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SWE, North Edge advance; Tarboro to host second-round game

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SouthWest Edgecombe's Jareil Collins runs the ball Friday during the first round NCHSAA 2-AA state playoffs game against Washington at SouthWest Edgecombe High School.

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BY PATRICK MASON
Staff Writer

Monday, November 19, 2018

PINETOPS — SouthWest Edgecombe coach Jonathan Cobb hopes his football team will find the right balance sooner than later.

Last week, against Tarboro, the passing game totaled more than 200 yards while the rushing game could drum up only 71.

On Friday night at home against No. 15 seed Washington, the Cougars and quarterback Jayden Lewis completed only three passes for 48 yards; the rushing game had more than 250.

Nonetheless, the end result was a 50-21 victory for No. 2 SouthWest Edgecombe (10-2) in the first round of the 2-AA playoffs. The Cougars will play No. 7 seed Croatan next week at home.

“It was nice to be able to line up and run the ball at will,” Cobb said. “That’s always a lot easier to do than try to win in the passing game, ultimately as we go further we’d like to be a little more balanced either of the past two weeks.”

Darntrell Council was the main force for the Cougars in the running game, finding the end zone four different times, including from 60 yards out to start the scoring after SWE had fumbled on its first possession, then forced a three-and-out to get the ball back.

He finished with 149 yards nine carries.

“The game from last week, with Tarboro being tough, it made the line go out there and block a little harder. It made everybody play a little harder,” Council said. “The loss last week gave us the push to go forward and work a little harder.”

Three things

1. Washington was mostly outplayed by the Cougars, with one long exception. After falling behind, 21-7, with 6:24 left in the first half, the Pam Pack controlled the ball over the course of two touchdown drives from 6:24 in the second quarter to 5:28 in the third quarter, pulling within seven points behind four straight fourth-down conversions, all on passes from quarterback Antwone Godley.

“As a unit, we’re going to have to dissect why we’re getting beat on those fourth-down conversions. In the second quarter, it had a lot to do with pressure. We gave that quarterback too much time to roll one way, roll back the other,” Cobb said. “You give a guy that long and he ought to find a receiver, but that can’t happen.”

2. After the Pam Pack held the ball for nearly 13 minutes of game time between the second and third quarter, the Cougars finally got the ball back and scored in 18 seconds. The drive took two plays -- a a 59-yard run by Jareil Collins and a two-yard touchdown run by Council. The Cougars scored the final 22 points of the game.

3. Jayden Lewis, who surpassed the 1,000-yard passing mark for the season last week against Tarboro, took a back seat to the running game on Friday, but did have one passing touchdown to Jaquez Dickens -- a 21-yard throw to the back of the left side of the end zone -- to make the score 21-7.

Big day for Barnes

 

North Edgecombe, back in the second round of the 1-A playoffs after losing in the first round last season, largely have running back Devonte Barnes to thank.

The senior rushed for 291 yards and four touchdowns in the 56-14 victory over No. 12 seed Bear Grass Charter, setting up a game next Friday between the No. 5 Warriors and No. 4 Rosewood.

“We had some negative plays that put us a little bit off schedule,” North Edgecombe coach Jason Miller said. “But we scored early, moved the ball a little bit. (Bear Grass Charter) had a good game plan for us. We had to knock off some rust from the previous game, but they responded pretty well.”

With the No. 5 seed, it’s unlikely that the Warriors will play at home again, something the seniors took to heart, Miller said.

“It was a great experience,” Miller said. “The kids really enjoyed being in front of their home crowd. We knew the chances of us getting another home game are slim. They really relished it.”

The win was also the first playoff victory for Miller.

“Just a first step,” he said. “We’re trying to win five games in a row. If we do that, we get a ring. That’s most important.”

Tarboro’s to host South Stanly in second round

Class 1-AA’s top-seeded Tarboro learned of its second-round opponent on Friday as No. 9 South Stanly defeated No. 8 Lakewood, 14-10.

The undefeated Vikings enjoyed a bye through the first round, and will host the Rowdy Rebel Bulls (8-4) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

South Stanly held an 8-0 lead at halftime, but was outscored after the break. The Bulls were outscored 8-6 in the third quarter, then allowed a safety in the fourth, but that was all Lakewood would get.

The winner of Friday’s game moves on to the third round where it would face either No. 5 North Stanly or No. 4 Granville Central.

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