By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on September 12, 2011 1:48 PM
North Stokes clogged the middle.
Rosewood flew a different route.
A running game that had punished interior defenses each of the past two weeks, the Eagles slipped outside for sizable gains Friday evening. Three backs rushed for 70-plus yards in a wild, 46-43 victory over the Vikings at Branch Pope Field.
Quarterback Taylor McGill called upon six different backs to tote the pigskin in an offense that compiled nearly 500 yards on 58 plays. Jamari McGown rushed for a season-high 137 yards and three TDs on just 16 carries, while Shaquan Taylor (TD) and Greg Cavenaugh combined for 154 yards on 16 attempts.
Jay Sellers, Will Winslow and Shane Whitley (TD) also carried the ball.
"We are blessed right now," said fifth-year Rosewood head coach Robert Britt. "We're two deep at three running back positions, have six different guys we can put in and are confident they can make the play. When you distribute the ball out to different people, it puts the defense off balance and on their heels.
"We're doing a good job of taking advantage of what our strength is right now."
More on the RHS offense
The Eagles scored 46 points for the first time since they claimed a 46-35 shootout win at Spring Creek on Oct. 27, 2008.
They certainly needed every point Friday evening.
North Stokes (3-1) tallied at least one touchdown in every quarter and ended Rosewood's modest streak of two consecutive shutouts. The lead changed hands on four occasions during the final 14:36 minutes of the game.
Whitley's 8-yard scamper capped the game-winning drive that lasted more than seven minutes. It was one of four touchdown possessions that covered 60 or more yards for the Eagles, who improved to 3-1 overall this season.
"The thing I told the kids at the end of the game is we're figuring out how to win games this year," said Britt. "We're doing it different ways. The past two weeks we've done it with defense and tonight we did it with offense. I told the kids it can be a special thing when you believe in one another, you don't get down.
"There was a period in the third quarter where we won't playing very well, but I could tell the kids still knew we were going to do something that was going to right the ship. We still had some good plays in us."
The Eagles did.
Injuries have forced a number of underclassmen into duty for Eastern Wayne.
Third-year head coach Bubba Williams has started several freshmen and sophomores in recent weeks as the Warriors continue to be plagued by injuries. Quarterback Avner Clark, linebacker and fullback Javon Darden and wide receiver Lavoris Vick are among the Eastern Wayne players recently bitten by the injury bug. Clark suffered an ankle injury in Friday night's loss at Greene Central. The senior signal-caller is questionable for this week's Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference opener with South Johnson in New Hope.
"We've got some freshmen and some sophomores playing," said Williams. "We're nowhere near where we wanted to be coming in and nowhere near where we thought we were capable of being. We get some guys back and we lose some. I think every (team) is kind of beat up and you just have to fight through.
"We've got to do the same."
With their leading rusher suspended for this week's contest with archrival Southern Wayne, the Goldsboro offense will be looking for someone to step in and fill in the void. Devante Harris was ejected from Friday's game against Charles B. Aycock and will have to sit out against the Saints.
Harris averages 104 yards a game and has scored five touchdowns this season.
"This is running back high," Cougars head coach Eric Reid said. "We will get the next guy ready this week in practice and we will see how it shakes out on Friday, but I expect us to be able to continue to do what we have been doing offensively."
Karon Alston, who has been the Cougars' second back in their rotation, will likely take over as the starter. Asunji Maddox and Ricardo Woodard should also expect an increased workload against the Saints.