11/12/12 — Prep notebook: Princeton defense plays disciplined

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Prep notebook: Princeton defense plays disciplined

By Staff Reports
Published in Sports on November 12, 2012 1:48 PM

LEGGETT -- Trust in yourself.

Princeton head football coach Derrick Minor admits the needle is stuck on the record since he and his coaching staff deliver that message to their players every day in practice.

They're finally starting to follow Minor's advice.

The Bulldogs (4-8 overall) played disciplined defense against North Edgecombe's misdirection T-formation offense, and held the speedy Warriors to two touchdowns in their second-round N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A (small-school) playoff game Friday evening.

"I was the adjuster (on the field) and we'd get a call from the sideline to tell us to go either strong, weak or on the nose," Princeton outside linebacker Jake Sullivan said. "Those were the only adjustments we made unless we thought they were going to pass. We had them frustrated."

The Warriors converted just 2 of 11 third-down plays.

Opportunistic Eagles

Rosewood's defense forced four turnovers in its 42-17 win over Jones Senior on Friday night in the second round of the NCHSAA 1-A (small school) playoffs.

The Eagles recovered a pair of fumbles and intercepted two passes while holding the Trojans to less than 250 yards of total offense.

"Jones Senior is athletic and we told our kids that our game plan was to try to limit their explosive plays and to possess the ball as long as we can," Rosewood head coach Robert Britt said. "They were getting three, four or five yards at a time, but for the most part I thought we did a good job of keeping the explosive plays to a minimum."

Peaks and valleys

Rosewood maintained its composure regardless of the circumstances throughout its win over Jones Senior.

The Eagles experienced moments of jubilation, including Jamari McGowan's 94-yard kickoff return to open the game. Josh Davis returned a missed field goal 98 yards for a score.

Rosewood also faced adversity as the Trojans pulled to within 29-17 in the third quarter on a touchdown run and a safety.

"Our kids practiced hard all week and we've told them that good things and bad things are going to happen in a game," Britt said. "You can't get too high and you can't get too low. You just have to buckle down and on the next play if something bad happens fix it and then if something good happens you have to make sure you're focused and you can execute on the next play."