consistent," said Southern Wayne coach Bob Warren, whose team misfired on all four fourth-down attempts. "Their defense kept us in check pretty much all night long. We knew they had a good defense coming into the game."

Price expected the Saints to move the football, but he praised his defense for its "bend, but not break" mentality. The Warriors limited the Saints to just four third-down conversions on 11 total possessions.

"We talked all week long about they're going to move the ball up and down the field," said Price. "That's fine. But if we can hold them and put them in a throwing situation, we're going to win that situation.

"I think, most of the time, we did that tonight."

The Warriors put the Saints away with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Best broke loose for a 56-yard run and Andrew Blevins, the reigning News-Argus player of the week, added an 11-yard run. Blevins crept toward the 1,000-yard mark with a 22-carry, 80-yard effort.