09/05/10 — E. Wayne falls to New Hanover

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E. Wayne falls to New Hanover

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 5, 2010 12:21 AM

A hangover.

New Hanover's quick start.

Depth issues.

All those situations factored into Eastern Wayne's home-opening, 53-12 loss to former Mideastern 4-A rival Wilmington New Hanover at Little Big Horn on Friday evening.

The Warriors' euphoria from a stunning victory over county rival Goldsboro hadn't subsided. That changed 14 seconds after kickoff when the Wildcats' Montrell Baldwin galloped 87 yards to the end zone.

New Hanover (2-1 overall) forced Eastern Wayne to punt its first possession of the game, and scored four plays later on a 38-yard strike from quarterback Bates Taylor to Daquan Barnes.

"The first kickoff killed us and we didn't have a quick start," said second-year Warriors head coach Guy "Bubba" Williams. "I thought we battled back well from that."

Eastern Wayne (1-2) rallied to within 14-12 on Avner Clark's 21-yard touchdown pass to Tykwan Days and Lamar Best's 31-yard scamper. Best departed in the second quarter with a left-shoulder injury, and returned only for special-teams action.

The depth troubles started from there.

Marquise Lawrence took a hard shot on a second-quarter carry. Lawrence laid motionless for a few minutes as first responders and trainers attended to the 5-foot-7, 160-pound receiver/defensive back.

Lawrence was transported to the hospital and later released with a concussion. He will not play this week against Greene Central.

Second-string running back Shelton Pender and lineman Josh Cowick each suffered third-quarter, left-ankle sprains.

"That's four key guys we have to keep in the mix," said Williams. "With the numbers we have and that depth (problem) we have, that hurt us more than it would other teams. We had to get out of our offensive sets and we couldn't really run the ball well in the second half because of that."

Eastern Wayne compiled 169 yards of total offense, including 56 in the third and fourth quarters combined. The Warriors converted just two third downs in 12 tries and surrendered 20 points on four turnovers.

Best finished with 87 yards rushing.

Despite the injury situation, Eastern Wayne trailed by just two touchdowns late in the third quarter. Taylor threw an 18-yard, fourth-down TD pass to Barnes and that ignited a 27-point outburst.

The Wildcats scored on three of four fourth-quarter possessions. Taylor threw five touchdown passes to four receivers, and concluded the night 11 of 24 with 244 yards and three picks.

New Hanover led 421-169 in total yards.

"We were still in the game with a minute left in the third, then we fell apart and that's something we've got to fix," said Williams. "Defensively, we gave up big plays because we lost focus. We have to get out of that and learn to play a little bit better as a team."