By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 10, 2011 1:50 PM
Just have fun.
Third-year Eastern Wayne head football coach Bubba Williams offered that simple piece of advice with his team trailing archrival Southern Wayne 14-0 at halftime.
The Warriors certainly had fun the next two quarters.
Stephan Woodard's 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown started an unforgettable comeback at Little Big Horn. Lamorris Pridgen's lucky catch and Kyle Sasser's game-clinching, 34-yard field goal capped the remarkable 17-16 victory.
"Somewhere along the line this year we stopped having fun playing the game," said Williams, who was the 2010 ECC coach of the year. "At halftime, we just told the guys to have fun. In the second half, they played a little bit more looser and had a little bit of fun."
Eastern Wayne (1-6 overall) claimed just its third victory against Southern Wayne (4-3) since 2001. Five of the 11 games have been decided by a touchdown or less during that span.
Not in trouble ... yet
Southern Wayne started the season 4-0 and was on the verge of cracking the top 10 in the Associated Press Class 3-A prep poll.
The Saints just hope to make the playoffs now.
Three consecutive losses, all in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play, haven't coerced first-year David Lee into pushing the panic button.
"We've got to go back to work," said Lee. "I was reading a quote in the paper by (East Duplin coach) Battle Holley and it sort of fits right now. (He said) tough times don't always last, but tough people do.
"We've got to find some tough people. It's the same we were when we were 4-0, we just don't have that drive right now. We're going to go to battle with the kids who want to work hard."
That's more like it
Goldsboro's defense recorded its first shutout of the season and played more like the unit it expected to be in Friday's 41-0 win at Rosewood.
After surrendering 78 points in their past three games, the Cougars held the Eagles to just 47 yards of total offense. Rosewood had 10 plays that resulted in negative yardage and just two first downs.
Goldsboro's defense yielded just one third-down conversion and limited the Eagles to 1.2 yards per rush on 26 attempts.
"That says a lot considering the team speed Rosewood has," said Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid. "Each man stayed with his assignment. One of the things we focused on this week from a defensive standpoint was just do your assignment. Hopefully, now they've caught on to it and (will) keep remembering just stay on your assignment.
"To get a shutout that's something awesome."
Run for it
North Duplin, for the third time this season, won a game without completing a single pass in its 42-27 victory over Princeton on Friday night.
The Rebels, behind fullback Julio Mora and tailback Devin Oliver, amassed 544 yards on the ground. Quarterback Tyler Royal has essentially become the third component to the North Duplin option-style attack.
"Tyler makes good decisions with the ball," said North Duplin head coach Hugh Martin. "He doesn't try to do anything that is outside of his game. He can throw when we need him to, or when we see something in the defense, but his biggest asset is his ability to find a hole and run the ball."