so. wayne-southern lee
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 15, 2007 3:33 PM
DUDLEY -- Winning six games in a row, capturing a conference championship and advancing to the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A (small school) playoffs doesn't happen without a bit of resolve and determination.
Especially after starting the season 0-3.
Southern Wayne head coach Bob Warren saw his team's resolve and determination on full display in the final minutes of last week's 29-26 comeback win over Wilson Beddingfield. The win set up a second-round meeting with 15th-seeded Southern Lee (7-5 overall) on Friday night.
The seventh-seeded Saints (8-4) rallied against the Bruins with a four-minute drive that culminated with quarterback Jordan Williams 1-yard touchdown run. Kendrick Thompson's interception on Beddingfield's ensuing possession put the finishing touches on Southern Wayne's second-ever playoff victory.
"That's just been a tribute to this team," Warren said. "We've had to come from behind on several occasions. Our team just seems to find a way to put together that last drive and make a big stop when we need it."
At times on Friday night, the Saints hardly showed signs of a team seeking their second postseason win in school history. They turned the ball over five times, including a critical fourth-quarter interception inside the Beddingfield 20-yard line.
"We felt like we played a pretty good Wilson Beddingfield team," Warren said. "Several of those turnovers were the result of playing in a tough game. We certainly hope we can limit those (against Southern Lee), because they can be a factor in a game."
Perhaps one way the can avoid giving the ball away is to continue to let workhorse fullback Kelvin Flow (1,730 yards, 24 touchdowns) pound away on opposing defenses. Flow carried the ball 31 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns against Beddingfield. Just as impressive as how many times he ran, was how Flow ran, often requiring three and four tacklers to bring him down. The Saints tallied 242 yards on the ground against the Bruins.
"We're a running football team," Warren said. "We hope that we continue to run the ball well. That's what we live off offensively. We hope to have long sustained drives and limit turnovers. That's sort of the nature of our offense."
The similarities between Southern Lee and Southern Wayne seem to be numerous. Both clubs run a form of the Wing-T offense, with the Cavaliers mixing a bit more passing into their plays.
The Saints have averaged over 24 points a game on offense this season, while giving up 21.5. Southern Lee puts up almost 29 points an outing, and gives up close to 21.
Hard times have been no stranger to either squad this season. The Cavaliers opened Cape Fear Valley Conference play with a two-game losing streak, and ended league play with a heartbreaking 27-26 loss at Harnett Central.
Meanwhile, Southern Wayne began the year 0-3 thanks to a difficult non-conference schedule, and entered Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play after getting routed at home 49-7 at the hands of state-ranked Rocky Mount.
"When you get into the playoffs everyone that you face is a quality opponent," Warren said. "Southern Lee is very similar to us. They're very, very good at running the football and they throw the football very well. Their defense is very aggressive.
"We're looking for a very exciting football game on Friday night."
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