Prep football notebook
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 6, 2010 1:47 PM
The smallest defender in the secondary, Lamar Best put his 5-foot-6, 165-pound frame on the line in a gaggle of players and picked off New Hanover quarterback Taylor Bates early in the second quarter.
Best landed awkwardly, angrily unsnapped his chin strap and favored his left shoulder as Eastern Wayne took over on offense. Best exited after the next play, removed his helmet, shoulder pads and jersey, and the trainer taped an ice pack to his left shoulder.
Best paced the sideline like a caged tiger.
"A pinched nerve," said Eastern Wayne head coach Guy "Bubba" Williams. "He had no feeling going down his left arm and then it started coming back. Really, he could have played, but couldn't hold onto the ball very well.
"He was in constant pain and his shoulder pads kept hitting the shoulder."
Best handled punting duties in the second half. He logged 87 yards rushing on 12 carries before the injury.
"We lose him, we lose a lot," said Williams.
Defensive back Stephan Woodard intercepted the New Hanover quarterback late in the second quarter.
On the Warriors' first offensive play after the turnover, Marquise Lawrence took the handoff and met a handful of tacklers head-on. Lawrence quickly fell to the ground and didn't move.
First responders and medical trainers from each team attended to Lawrence, who laid motionless as his cousin watched from the sideline. A minute or two later, gloved fingers begin to move not long after Eastern Wayne's players had huddled on the sideline and said a short prayer.
Lawrence suffered a concussion and slight cervical injury that will keep him out of action this week.
"He came back to school (after the game) walking a little stiff and he had a headache," said Williams. "He'll be OK."
The Rams are next
The biggest news buzzing through Little Big Horn didn't involve the outcome of the Eastern Wayne-New Hanover football game on Friday evening.
County fans couldn't help but take notice of Greene Central, the Warriors' next opponent. The Rams manhandled Charles B. Aycock 42-13 for their first victory of the season.
"We've got to refocus and get ready for Greene Central," said Warriors head coach Bubba Williams. "We've got to find people who want to play four quarters and we're still searching for that. Leadership is lacking and that's been a question (mark) from day one (of practice).
"We don't have that guy we can rally around. Right now, it's Lamar (Best). But when he's not in, we don't have that and someone else has to make up for that (loss)."
Eastern Wayne (0-3 overall) hasn't won a home non-conference game since Oct. 3, 2008 when it defeated North Lenoir, 20-7. The Hawks were members of the Eastern Plains 2-A Conference at that time.
Throughout the opening half and for a majority of the game, the officials seemed confused when spotting and/or marking off fouls.
A dropped ball on a defensive pass interference call in the first quarter turned into a 29-yard penalty for New Hanover. One official signaled no catch, but no one properly communicated the play to the head referee.
Later in the first half, the officials walked off an unsportsmanlike penalty against the wrong team, but quickly corrected the error.
And, as if that wasn't enough, the side judge inadvertently blew his whistle on a pass that fell incomplete during the second quarter. The teams replayed the down.
The explanation: had New Hanover ran the ball, then Eastern Wayne would have been given the option of taking the play or asking for the down to get replayed.