10/22/06 — Saints' Council rushes for 360 yards in wild ECC shootout

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Saints' Council rushes for 360 yards in wild ECC shootout

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on October 22, 2006 2:20 AM

DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne rolled up a whopping 622 yards of total offense and picked up its first Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference victory with a wild 70-49 triumph over Kinston on Friday night.

The Saints (5-4, 1-2 ECC) rushed for 566 yards and added 56 more passing while scoring 10 touchdowns as the two teams combined to rack up more than 1,000 yards at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex on homecoming night.

Anthony Council, Southern Wayne's star running back and Wayne County's leading rusher, averaged 10 yards per carry and ran for 360 yards and three touchdowns against the Vikes.

Council now has 1,557 rushing yards this season.

Kelvin Flow also gained 102 yards on the ground for Southern Wayne and scored two touchdowns while Eric Futrell ran for 76 and added two more rushing scores for the Saints.

Kinston (2-7, 0-3) also had a banner night offensively, led by Michael Thompson's 195 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Viking quarterback Antonio Whitfield threw for another 177 yards with three touchdown passes.

Neither team was able to stop the other until the Southern Wayne defense rose up with two big plays in the fourth quarter that allowed the Saints to seal the victory.

"It was a spectator's game tonight," veteran Saints head coach Bob Warren said. "Finally, we got to where we were not giving up the big play in the second half and that was big."

The game started innocently enough as the two teams played to a 7-7 tie in the first quarter. After that, however, the two conference rivals started lighting up the scoreboard.

Southern Wayne scored three touchdowns on short runs by Council and Futrell. Quarterback Michael Holland also found Alex Aldridge open in the end zone for a 9-yard TD strike.

The Saints, with a 27-14 lead, seemed in control of the game with just more than four minutes left until halftime.

The Vikings, however, amazingly scored twice in the last 19 seconds of the second quarter to forge ahead 28-27 at intermission. Thompson ran 3 yards for a Kinston touchdown and the Saints fumbled the ensuing kickoff deep in their own territory.

Whitfield then threw a touchdown pass to split end Terrance Graham with only eight seconds left as the Vikings stunned the large homecoming crowd and went ahead 28-27.

"I am proud of the kids, they never put their heads down, even when we had some adversity just before the half," Warren said.

Council, who was held out of last week's game at Wilson Beddingfield with a hip pointer, suffered another leg injury late in the second quarter and sat out the first five minutes of the third period. But the Saints did not miss a beat with Flow and Futrell running through wide-open gaps created by the Southern Wayne offensive line.

The Vikings were able to take a 42-41 lead into the final quarter on a sneak by Whitfield with two minutes left, followed by a Mike Jones extra point. Jones split the uprights on all seven of his kicks after touchdowns.

With the crowd thinking whoever had the ball last would win, the Saints' defense made two big plays in the fourth quarter. And with Council back in the lineup, the Southern Wayne offense exploded with four touchdowns in the final period.

The Saints stopped the Vikings on a fourth-and-one midway through the final period, and senior linebacker Brady Wiggins intercepted a pass in the last minute and ran it back 8 yards for the final Southern Wayne touchdown of the evening.

The Saints will now travel to face Wilson Hunt this Friday night in another key conference matchup.

Kinston head coach Tony Edwards was still a little shocked and dazed after the game.

"I expected a high -scoring game, but nothing like this," he said. "What can we say to the kids, we have had three tough games in a row and I don't know whether this will make them better or not."

Kinston plays at Wilson Beddingfield on Friday.