Rams shackle Warriors
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 11, 2011 12:05 AM
SNOW HILL -- Rasheem Shackleford trudged toward the sidelines, tossed his helmet to the side and collapsed on the grass.
After rushing for 150 yards and three touchdowns in Greene Central's 30-20 non-conference win over Eastern Wayne on Friday night, the Rams' quarterback earned a breather.
Shackleford and running back Kenzie Phillips were part of a dominating Greene Central ground attack that pounded out 250 yards and three touchdowns in the second half alone. Phillips ended the night with 124 yards on 19 carries. The Rams finished with 362 rushing yards.
After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty put Greene Central in a third-and-long situation, Shackleford rumbled into the end zone from 46 yards out late in the third quarter to put the Rams ahead 18-14.
"Kenzie and Rasheem just really took over," said Greene Central head coach Ken Grantham. "Our offensive line dominated and just took over in the second half. I couldn't be more impressed with them. We put together a long drive that chewed up the clock and kept the defense off the field.
"I think a lot of it was Kenzie running the ball hard. Our center and guard got off the ball hard and just created lanes in there."
Tykwan Days' punt return allowed Eastern Wayne to go on offense at the Rams' 37-yard line early in the third quarter. Kyrie Shearod's 24-yard touchdown run gave the Warriors a 14-12 lead.
Greene Central (3-1) stopped Eastern Wayne on a key fourth-and-5 play at the Rams' 43-yard line with time winding down in the third quarter. The Rams went back on offense and Shackleford tacked on a 3-yard score early in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 24-14.
Shackleford's 1-yard touchdown run with fewer than 60 seconds left put the game away.
Eastern Wayne committed three turnovers in the first half and also recovered two of its own fumbles. The Warriors finished with five fumbles and lost three. Eastern Wayne also lost quarterback Avner Clark and running back Javon Darden (nine carries, 80 yards) late in the game with injuries. Clark was on crutches following the game and his injury was described by Warriors' head coach Bubba Williams as an ankle sprain.
Shelton Pender scored a 4-yard touchdown on the final offensive possession of the game for the Warriors. Shearod added 130 yards and two touchdowns.
"We're an extremely young football team and we've gotten younger as the year has gone along," said third-year Eastern Wayne head coach Bubba Williams. "We're going to make those mistakes. We've got to eliminate the turnovers and we've got to tackle better."
Greene Central visits Eastern Plains 2-A rival Wilson Beddingfield on Friday, while Eastern Wayne (0-4) entertains South Johnston in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference opener for both teams.