The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

September 21, 2012

Cougars, Warriors need key defensive stops

Sports Correspondent
Van Holland

TARBORO — With half of the football season almost gone, Edgecombe County coaches are scratching their heads trying to figure out what to do about their defenses during week six of the season.

The SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars are going to try and cut down on their opponents offense by trying to shut them down when they face the Farmville Central Jaguars tonight in an Eastern Plains Conference showdown.

Last year, the Cougars defeated the Jaguars 43-14 in what was a blow out from the beginning of the game when the Cougars scored on the second play from scrimmage.

Farmville Central is coming into the game giving up an average of 44 points per game. They are sitting at 0-4 and haven't played a conference game yet.

On the other hand, the Cougars are giving up over 33 points per game.

Last week the Cougars gave up 49 points in a battle against the Kinston Vikings.

The game had a combined 105 points scored and a total of 886 yards of total offense. The total offense equaled almost a half of a mile even though the Cougars were victorious in the 56-49 win.

SouthWest is sitting at 2-3 overall and has a 1-0 conference record.

Head coach Raymond Cobb is hoping his team can bust out of the gates and explode early against the Jaguars and improve to 2-0 in the conference.

The Cougars offense has started clicking behind some impressive running from senior running back Gerald Hinton. He is averaging 7.9 yards per carry. He is averaging 16 carries per game and 126 yards. He has scored 10 touchdowns. Hinton has a total of 633 yards on the ground on 80 touches.

Cougars sophomore running back Barry Smith has began to become productive. He is averaging 5.5 yards per carry and 37.6 yards per game on just over six touches. He has scored four TDs, while fullback Devante Williams has scored three times and is averaging 5.9 yards per carry. Williams has gained 246 yards on 42 touches this season.

For SouthWest to come out on top, they are going to have to control the clock and the football and not make costly turnovers to give the Jaguars good field position. Cobb is going to pound the football right down the field and control the clock. He is going to try and put 10 to 15 play drives together like he has been known to do in the past. That is Cobb's strategy and it has been that way during his 25 years coaching.

In Leggett, a familiar face will be on the opposing sideline tonight when the Rocky Mount Prep Jaguars come crawling into North Edgecombe to play the Warriors. The Jaguars are coached by former Tarboro Viking assistant Don Reams. He spent over 20 years in the Vikings program and nows what the Warriors bring to the table.

For Warriors head coach Keith Parisher, he is hoping his team can move the pigskin down the field offensively and make key stops defensively against the Jaguars.

Last week, the Warriors were shutout for the second straight game when the Southeast Halifax Trojans shut them down and came away victorious 14-0. The Warriors are sitting at 1-3 overall and are 0-1 in the Tar-Roanoke Conference.

The Warriors got senior fullback Darius Phillips back last week after he had been sidelined for five weeks with a fractured foot. Phillips had two big runs last week and made some big plays defensively.

Another player that has emerged for the Warriors is freshman Antwoin Pittman. During the second half last week, Parisher decided to move Pittman to the running back spot and he came up big for the Warriors had several good runs.

Pittman has carried the load for the Warriors offense this season as a freshman along with sophomore quarterback Clifton Dickens.

The Warriors have scored only 28 points in four games and the Jaguars have scored 26 points. Depending on which defense can make the most stops, will determine the winner.

The Jaguars are giving up over 61 points per game while the Warriors are giving up only 27 points per game.

This game should help Parisher and his Warriors break out of their offensive slump that they have been in the last two weeks.

Parisher said the week off they had hurt them more then it helped them last week.

He has gone back tot he drawing board to see what he and his team can do to fix things.