09/01/12 — Saints' special teams play crucial at White Oak

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Saints' special teams play crucial at White Oak

By Matthew Campanelli
Published in Sports on September 1, 2012 11:08 PM

Jacksonville Daily News Correspondent

JACKSONVILLE -- Southern Wayne did what its coach says it does best Friday night in defeating White Oak 18-8.

The Saints ran the ball.

"We pride ourselves on running the ball," Southern Wayne coach David Lee said. "We try and pass more than other years, but we are a running offense."

Southern Wayne rushed for 296 yards on the ground behind a three-prong attack. Senior Andrew Matthews was the game's leading rusher with 147 yards on only 10 carries. He left the game with eight minutes left after he may have broken his finger.

"I felt great. My offensive line was opening holes and blocking great," Matthews said, "and I owe all my success to them."

The win gave the Saints their first win in three games.

The victory, Lee hopes, will propel them to bigger things down the road, starting two Friday nights from now against Goldsboro.

"I hope this game brings us some momentum for our rivals," he said. "Goldsboro is always a dogfight, and it's gonna take our best effort."

While Southern Wayne won, the Vikings (0-3 overall) had plenty of opportunities to score, but penalties haunted them all night as flags cost White Oak one touchdown and two 50-yard runs.

The Vikings wound up having to punt on all three occasions.

"You know at this point in year we haven't had a lot of penalties and tonight we had a slew of them. It was very unlike us, and we got to get that corrected," White Oak first-year coach Chad Ashley said.

The Vikings fell behind early when Matthews broke free for a 61-yard run for 6-0 lead. White Oak looked as if it had responded in kind, but a 55- yard touchdown run by Steven Moses was called back because of a holding penalty.

Just when it seemed both teams' offenses couldn't move the chains, Southern Wayne had another 60-yard touchdown run when Brion Kornegay maneuvered his way through the Vikings' defense and into the end zone.

On the Vikings' first second-half drive, fullback Alex Fuller broke free for a 50-gain, which would have put the at the 2 yard line. Instead, it was called back for a false start.

Then the final blow to the Vikings was when Southern Wayne's Earle Campbell blocked Tanielu Riley's punt and recovered it in the end zone to give the Saints an 18-0 lead late in the third quarter.