10/22/12 — Monday football notebook

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Monday football notebook

By Staff Reports
Published in Sports on October 22, 2012 1:48 PM

LaGRANGE -- North Lenoir head coach Calvin Sutton knows that his team's Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference win over Southern Wayne on Friday night was bigger than two sub-.500 teams doing battle.

The Hawks are trying to build a program and that starts with winning close games.

"I tell my guys the story all the time about a few years ago when we went to Eastern Wayne," Sutton said. "Both teams were winless and Eastern Wayne beat us and it started a turnaround. The next season they made the playoffs."

North Lenoir (2-7 overall, 1-4 ECC) will travel to Eastern Wayne (3-6 overall, 1-4 ECC) this week for the season finale at Little Big Horn. The Hawks are not going to make the state playoffs, but Sutton is aware of the game's importance.

"I can't tell you what it would mean for our guys to win back-to-back games to end the season," Sutton said. "That kind of enthusiasm can effect the whole off-season for a team."

Two for the road

With the inside track to third-place in the Carolina 1-A Conference hanging in the balance Tyler Royal was not about to be denied. On the game's final play, Royal took the snap and outraced multiple Rosewood defenders to the end zone on a two-point conversion in North Duplin's 42-41 overtime victory on Friday night. Royal, the Rebels' senior quarterback, rushed for 200 yards and three touchdowns.

"We drill that play day in and day out," Royal said. "We weren't going to take no for an answer. We scored and we won. Our mindset going into overtime was to just win. Every game is big but this is a great win for our team."

Not-so special teams

LaGRANGE -- Southern Wayne has built a reputation over the past several seasons as a team that prides itself on strong special teams. Friday night at North Lenoir it was special teams mistakes that did the Saints in during their 31-24 defeat.

A bad snap on a punt was recovered in the end zone for a North Lenoir touchdown. A penalty on a kickoff gave the Hawks field position on the Saints' side of the 50-yard line and led to a Hawk touchdown.

"Too many mistakes plain and simple," Southern Wayne head coach David Lee said. "You can not give away points. It doesn't matter if it's on defense, offense or special teams... There is no way to overcome that."

The Saints were also 0-for-4 on two-point conversion attempts in the game.

Better with time

Rosewood junior quarterback Jacob Sasser turned in his best performance in an Eagles' uniform in Friday night's 42-41 overtime loss to North Duplin.

Sasser displayed poise in the pocket and made good decisions with the football while throwing for 143 yards and three touchdowns and no interceptions. Sasser was 8 for 12 through the air and averaged 17.8 yards per completion.

"Jacob grew up tonight," Rosewood head coach Robert Britt said. "There were some throws that he made that were on the money. There were throws he made with pressure on him. He by far played his best varsity football game and it won't be his last one. He's going to be a good one and we've got him for another year."