09/27/10 — Prep football notebook

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Prep football notebook

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 27, 2010 1:46 PM

Southern Wayne might finally be growing up.

Still gaining experience with every snap, the Saints earned some much-needed confidence with a "statement" victory over county rival Goldsboro on Friday evening.

And what an affirmation.

Southern Wayne limited Goldsboro to season lows in total offensive yards (70), rushing yards (8) and rushing attempts (19). The Cougars, who averaged 41.5 points in the previous two weeks, scored just one touchdown in a game for the second time this season.

"It was a great defensive performance," said Southern Wayne head coach Bob Warren. "I think Coach (David) Lee had a great game plan for the defense. They executed it perfectly. It has a lot to do with the mental edge I think our kids had.

"They mentally stepped up to play at a higher level and that's what we've been asking them do."

Mental edge part II

While Southern Wayne controlled the tempo and play in the trenches, Goldsboro just couldn't find a consistent rhythm all evening.

The Cougars misfired twice inside the red zone and committed a costly offsides penalty just before halftime. The Saints lined up for a 27-yard field goal and coerced the Goldsboro line into jumping before the snap.

On fourth-and-4 from the 5-yard line, Andrew Matthews bulled his way over into the end zone. Jesus Rodriguez added his second PAT to put Southern Wayne ahead 16-6 at the break.

"We've got to realize that we have to execute and practice like we play," said Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid. "Until they realize that, we're going to have nights like this. I hate it for them because they're a good group of guys, but they have to realize that discipline comes from within.

"We're going to go back Monday, like we normally do, and get back to work."

Send the house

Trailing by 10 at halftime, Goldsboro went into passing mode.

Cougar quarterback Corteiz Sprangle completed 3 of 4 passes for 43 yards in the third period. A 32-yard strike to Karon Alston down the right sideline set up a first-and-goal at the Saints' 1-yard line.

Sprangle fumbled the snap and Southern Wayne defensive back Dylan Jacobs recovered the ball just inches from the goal line.

The Saints amped up their defensive pressure in the fourth quarter and Sprangle couldn't find a ray of light under the heavy pass rush. He completed just two passes for eight yards, but had several passes dropped in one-on-one coverage.

"They sent the house," said Reid of the pressure. "Until we learn how to stop it, that's going to be the (defensive) formula we see every week. We've got to realize who our hot reads are and our receivers have to catch the ball. It's going to have to be all 11 (players) functioning as one before it works.

"This game is like chess, everything has to work. Until this crew understands that, we have growing to do. We're not giving up."