Game of the Week: Eastern Wayne 7, North Lenoir 0
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 30, 2007 2:22 AM
LaGRANGE -- Find a way to survive.
Eastern Wayne did just that in a 7-0 victory over North Lenoir on Friday evening at Bullock Field. Orlando Midgette's 77-yard touchdown return, eventually ruled a lateral, gave the Warriors all they needed in their final non-conference game of 2007.
The Hawks dropped to 0-6.
Midgette's touchdown came on a third-and-goal play for the Hawks from Eastern Wayne's 21-yard line. North Lenoir quarterback Devontae Bizell threw a pass toward the far sideline, but Midgette scooped up what was ruled a lateral and raced to the end zone.
"The officials called it a lateral and it wasn't a lateral," North Lenoir coach Wayne Jackson said "When we're in the shotgun, (Bizell) would have to run backwards on that pass for it be a lateral."
North Lenoir also had possession deep in Eastern Wayne territory earlier in the second quarter, after a pair of personal fouls on the Warriors during a Hawks' punt return moved the ball to the 9-yard line. However, North Lenoir fumbled on fourth-and-goal.
On the ensuing Warriors' possession, the Hawks' defense came within inches of forcing a safety, but again came up empty.
After a snap sailed over the head of Warriors' punter Eric Brofft midway through the third quarter, the Hawks' were in business again at the Eastern Wayne 19. The drive stalled when Bizell was sacked on fourth down.
North Lenoir finished with 75 yards of total offense and just one first down. Their longest play from scrimmage was a 26-yard completion from Bizell to Marquez Powell, which was tipped by teammate Joe Newborn into Powell's hands.
"Offensively we had a couple of opportunities early and we just made mistakes," Jackson said. "Penalties and missed blocking assignments just stopped drives. We've improved in a lot of areas.
"We're playing a lot of young kids. They grew up some tonight."
Eastern Wayne's struggles continued on offense -- a carryover from a loss two weeks ago against West Craven. Penalties and other issues surfaced as the Warriors drew 88 yards on 10 infractions and collected just six first downs.
"We couldn't find any offensive rhythm at all," said Eastern Wayne coach Jeff Price. "This is two weeks in a row that we get one step forward and it's two steps back. There's a flag on every other play and it's just hard to get any rhythm going."
North Lenoir lost for the third consecutive time in the series and welcomes defending Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference champion Farmville Central next week.
"For a young team its demoralizing," Jackson said. "We'll get better and things will fall in place. We've got to win some conference games if we want to go to the playoffs."
While Friday's victory may not have been as efficient or nearly as convincing as Price would have liked, the Warriors may have picked up some important momentum heading into Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play.
"It's great to get a win and hopefully it will carry over to conference play," said Price. "We've got Southern Wayne next week and it's going to be another tough battle with them."
Eastern Wayne 0 7 0 0 -- 7
North Lenoir 0 0 0 0 -- 0
EW -- Midgette 77 fumble return (Hughes kick), 4:48
First Downs 6 1
Rushes-yds 48-126 33-49
Passing-yds 6 26
Total Yds 132 75
C-A-I 1-2-0 1-4-0
Fumbles-lost 4-1 3-2
Penalties 10-88 4-25
Rushing -- Eastern Wayne -- Hassan Best 20-61; Eric Brofft 8-55; Orlando Midgette 10-38; Dwight Ulmer 2-(-4); Michael Mintz 8-(-24). North Lenoir -- Nick Williams 11-27; Joe Newborn 10-27; Donald Art 4-12; Devontae Bizell 8-(-17).
Passing -- Eastern Wayne -- Michael Mintz 1-2-0 6. North Lenoir -- Devontae Bizell 1-4-0 26.
Receiving -- Eastern Wayne -- Dwight Ulmer 1-6. North Lenoir -- Marquez Powell 1-26.
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