Saints upend Hawks, snap 4-game skid
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 23, 2011 12:49 PM
DUDLEY -- Southern Wayne kept its playoff hopes alive with a Senior Night victory over North Lenoir on the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference football scene on Friday night.
The Saints scored two touchdowns in less than one minute in the third quarter and cruised to a 32-14 win at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex. The victory snapped the Saints' four-game losing streak.
"I thought we got back to doing some of the things we doing early in the season," Saints head coach David Lee said. "We were more physical on defense, and we did a better job on the offensive line tonight and that added up to a win."
Southern Wayne got a good break when Willie Sutton fielded a poorly-kicked punt along the home sideline and raced 56 yards to the end zone in the first quarter. The celebration did not last long, however, as North Lenoir countered with a long drive that ended when Landon Baker hit Zongio Troy for a 30-yard touchdown. Caleb Baird drilled the extra point and gave the Hawks a 7-6 lead.
The Saints jumped back on top just seconds before halftime when Tyshawn Vann raced 11 yards to pay dirt. Jose Rodriquez's extra point gave Lee's team a 13-7 lead that it would never relinquish.
"In the first half we had some trouble blocking the ends and they were really disrupting the outside runs," said Lee. "In the second quarter we began to figure out how to get those guys blocked and it paid off."
Southern Wayne put the game away in the third quarter.
After a North Lenoir drive stalled near midfield, the Saints (5-4 overall, 1-4 ECC) took over on downs and Sam Ferrell hit Jaime Dove with a long pass that went for a 60-yard touchdown. On the first play of the Hawks' ensuing possession Baker was intercepted by Ashton Cox, who took the ball back 30 yards for a touchdown to give the Saints a 25-7 lead.
"We had a couple of big mistakes and it led to points for (Southern Wayne)," said North Lenoir head coach Calvin Sutton. "A couple of lost fumbles and an interception that each ended up costing us a chance."
Southern Wayne scored late in the fourth quarter when Andrew Matthews raced into the end zone from 17 yards out. North Lenoir (1-8, 0-5) countered just 30 seconds later when Cedric Summers scored on an 18-yard run.
"We have called some guys up from the junior varsity and they are learning on the fly," said Sutton. "It takes time, but I think we are moving in the right direction."
Baker finished with five completions for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Ferrell tallied 77 yards through the air on two completions for Southern Wayne. Vann led the Saints with 65 yards on 13 carries. Dove added 56 yards on 11 totes and Matthews finished with 48 yards on eight carries.
Southern Wayne travels to Charles B. Aycock next Friday, while North Lenoir plays host to Eastern Wayne in the regular-season finale for both teams at Wheat Swamp.