Warriors' Smith logs four interceptions, flirts with state record
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 8, 2013 12:00 AM
Eastern Wayne's Micah Smith unbuckled his shoulder pad straps. and held up four fingers while he briefly chatted with family and friends.
Steam rose from his head after he removed his helmet.
Red Springs quarterback Blake Greene was probably steaming, too.
Smith picked off Greene on four occasions and was part of a Warriors' defense that forced eight turnovers during a 43-22, non-conference win at Little Big Horn on Friday evening. Eastern Wayne matched its best start (3-0 overall) since 2007.
Greene threw an uncharacteristic six interceptions and the Red Devil offense coughed up the ball twice. A junior defensive back, Smith came within one pick of matching the single-game state record of five INTs currently shared by four players.
"We watched film, studied and knew all of the plays downpat," a grinning Smith said. "It wasn't anything fancy. Me and Jay (Whitaker), all we did was just drop back and wait (for the pass). We were rushing him and he wasn't making good decisions."
The Warriors sacked Greene six times, including two by junior lineman Mello Hamilton. Eastern Wayne's defense recorded eight stops behind the line of scrimmage overall and cashed four turnovers into 29 points.
Senior lineman Jamal Barrett recovered a third-quarter fumble in the end zone and had a fourth-quarter pick six against Greene. The Warriors scored the final 21 points of the game after Greene threw his third TD pass of the night to Eric Graham early in the third.
"A couple of plays before he ran a screen pass and I didn't get there in time," Barrett said. "I read the next pass, sprinted, tipped the ball and when it started falling, I caught it. I just wanted to score."
Greene misfired on nine of his first 10 attempts, and concluded the night 17-of-46 for 227 yards and three touchdowns.
Smith said the younger players battled for the seniors, who lost 245-pound lineman Tony Carmon to a first-half ankle injury. Two more players exited with injuries after Carmon, but the Warriors patched the holes and pulled off the win.
"They put us up against the wall and we had some key injuries," EW head coach Bubba Williams said. "(Losing them) left us short at those two spots anyway and we had someone step up to make the plays tonight.
"Still, it was ugly."
Eastern Wayne overcame two turnovers and 130 yards in penalties. Holding flags negated two TDs and quarterback Mitch Pike had a pass dropped in the end zone.
Pike completed 10 passes for 138 yards and threw two scoring strikes to Lavoris Vick. Vick led the ground attack with 152 yards and a TD on a game-high 20 carries.
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