09/12/09 — Rams shut down Warriors

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Rams shut down Warriors

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 12, 2009 11:58 PM

SNOW HILL -- Relief on one side.

Disappointment on the other.

Greene Central snapped a three-game skid with a 21-6, non-conference victory over Eastern Wayne at the James R. Fulghum Athletic Complex on Friday evening. It was the first meeting between the two football programs since 1976.

"I'm so happy for our kids to finally get a win," said second-year Rams head coach Ken Grantham. "They've been working hard the last three weeks and coming up a little bit short. To come out and get the win (tonight), maybe they can relax and play football now that the monkey's off our back."

Eastern Wayne exited 0-4.

"It's hard to come up with a positive after tonight because I thought we'd execute a little better than we did," said Warriors head coach Bubba Williams. "They had three big plays offensively and not much more than that ... maybe a couple of long runs (from scrimmage).

"Defensively, we didn't play bad except for those three mental breaks."

But the plays were costly.

Michael Baker's 55-yard touchdown run broke a scoreless tie in the second quarter. Brandon Suit threw a 39-yard touchdown strike to Danny Whitaker before halftime. Kelsey Dixon added a 49-yard, fourth-quarter TD run.

The Rams amassed 315 yards of total offense on 58 plays.

"We talked before the game about being focused on what we do, but not tight," said Grantham. "I think sometimes it got to the point, after a couple of weeks, that you get tight and try to do too much. If you relax, execute, not worry about making the big play and do your job, the little things will fall in place."

The Warriors compiled 197 yards of total offense on 51 plays. They committed four turnovers, but just one miscue led to a Greene Central touchdown. The Rams (1-3) claimed their ninth victory in 11 tries against the Warriors and are 43-25-2 all-time against Wayne County schools since 1964.

"We do have a lot of guys working hard and there are going to be better days," assured Williams, who has yet to put a full team on the field this season.

Lamar Best emerged Eastern Wayne's top rusher with a hard-earned 47 yards on 14 totes. Quarterback Jalen Barnes, in his second varsity start, completed 10 passes for 116 yards. His 28-yard scoring pass to Dominique Sadler spoiled the Rams' shutout bid in the final 7.2 seconds.

Junior linebacker Greg Simms paced the Warriors' defense with 11 tackles. Sophomore safety Rock Floyd and junior linebacker Brandon Williams recorded seven stops apiece.

Fellow linebacker Kenneth Scott recovered two fumbles and tackle Dahomeny Murchison logged two quarterback sacks.