Saints' offensive line does job in upset of James Kenan
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 23, 2011 1:47 PM
WARSAW -- No one saw it coming.
Not the coaches.
Not the small group of fans on the visitors' side of the field.
Not even some of the players.
But Southern Wayne showed a burning desire to win.
Bullied by classmates, hounded by "tweets" and Facebook messages throughout the week, the Saints silenced their doubters Friday evening. Four big plays netted nearly 300 yards and provided the springboard to a 27-19, season-opening upset of No. 11-ranked James Kenan.
"This win ... no individuals, but a team effort," said SW senior lineman Tim Sutton. "The offensive line, it's been hard and we've really come a long way. Our offense is built on the run and we do it to the best (of our ability)."
The Saints piled up 399 yards of total offense, including 378 on the ground.
Sutton and fellow guard DaQwan Jones, tackles Santos Saldivar and Jamario Roberts, center Ken Schultzenberg and tight end Parker Spencer did their job on a soggy turf.
Backfield mates Tyshawn Vann and Quintae Bradshaw combined for nearly 300 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 30 totes. The Saints managed nine first downs, converted five of 11 third-down opportunities and coughed up two fumbles.
"We don't have our whole playbook in and I think that was pretty obvious," said first-year SW head coach David Lee. "We only ran about five or six plays, but I think our offensive line is good, I really do. They've got good quickness for their size and they block excellent.
"Our backs really came out ready to play. They cut it up through the hole ... broke it when they had to. You've got to make big plays when you play a team like James Kenan."
The four big rushing plays netted 281 yards and three TDs. The Saints grinded out 118 yards on its remaining 41 offensive plays.
Southern Wayne coaxed James Kenan into four turnovers, including three second-half interceptions. Senior linebacker Scott Westbrook, senior defensive back Quintae Bradshaw and senior defensive back Antonio Austin each picked off James Kenan quarterback Parker Jones.
The Saints improved to 4-4 in season openers since 2004.
"This win right here comes from all the hard work we've done in practice," said Lee. "We've worked those kids to death like most coaches do, try to teach them to be resilient when momentum shifts and I think we did that tonight, I really do."
Southern Wayne (1-0 overall) opens the home portion of its schedule Friday against Northern Nash.