Saints derail Warriors
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 30, 2010 11:09 PM
DUDLEY -- William Shakespeare once asked, "What's in a name?"
Devondre Johnson may have the same question in mind.
Johnson, who completed a legal name change this week, intercepted two passes less than one minute apart in the fourth quarter and the Southern Wayne defensive back led his team to a 48-35 win over Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference archrival Eastern Wayne on Friday night.
Formerly known as Kenyon Nembhard, Johnson broke on an Avner Clark pass with four minutes left in the fourth quarter and hauled the ball in. Johnson raced down the sideline to the end zone and gave the Saints a 42-35 advantage.
Eastern Wayne received the kickoff and tried another pass two plays later. Once again, Johnson stepped into the passing lane. The return ended at the Warriors' four-yard line, but set up a game-icing score by JaQuan Cobb.
"The first pass I just made a good read and was able to break early on the ball," said Johnson. "The second pass our guys got good pressure up the middle, and made the quarterback get rid of the ball early and he didn't get much on the throw."
The late-game heroics were a departure from the game's early moments, which were controlled by the Warriors. Eastern Wayne scored first on a 70-yard pass from Clark to Tykwan Days. On the team's second possession, Lamar Best made the score 14-0 with a 75-yard scoring run.
Quintae Bradshaw got the Saints back in contention with a pair of touchdown runs on the team's next two drives. The Warriors rebuilt their advantage with a nine-yard run by Brandon Williams and a fumble return for a touchdown by Greg Simms.
"I don't think we played too poorly on defense, but we gave up a few big plays in the first half," said Southern Wayne head coach Bob Warren. "The second half it was a much better defensive effort."
Trailing 35-20 at the intermission, Southern Wayne ran off 28 unanswered points.
Cobb broke a 21-yard run that capped the opening possession of the second half. Bradshaw tied the game with an eight-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
"We came out flat on defense, just like we have the last couple of weeks," said Eastern Wayne head coach Bubba Williams. "Eventually when you do that as a team your luck will run out."
Best led the Warriors with 75 yards rushing on eight carries. Clark completed nine passes for 177 yards. Days tallied 151 yards receiving.
Cobb paced the Southern Wayne offense with 178 yards on 24 totes. Keith Jones finished with four completions on seven attempts for 85 yard and a touchdown. Colton Chrisman made one grab for 40 yards and a score.
The victory sets up a colossal matchup next week when Southern Wayne (4-6 overall, 2-2 ECC) travels to Charles B. Aycock on Friday. A win would get the Saints into the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.
Eastern Wayne (7-3, 3-1) concludes regular-season play at North Lenoir, and can earn a share of the ECC championship.