10/05/13 — Athletic Bears hand Warriors first loss of 2013

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Athletic Bears hand Warriors first loss of 2013

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 5, 2013 11:31 PM


New Bern's talented backfield proved why it has more college recruiting letters than it can count.

Eastern Wayne will think about missed opportunities.

Bears' quarterback Mike Hughes had a hand in all five touchdowns during a 34-12 win over the Warriors in an Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference football game at Little Big Horn on Friday evening.

East Carolina recruit Cody Purdie led New Bern's rushing attack with 171 yards on 22 carries. The Bears racked up 481 yards of total offense and didn't commit a turnover.

"Their running back (Purdie) is a heck of a player," Warriors' head coach Bubba Williams said. "Their quarterback (Hughes) has about every Division I school in the nation offering him, so for our kids and where we're at with our program, I'm very pleased with the effort the kids gave."

Eastern Wayne (5-1 overall, 1-1 ECC) moved the ball well offensively and tallied 310 total yards. Two costly interceptions and 10 penalties that amassed 65 yards hurt the Warriors at critical moments.

Two promising drives, one in each half, stalled inside New Bern territory.

"I think our kids played hard enough to win," Williams said. "I've got to do a better job as a coach to get them to where they need to be. We couldn't really seem to finish a drive. We either had penalties or a bad situation where they mixed the coverage on us."

Hughes scored on touchdown runs of 1 and 8 yards in the opening quarter. He also tossed a 54-yard touchdown pass to Theron Noble early in the second quarter. Hughes was 8 for 11 passing for 199 yards in the first half.

The Warriors stayed within striking distance on Kamone Best's 9-yard touchdown run. Deshawn Boudy grabbed quarterback Mitch Pike's screen pass and raced 39 yards to the end zone to pull the Warriors to within 20-12 just before halftime. Boudy finished with seven receptions for 107 yards.

Pike completed 15 of 26 passes for 228 yards with two interceptions.

In the first half, New Bern routinely left its defensive backs in man-to-man coverage and Pike consistently found open receivers.

The Bears played more zone coverage in the second half and cashed in on an interception with Hughes' 9-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter to increase their advantage to 27-12.

"When you start playing 4-A schools, it's a little bit different," Williams said. "They do a lot better job of mixing their coverages than a lot of people we've played in the past don't do. Mitch has seen teams sit back in one coverage the entire night and New Bern's not going to do that.

"It's a learning process for a young quarterback."

Hughes put the nail in the coffin with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Diondre Pool with 5 1/2 minutes to play.

Eastern Wayne continues league play at J.H. Rose on Oct. 18.