Raiders ambush Warriors
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on November 14, 2010 1:51 AM
Southern Vance coach Mark Perry spent too long on a bus bound for Goldsboro to play for overtime.
Bryan Person's 51-yard touchdown run with 26 seconds left and Sardarius Henderson's two-point conversion lifted the Raiders to a 22-14 upset of Eastern Wayne in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A East football playoffs at Little Big Horn.
Southern Vance survived despite committing five turnovers and advanced to play at Havelock in the second round next Friday. The Warriors' quest for their first playoff win since 1978 came up short.
After forcing an Eastern Wayne punt, the Raiders took over on their own 49-yard line with 36 seconds left. Southern Vance lined up in a passing formation, but handed the ball off to Person. The junior fullback slipped through the defensive line and raced the Warriors' secondary to the end zone.
"They went to what we would call bandit coverage," said Perry. "There was nobody in the middle of the field. We thought if we could pop a trap there would be nobody there to get him. The good Lord blessed my man with enough speed to get away from everybody and he got to the end zone.
"We're usually pretty conservative, but it's a long ride down here. Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games."
Tykwan Days' interception gave Eastern Wayne the ball back early in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors' abandoned their shotgun formation and found success running out of the I-formation. Lamar Best ripped off runs of 39 and 23 yards on the game-tying drive.
Best's two-yard touchdown run and Kyle Sasser's extra point tied the game at 14-14 with a little more than eight minutes left in the game. Best rushed for 136 yards on 27 carries, concluded the season with 1,876 yards and 25 touchdowns.
The Raiders recovered Best's fumble on the Warriors' 1-yard line early in the third quarter.
Sardarius Henderson's 1-yard score on the next play and a failed two-point conversion gave Southern Vance a 14-7 advantage. Henderson finished with 134 yards rushing with two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Person nearly extended the Raiders' lead but he was stripped by Best and fumbled on the goal line after a 45-yard run early in the third quarter. Person contributed 153 yards on 17 carries. Southern Vance finished with 296 yards rushing.
The Warriors (8-4 overall) gave the ball right back on Best's fumble on the very next play. Eastern Wayne was outgained 319-203.
"This one kind of goes back to me," said Eastern Wayne head coach Guy "Bubba" Williams. "We didn't have a very good game plan offensively. On the first down we couldn't move the ball and couldn't really adjust. It was just bad play calling. We've got to get better."