08/24/08 — Saints handed first loss of '08

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Saints handed first loss of '08

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on August 24, 2008 12:14 PM

VANCEBORO - Opening night turned out to be less thrilling than the defending Eastern Carolina 3-A conference champion, Southern Wayne Saints expected.

The Saints traveled to West Craven and dropped a 41-7 decision at the hands of the Eagles.

West Craven's Brett Mooring found Erik Highsmith three times for touchdowns, including twice during the first quarter as the Eagles built a 14-0 advantage.

Southern Wayne attempted a comback in the second quarter when Jordan Williams found Ryan Messimer for the Saints longest completion of the night, a 57-yard scoring strike. However, the 14-7 deficit would be as close as the Saints would get to even the rest of the night.

"West Craven is a very good football team, and they showed that tonight," Saint head coach Bob Warren Said. "We have a lot of young talent, but we are still looking for the right combinations at this point."

Mooring and Highsmith continued to slice the Southern Wayne secondary in the second half as the Eagles widened their lead. On the night, Mooring went 16-31 passing for 348 yards and four touchdowns. Highsmith recorded eight catches for 147 yards and three scores.

For the Saints, James Jones led the team in rushing with 16 carries for 97 yards. Jordan Williams finished 3-10 passing for 92 yards and a touchdown.

"We have to be able to sustain drives in our offense in order to be successful," Warren said. "Tonight we couldn't do that."

Despite the rocky start, Warren was pleased to see that his team never quit as the game got out of reach.

"Our kids played hard the whole game," Warren said. "I wasn't pleased with the outcome, but I was pleased with the effort."

Southern Wayne (0-1 overall) will enjoy back-to-back home games over the next two weeks. The Saints will take on Wallace Rose Hill on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

West Craven 14 7 14 6 -- 41

Southern Wayne 0 7 0 0 -- 7

First quarter

WC - Highsmith 19 pass from Mooring (Murphy kick), 5:25

WC - Highsmith 9 pass from Mooring (Murphy kick), 2:58

Second quarter

SW - Mesimer 56 pass from Williams (Williams kick), 11:50

WC - Highsmith 10 pass from Mooring (Murphy kick), 5:07

Third quarter

WC - Meadows 2 run (Murphy kick), 4:24

WC - Meadows 4 run (Murphy kick), 28.2

Fourth quarter

WC - Murphy 55 pass from Mooring (kick blocked), 8:56


First downs 9 6

Total yards 404 168

Rushes-yards 31-176 37-76

Comp-att-Int. 16-31-1 3-10-1

Punts-Avg. 2-39.5 6-30.7

Fumbles-lost 2-1 5-3

Penalties-yards 6-50 3-25


Passing -- West Craven -- Brett Mooring 16-31-1, 328. Southern Wayne -- Jordan Williams -- 3-10-1, 92.

Rushing -- West Craven -- Brett Mooring 5-25, Dawson 6-21, Hardy 8-12, Meadows 5-8, Scott 2-4. Southern Wayne -- James Jones 20-93, Corey Baker 7-7, Desmond Raiford 1- (-1), Kenan Winn 5- (-4), Jordan Williams 4- (-19).

Receiving -- West Craven -- Erik Highsmith 8-147, 3 TD's; Murphy 6-158, Dawson 1-14, Person 1-9. Southern Wayne -- Ryan Mesimer 1-57, Desmond Raiford 1-27, Corey Baker 1-9.