Eastern Wayne off to second 3-0 start since 2005
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 2, 2007 2:02 AM
WINTERVILLE -- Seconds before a fourth-quarter, first-down play, Eastern Wayne coach Jeff Price warned his backfield to protect the football.
Dwight Ulmer heard Price's plea, but had other thoughts.
"I was thinking about scoring," said a grinning Ulmer.
Quarterback Mike Mintz took the snap, handed off to Ulmer and the 160-pound back followed lineman Cody Britt. Britt opened up a huge hole on the right side and Ulmer darted 66 yards untouched into the end zone.
"Inside trap," said Ulmer, who rushed for 127 yards on eight carries. "Without my offensive line, I couldn't have made that touchdown. We played as a team the whole night. They blocked for me and I produced for them."
Ulmer's touchdown, his second of the night, propelled the Warriors to a 27-13, non-conference victory over South Central. Eastern Wayne improved to 3-0 overall for the second time since 2005.
The Falcons fell to 0-3.
However, the final score could easily mislead the casual football fan. The Warriors triumphed despite four turnovers, including two red-zone fumbles which halted potential scoring drives.
"It was one of those nights where things just don't go the way you want it," said Price. "It was a great effort. We didn't roll over when we had the miscues and turnovers, we kept playing."
Down 7-0 early in the second quarter, the Warriors sandwiched two big defensive plays between a game-tying touchdown. Junior defensive Stacy Best collected one of his three quarterback sacks that led to a missed 33-yard field goal by the Falcons.
After Hassan Best tied the game on a 5-yard touchdown run, Best partially blocked a South Central punt. Eastern Wayne recovered on the Falcons' 38-yard line and needed just eight plays to grab the lead for good.
Ulmer capped the drive with a 7-yard run.
"Stacy had quite a few big plays ... big stops," said Price. "Stacy played a great football game for us. The defense played hard all night long; not just one, but all of them.
"The scheme South Central runs is tough and pressures every point of your defense. Somehow, we were able to play through it."
The Falcons opened the second half with a methodical drive and seemed poised to tie the game. But Mintz pounced on a loose ball near the midfield stripe and the Warriors capitalized.
Best (33 carries, 185 yards) received a steady diet of handoffs from Mintz and polished off the four-minute drive with a 20-yard romp. The 5-foot-10, 195-pound sophomore recorded his second 100-yard outing of his varsity career.
South Central pulled within 21-13 on a touchdown pass.
Turnovers ended each team's next possession.
After a Falcon punt to start the fourth quarter, Price removed his headgear and called out his offensive backs one by one. He told each to "protect the football" as the 25-second clock wound down.
Ulmer adjusted his chinstrap and waited for the snap.
The 5-11, 165-pound Britt created a wide gap and Ulmer did the rest. The Warriors rose to 11-3-1 against regular-season, non-conference opposition since 2005.
"We might be 3-0, but we're not a great football team yet," said Price, whose team travels to Wilson Fike next week. "We've still got a long ways to go."
E. Wayne 0 14 7 6 -- 27
S. Central 7 0 6 0 -- 13
SC -- Godley 2 run (kick good), 6:25
EW -- Best 5 run (Hughes kick), 4:28
EW -- Ulmer 7 run (Hughes kick), 0:34
EW -- Best 20 run (Hughes kick), 5:05
SC -- Phillips 15 pass from McCotter (kick failed), 2:26
EW -- Ulmer 66 run (kick failed), 10:50
First downs 15 16
Rushes-yds 52-370 45-235
Passing yds 0 180
Total yards 370 415
C-A-I 0-1-1 9-16-0
Fumbles-lost 5-3 2-2
Penalties-yds 5-36 5-42
RUSHING -- Eastern Wayne -- Hassan Best 33-185, 2 TDs; Dwight Ulmer 8-127, 2 TDs; Eric Brofft 8-56; Michael Mintz 2-4; Anthony Williams 1-(-2). South Central -- Quinton Godley 18-117, TD; Montrell McCotter 11-29; Jack Cobo 7-35; Torrell Phillips 6-51; Tyrell Carmon 1-2; J.C. Lommatzsch 1-7; Ethan Cochran 1-(-6).
PASSING -- Eastern Wayne -- Michael Mintz 0-1-1 0. South Central -- Montrell McCotter 9-16-0 TD.
RECEIVING -- South Central -- Torrell Phillips 3-34, TD; Jack Cobo 2-40; Kelvin Spears 3-96; Jaquelle Cherry 1-10.
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