Best's game-changing play lifts Warriors
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 25, 2010 11:11 PM
With Eastern Wayne's offense sputtering and Wilson Fike building momentum, Lamar Best made a game-changing play.
Best's fumble recovery and ensuing touchdown gave the Warriors breathing room in 34-15, non-conference win Friday evening at Little Big Horn.
Best recovered a Demons' fumble late in the third quarter, which gave Eastern Wayne the ball at Fike's 16-yard line. On a fourth-and-15 play, Best rambled 21 yards for a touchdown and the Warriors led 20-7.
"My team made a play," said Best. "They caused a fumble and I just picked it up. I'm just helping my team out and trying to get a win. I feel like that play just ignited the whole team."
The Warriors stopped Fike on fourth-and-one from the Eastern Wayne 30-yard line. Best's 7-yard touchdown run extended the lead to 27-7 with nine minutes left in the game.
Best finished with 158 yards rushing and four touchdowns. The shifty senior tailback also recovered a fumble and had a sack on defense.
Best has rushed for more than 100 yards in five of the Warriors' first six games. He has gained more than 800 yards on the ground this season to go with 11 touchdowns.
"I knew Lamar was capable of big things last year," said Eastern Wayne head coach Bubba Williams. "We've finally got an offensive line to help him out with some of that. He makes plays even when we don't block. I think he would admit that those guys are allowing him to do what he does.
"He's a big-time player."
Fike recovered a Warriors' fumble and Robert Blackston's 2-yard score cut the margin to 27-15. Best tacked on a 1-yard touchdown run with fewer than two minutes remaining.
Best's 22-yard touchdown run and Kyle Sasser's extra point gave the Warriors a 7-0 lead nearly seven minutes into the first quarter. Fike had Ruffin's 35-yard, game-tying touchdown run called back on a holding penalty on the first play of the first quarter.
The Warriors held the Demons to 60 yards of total offense in the first quarter. Fike didn't pick up a first down until the second quarter and had just two first downs at halftime. Eastern Wayne recovered three Demons' fumbles and Dashon Brown had an interception.
"We're down a linebacker this week and defensively we had to change some things," said Williams. "I think the defense stepped up as a whole to make plays. We had several guys that came through tonight and made big-time plays for us."
Best's 30-yard touchdown reception early in the second quarter extended the lead to 14-0.
Tykwan Days fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and Fike recovered. Alex Ruffin's 25-yard touchdown run on the Demon's first offensive play of the third quarter pulled Fike to within 14-7.
Eastern Wayne (4-2 overall) has a bye next week before opening Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play on Oct. 8 at South Johnston.
"We've got to get healthy," said Williams. "We've got a bunch of nicks, and bruises and bumps. After six weeks I feel like we've played a decent schedule. We've got to get healthy and get ready for conference play."
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