10/25/10 — Prep football notebook

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Prep football notebook

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 25, 2010 1:46 PM

Will Winslow took the snap, turned to his left and put the ball squarely in Jyhkia Applewhite's mitts. Applewhite picked up a few yards and Winslow went to work again.

The backup quarterback played steady in his first varsity start of the season and played a near-flawless game against Spring Creek. The senior directed five touchdown drives, completed two passes and rushed for two touchdowns in a crucial Carolina 1-A Conference victory at "The Swamp."

"Will did a great job," said Rosewood coach Robert Britt. "When you've got two quarterbacks you can put in any time to run your offense, and it doesn't miss a beat, that's real big."

Winslow called the shots in place of starter Taylor McGill, who sprained an ankle the week before at Goldsboro. McGill experienced tenderness in the ankle during early-week practice sessions and showed signs of healing by Thursday.

Britt made the decision on Friday to start Winslow.

"Will got all the reps in practice this week, so we decided to give Will a shot," said Britt. "Taylor could have played tonight and he wanted to play tonight, he's a competitor. We were able to give him a week's rest to heal up a little bit.

"He'll be fine next (this) week."

Winslow accounted for 76 of the Eagles' 337 yards of total offense.

Use the defense

Late in the opening half, Spring Creek's defense adjusted and started to ground Rosewood's rushing attack on the perimeter.

That opened the middle for Shane Whitley.

The 5-foot-8, 165-pound junior scampered for a career- and season-high 153 yards and two touchdowns on 28 totes. Whitley fumbled a third touchdown away before halftime, but luckily teammate Jamie Wooten pounced on the loose ball in the end zone.

"I'm a firm believer that if something is going well, stay with it until they adjust," said Britt. "Late in the first half, they caught on to what we were doing. That opened some things up for Shane in the middle and in the second half, we kind of rode that. They were determined to take the perimeter away from us, so we were determined to run inside."

Starting slow

Spring Creek managed 18 yards of total offense during its first three possessions Friday evening. Three plays resulted in lost yardage as Rosewood's defense played strong and gave its offense good field position.

The Eagles forced two three-and-out series and got the ball when the Gators turned the ball over on downs early in the second quarter.

Rosewood raced to a 21-7 lead during that stretch.

"Rosewood came out and played, and they played strong up front," said Spring Creek head coach Aaron Sanders. "We had a hard time making some blocks. You've got to block well to run the ball and we didn't do that well tonight."

Two to go

Rosewood got the "big dogs" out of the way.

Now, Britt hopes the Spring Creek victory will lead to a season-ending sweep in conference play. The Rebels (3-6 overall, 1-2 CC) entertain North Duplin on Friday and travel to archrival Princeton on Nov. 6.

"I feel like we have the best conference setup," said Britt, whose team opened conference play against Ayden-Grifton and played Goldsboro the following week.

"Between us, Princeton, North Duplin and Spring Creek ... we're very even. We've got this one under our belt. Now we have to go back, work hard and maybe we can get another one next week."