SNOW HILL — The Greene Central Rams defeated the Eastern Wayne Warriors 26-20 in Friday night’s game.
Both teams struggled to score early on in a game that turned out to be a defense battle. In the first quarter, neither team had any success moving the football down field, and after 12 minutes of play neither team was able to get on the scoreboard.
The first score of the game didn’t come until almost 10 minutes into the second quarter. The score came from Greene Central receiver Jaden Tyson who caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Jonathon Willis. The score came almost immediately after Warriors quarterback Trevor Warren threw an interception that set the Rams up at the Warriors’ 26-yard line.
When Eastern Wayne got the ball after the kickoff, they turned the ball over again with a fumble. With the Rams recovering the fumble they were able to start their drive at the Eastern Wayne 39-yard line.
Greene Central once again took advantage of their great starting field position and scored on a 4-yard touchdown run by Zyquan Williams. The touchdown gave the Rams a 14-0 lead with 32 seconds remaining in the half.
ZaVion Burden received the kickoff after the Rams touchdown, and the freshman receiver returned the ball all the way to the Greene Central 19-yard line. Just two plays later, Warren connected with receiver Albert Brown for a 19-yard passing touchdown. After a successful two-point conversion, Eastern Wayne only trailed 8-14 at halftime.
The second half of the game started off much like the first half with both teams struggling to score. Although neither team scored in the third quarter, a turnover by Greene Central at the Eastern Wayne 11-yard line gave the Warriors a chance to turn the game back in their favor.
The Eastern Wayne offense took advantage of the turnover by driving all the way down the field for a touchdown. The touchdown was scored with another passing touchdown by Warren to Zavian Oates to tie the game 14-14 with 10:08 remaining in the fourth quarter.
When Greene Central got the ball back, though, they quickly reclaimed the lead with a 92-yard touchdown run from Willis on the first play in the drive. The long rushing touchdown gave the Rams a 20-14 lead.
Eastern Wayne turned the ball over again late in the fourth quarter, and the Rams were able to take advantage when they scored on a 6-yard receiving touchdown from Tyson to give the Rams a 26-14 lead.
Although the Warriors scored again on a touchdown reception from Brown, it came with only 58 seconds remaining in the game. After an unsuccessful onside kick by the Warriors, the Rams were able to run out the remaining time in the game to win 26-20.
Eastern Wayne head coach Leander Oates said one of the biggest reasons for their loss was their offense’s inability to score after turnovers created by the defense.
“You can’t match turnovers,” Oates said. “Once you get a turnover from your defense, you expect your offense to control the game and, most importantly, put points up on the board.”
Oates also said he was disappointed in his defense allowing a 92-yard touchdown run after their offense tied the game up at 14-14.
“I’m not going to put the loss completely on the offense,” Oates said. “The defensive gave up that big play after we managed to score. That long run pretty much was the dagger.”
With the loss, Eastern Wayne falls to 3-1 this season, while Greene Central improves to 2-2 for the season.
Eastern Wayne will take on Spring Creek on Friday at 7 p.m. at home.