09/30/13 — Prep football notebook: Depth-challenged Warriors continue to produce in win column

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Prep football notebook: Depth-challenged Warriors continue to produce in win column

By Staff Reports
Published in Sports on September 30, 2013 1:48 PM

WINTERVILLE -- In the inaugural preseason Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference football rouser in early August, head coach Bubba Williams said Eastern Wayne had a cupboard overflowing with skill players.

He added that the Warriors lacked linemen.

But the patchwork group that has battled in the trenches each Friday night has helped Eastern Wayne remain unbeaten in five outings this season -- a first in program history.

"We're still thin," a smiling Williams said. "The guys we have are pretty good for us. We get any deeper in our lineup and we're going to start finding trouble so we've got to get some guys healthy, get some guys back.

"We'll keep plugging away."

The Warriors continue to play without a trio of two-way starters -- Anthony Carmon, Chris Allen and Craig Smith.

A rare sight

Goldsboro was without starting tailback Rasheid Malette against Jacksonville Northside on Friday night due to an ankle injury.

The effect was felt across the Cougars' offense. Goldsboro tallied just 56 yards rushing as a team and never found the end zone.

The 24-0 defeat was the first shutout loss for the Cougars, who had scored in 92 consecutive contests.

"Rasheid is a big part of what we do and we need him healthy when conference play starts," Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid said. "Tonight you could see that the whole offense was out of sync without him out there. Hopefully we can fix some things next week and get ready for conference."

Lean on me

WINTERVILLE -- Eastern Wayne's offense generated three first-half touchdowns in their come-from-behind, 34-28 victory over South Central on Friday evening.

The defense allowed three first-half TDs.

The second half was a different story.

The Warriors managed 92 yards on 22 offensive plays and drew two false-start penalties on their first five possessions. Meanwhile, the defense came up with a goal-line stand on 4th-and-2 and intercepted a pass on a first-and-goal play on the next series.

Jake Wiser logged the defense's third forced turnover and returned the fumble 78 yards to the end zone, which capped the second-half comeback.

"Offensively, we played well in the first half and we played terrible in the second half," EW head coach Bubba Williams said. "The defense was just the opposite, so we kind of leaned on each other a little bit (tonight). The defense came through ... we got the big turnover at the end to put us ahead.

"I was pleased with us finding a way to win (but) it wasn't pretty at times."

Just not the same

CALYPSO -- In the second half of Friday night's 39-22 loss to Lejeune, North Duplin's offense didn't resemble the same unit that was on the field in the first two quarters.

The Rebels' offensive line struggled to sustain blocks. Running room on the interior was hard to come by and finding space on the outside was just as difficult.

North Duplin was outscored 27-8 in the second half and committed a pair of turnovers. The Rebels finished the game 5 for 11 on third-down attempts.

"We try to read our way out of it with the option game," North Duplin head coach Hugh Martin said. "If they take the dive we've got to take the next thing. If we did read it correctly we weren't making the play on the perimeter we needed to make to make them have to compensate somewhere defensively."

Who's next?

WINTERVILLE -- Defending state 4-A champion and Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A newcomer New Bern invades Little Big Horn on Friday evening.

Eastern Wayne (5-0 overall, 1-0 ECC) can't afford too many mental and physical errors against a team that has the potential to explode offensively at any moment.

The Bears are 4-2 after an 0-2 start and put a program-record 72 points on the board against Charles B. Aycock on Friday.

"I think we came out here a little flat (tonight)," Williams said. "If we do that next week, it's going to be trouble. We've got to show up and play our best game, and make them have mistakes. We've got to go back to work Monday and get ready for New Bern."

New Bern is 35-10-1 against non-conference opposition since 2004 and has won 16 consecutive road games since 2010, according to Maxpreps.com.

The Warriors and Bears are meeting for the first time since 1992.