09/16/07 — Lightning suspends Eastern Wayne's game

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Lightning suspends Eastern Wayne's game

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 16, 2007 2:21 AM

In 24 hours, Eastern Wayne will either succeed or fail in its bid for non-conference win No. 12 since 2005.

Lightning caused the unwelcomed delay Friday evening with the Warriors trailing West Craven 17-14 at Little Big Horn.

The contest will resume Monday at 6 p.m.

Fans who purchased tickets for the game must present them at the gate to gain entry. Anyone not possessing a ticket must pay $5.

Lightning bolts that streaked through the darkened sky didn't warrant a stoppage in play until the Eagles scored the go-ahead touchdown. Brett Mooring capped the drive with a 2-yard run at the 2-minute, 24-second mark.

After a short discussion, the officials suspended the game. Eastern Wayne head coach Jeff Price didn't agree with the decision.

"I was told this weather is going to last for hours and we won't get the game in," Price said. "There is less (weather) activity now than what there was in the first half. I'm game to finish it now rather than wait it out.

"The refereess have to make that decision to call the game or postpone it. Now you have a letdown, and you have to come back and pick it back up."

Price recalled the last time Eastern Wayne played in a game that was delayed back in 2004 at Washington.

"The last time we were involved in one of these deals there were tornadoes in the area," Price said. "It was postponed for about two hours, and we had to come out and play it. When we did, the field was in tough shape."

Following Dwight Ulmer's 75-yard touchdown return on the opening kickoff, Mooring and the Eagles' offense never seemed to leave the field.

Using a variety of screen, swing and slant passes, the junior was 18-of-23 for 226 yards in the first half alone. Before the game was called, West Craven had amassed 349 yards of offense and scored 17 straight points.

Ryan Murphy connected on a 23-yard field goal just before halftime to pull the Eagles to within 14-10.

"You don't see this offense all year long and then you have to prepare for it," Price said. "I use to run some of that stuff and it's difficult to prepare for. It's just the way it goes. We were getting adjusted for it. This delay just prolongs it."

Eastern Wayne grabbed a 14-0 lead late in the first quarter. An Eagles' fumble set up Eric Brofft's 4-yard touchdown run. From that point, the Warriors' offense became stagnant and tallied just two first downs.

"We didn't have the ball very long and when we did have the ball we couldn't stay on the field," said Price. "It was hard to find any rhythm at all."