Saints bitten by Bulldogs 7-0
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on September 2, 2008 12:59 PM
DUDLEY -- One play made all the difference on Monday evening.
Southern Wayne permitted Wallace-Rose Hill to reach the end zone only once and that was enough. The Bulldogs defense held on and preserved a 7-0 victory at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex.
"We weren't able to establish much on offense, but we will take it," said first-year W-RH head coach Glenn Sellers. "We would rather have a 7-0 win to open our season than a high-scoring loss."
A fumble led to the Dogs' lone score.
Wallace-Rose Hill recovered the ball on Southern Wayne's second play from scrimmage. Working from the Saints' 47-yard line, the Bulldogs' running attack grinded out 16 yards on nine plays.
On fourth-and-14, Southern Wayne's defense appeared to smother W-RH quarterback Dawan McKinzie. But McKinzie side-stepped the defense and rolled to his right.
The sophomore signal caller threw a touchdown strike to Jahronn Johnson in the back of the end zone. The Dogs converted the PAT for their 7-0 advantage.
"I thought our defense played a very good game tonight," said Southern Wayne head coach Bob Warren. "Just one or two breakdowns cost us."
The Saints' offense couldn't establish any rhythm in the first half.
Four of the team's six possessions went three plays and out, and one ended in a fumble. At the intermission, the Saints had only one first down and 28 yards of total offense.
"We need to go back and take a look at the tape and see what wasn't working for us early," said Warren. "It looked like we made some decent blocks, but we weren't able to sustain any drives. And in the wing-T, we know we have to be able to run the ball consistently."
The defensive struggle continued.
Southern Wayne (0-2 overall) forced a fumble in Wallace-Rose Hill territory, but couldn't convert the miscue. Quarterback Jordan Williams kept the drive alive with a 12-yard completion to Ryan Mesimer as the Saints moved inside the Dogs' 10-yard line.
Three failed rushing attempts and a false-start penalty wasted the scoring chance. Williams misfired on a 28-yard field goal.
"I thought our defense kept us in the game... at big times they came through," said Sellers. "Our kids played hard and made some good stops against their running game."
The Saints had 55 yards rushing, including James Jones' 29-yard effort on 16 carries.
"It's tough because we don't have blocking rules like a lot of teams," said Warren. "We have schemes that we try to teach, but it takes some time for that information to sink in. We just couldn't seem to come up with the big block when we needed it."
Jones gave Southern Wayne one last chance to force a possible overtime. He picked off McKinzie and returned the ball to the W-RH 37-yard line. But the Saints turned the ball over on downs.
McKinzie later picked off Williams, took a knee and ran out the clock.
"I was really proud of our kids effort... they played with a lot of heart and a lot of intensity," said Warren. "If we continue to improve from week to week, I think we will be fine. We need to take these three days to prepare (for Farmville Central), and to fix things that we didn't do well.
"We have to continue to improve."
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