Saints earn place in ECC 3-A history
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 30, 2007 2:47 PM
DUDLEY -- Bob Warren didn't mind the late-evening, ice-cold shower.
In fact, the Southern Wayne head football coach stood still as junior linebacker Desmond Raiford doused him from behind. Warren gritted his teeth and shook off the breath-taking, bone-chilling water that cascaded down his back.
"A perfect trade-off for a win any day," quipped Warren.
But this just wasn't any win.
The Saints whipped league bully Wilson Hunt on both sides of the ball and claimed an impressive 21-7 victory at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex. Southern Wayne clinched a portion of the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference championship -- the program's first title since 2000 and just its third overall in three-plus decades.
"It definitely ranks up there (with big wins) and I can't ever remember us beating Wilson Hunt," said Warren. "They've got that tradition and they're a very good football team ... very sound. We knew we were going to have to come out and execute to make things happen."
Southern Wayne (6-4 overall, 4-0 ECC) pieced together a methodical 13-play, 75-yard drive in the opening quarter. Halfback Tristan Bass capped the possession with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Thompson near the right corner of the end zone.
"That was really nice," said Warren.
Hunt needed just 79 seconds to answer.
Senior quarterback David Hesmer directed a five-play, 63-yard drive that ended on Calvin Barnes' 29-yard run. The Saints aided the Warriors' cause with a personal foul penalty and an offsides infraction.
However, Hunt never threatened again.
Southern Wayne forced punts on five of the Warriors' final seven possessions. Robert Schick missed a 42-yard field goal early in the third period and Hesmer, flustered all evening, misfiring on a fourth-down pass On Hunt's final offensive play of the game.
A harassing Saints defense coerced Hesmer into a dismal 7 of 25 passing effort. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound signal caller never found enough time to survey the field and find his best option. Warren's team preferred to yield the short passes and keep the coverage tight until containment broke down.
"We got a lot of pressure on him and made him rush his throw," said Saints defensive end Ricky Oddon, who recorded 2 1/2 sacks. "He didn't really have a lot of time back there. He wasn't comfortable the whole game and he got really frustrated.
"We kept him in the pocket. The secondary stepped up big and the D-line stepped up big. Everybody did their job tonight."
The Saints' running game foiled the Warriors.
Bruising senior fullback Kelvin Flow punished the Hunt defense for 180 yards on 26 carries, including two touchdowns. His 15-yard, third-quarter rumble broke a 7-7 tie. He added a 4-yard plunge midway through the final period.
Southern Wayne piled up 319 yards rushing on 50 carries compared to Hunt's 100-yard effort on 27 totes. The Saints owned a decisive 366-162 edge in total offense.
"Once we could get the running game going, things fell in place a little better," said Warren. "It gave our defense time to get fresh and when they got out there, they were putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback. They moved the football a little bit, but we just kept making them work.
"Finally, we had some success holding them."
The Saints snapped the Warriors' seven-game win streak and put them in position to earn an opening-round, home playoff contest. They conclude their regular season Friday at county rival Charles B. Aycock, which has won two of its last three games.
"This group of kids we've got has very good chemistry and good senior leadership," said Warren. "It's satisfying to see them get better as the season goes on."
Wilson Hunt 7 0 0 0 -- 7
Southern Wayne 7 0 7 7 -- 21
SW -- K. Thompson 23 pass from Bass (Williams kick), 5:19
H -- Barnes 29 run (Schick kick), 4:00
SW -- Flow 15 run (Williams kick), 2:56
SW -- Flow 4 run (Williams kick), 6:28
Hunt So. Wayne
First downs 14 21
Rushes-yds 26-100 50-319
Passing yds 62 47
Total yards 162 366
C-A-I 7-25-0 2-7-0
Fumbles-lost 2-0 2-0
Penalties-yds 5-58 9-85
RUSHING -- Wilson Hunt -- Calvin Barnes 9-63, TD; David Hesmer 8-(-22); Antonio Lucas 2-35; Donterrius Rogers 2-16; Demetrice Dew 4-7; Team 1-1. Southern Wayne -- Kelvin Flow 26-180, 2 TDs; Tristan Bass 15-101; James Jones 6-33; Jordan Williams 3-5.
PASSING -- Wilson Hunt -- David Hesmer 7-25-0 62. Southern Wayne -- Jordan Williams 1-5-0 24; Tristan Bass 1-2-0 23, TD.
RECEIVING -- Wilson Hunt -- Donterrius Rogers 3-39; Antonio Lucas 3-8; Donta Bullock 1-15. Southern Wayne -- Kendrick Thompson 1-23, TD; Scott Holloman 1-24.
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