10/21/12 — North Lenoir wins ECC clash with So. Wayne

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North Lenoir wins ECC clash with So. Wayne

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 21, 2012 12:08 AM

LaGRANGE -- North Lenoir made just enough plays to break a long Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference losing streak.

The Hawks scored two second-half touchdowns and defeated Southern Wayne 31-24 on Friday night. The victory was the first in conference play in the last 31 league games for the Hawks dating back to 2006.

"We have been close a couple of times so it was good to get this win," Sutton said. "Our guys have been working hard through the last two weeks to get ready for senior night."

Southern Wayne appeared to be on the road to ruining the festivities in the first quarter.

Andrew Matthews broke free for a 79-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game. After a failed North Lenoir drive, the Saints got the ball back and marched down the field. Marquis Baldwin raced into the end zone from 18 yards out and made the score 12-0.

"I felt like early on we had a chance to pull away a little bit," Southern Wayne head coach David Lee said. "We got off to a really good start but then the mistakes started and they kept coming."

North Lenoir got on the scoreboard two plays later on Donyae Hopkins' 41-yard touchdown run. Southern Wayne immediately answered with a 55-yard run by Matthews that made the score 18-7 in the visitor favor.

Things got better in the second quarter for the Hawks when the Saints fumbled a punt snap and Billy Summers recovered the football in the end zone for a touchdown. Southern Wayne's next drive ended in an interception and set up a 25-yard field goal by Caleb Baird that pulled the Hawks within one point at 18-17 at halftime.

North Lenoir (2-7 overall, 1-4 ECC) took the lead in the third quarter on a 10-yard run by Marsharee Troy. The Hawks added another touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Alex Brownlee connected with receiver Larry Boskey for a 42-yard touchdown.

"We had a defensive back in perfect position to maybe make a play," Lee said. "The ball just slipped over our man's head and right into the receivers hands."

With just five minutes to play Southern Wayne pulled within one score when Earle Campbell ran into the end zone from one-yard out. Trailing 31-24 the Saints had to try on onside kick, which they recovered at the Hawks 42-yard line.

The visitors drove the ball to the Hawks 25-yard line but had the drive stall and turned the ball over on downs to essentially seal the game.

"I thought our defense was much better in the second half and we made the right adjustments," Sutton said. "We played a little differently on the defensive line and we got a few big stops in the fourth quarter."

Matthews was the leading rusher for Southern Wayne (1-8 overall, 0-5 ECC) with 280 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns. Campbell added 54 yards on 15 totes.

Marsharee Troy paced the Hawks with 115 yards on 14 carries. Brownlee completed two passes for 46 yards.

North Lenoir will be the guest of Eastern Wayne next week. Southern Wayne will host C.B. Aycock the same night.