09/03/11 — So. Wayne holds back White Oak

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So. Wayne holds back White Oak

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 3, 2011 11:37 PM

DUDLEY -- It wasn't the most pristine game.

But hey, a win's a win.

Southern Wayne recorded two point-producing blocked punts and upended Jacksonville White Oak, 8-0, on a pleasant Friday evening at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex. The Saints improved to 3-0 -- their best start since 1975 when they finished 10-0 and claimed the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference championship.

"I can't remember the last time we had a blocked punt," said Southern Wayne head coach David Lee. "That was exciting because our special teams for awhile have not done something like that. When the offense is struggling, it's nice to have some other part of our game pick it up.

"That's what we did tonight."

The run-oriented teams grinded out yards between the 30s, but combined to penetrate the red zone on one occasion.

Saints senior lineman Spencer Parker squirted through the line and blocked Bryan Parks' punt nearly midway through the second quarter. Willie Sutton picked up the loose ball and rambled to the White Oak 5-yard line, which set up Tyshawn Vann's touchdown plunge on the next play.

It was Vann's second TD of the season.

Southern Wayne compiled a season-low 84 yards of total offense -- all on the ground. The Vikings held the Saints to three first downs and didn't allow a third-down conversion on nine tries.

"We're having problems when linemen slant or linebackers blitz," said Lee. "We're having problems communicating on the offensive line. We have a good offensive line, we really do and when we put it together we're going to move the football."

One week after racking up 500-plus rushing yards, everything that could go wrong went absolutely haywire for the Vikings. Drive-killing penalties and special teams miscues haunted the visitors.

White Oak owned more than a 17-minute advantage in time of possession through three quarters, but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard. The Vikings constantly backed themselves up with a variety of infractions -- false starts, illegal shifts, holding and blocking below the knees.

Those penalties -- nine in all -- accounted for 81 yards.

"That's a lot of hankies on the field," said White Oak head coach Bill Blick. "We had a little momentum in the third quarter and dad-gum, we had three holding penalties on one drive and that's difficult to overcome. The next drive, we got another holding call there.

"The bottom line is we didn't get it done up front. That's my fault because I'm the O-line coach. We'll work on that and we'll get better."

The Vikings (1-2 overall) compiled 128 yards of total offense on 61 plays, but those two blocked punts proved expensive. The Saints collected a fourth-quarter safety when Jeremy Outlaw blocked Parks, and the ball rolled out of the end zone.

"The defense played real good and the coaches got us prepared for this week," said Southern Wayne senior defensive back Keith Jones. "The scout O (in practice) gave us real good looks from their formation. The defense played hard, got in the holes and made tackles."