SouthWest Edgecombe did everything right on offense Friday night in Bethel when they opened up Eastern Plains Conference action against the North Pitt Panthers. The Cougars rushed for 342 yards and got 18 first downs to beat the Panthers 36-22.
SouthWest (4-3, 1-0) averaged close to 10 yards per play and distributed the ball evenly through the three top running backs who have carried the load and the team most of the season.
Sophomore Marcus Williams rushed for 149 yards on just eight carries and scored twice, while Barry Smith added 114 yards on 11 touches and scored a touchdown. Devontrell Hyman chipped in 63 yards on 12 carries and scored a TD. Quay Wooten was 3 for 4 throwing for 54 yards and a TD. The TD pass was 22 yards to Quantellas Norwood.
"I'm very proud of the way our guys played," Cougars coach Jonathan Cobb said. "North Pitt's field was muddy and it became a slippery and sloppy game."
Cobb was mainly proud of the offense, because they didn't turn the ball over in the wet, soggy conditions and were able to maintain control of the ball.
The Cougars defense was able to force three North Pitt turnovers and that made the difference in the outcome of the contest.
Brandon Jones was big on defense. He had 13 tackles and Asa Eller contributed with 12. Hyman and Wooten each had an interception. Wooten also added 11 tackles. Eason Harrington recovered a fumble to go along with his eight tackles.
"I thought we hung in there all night and got defensive stops when we had to," Cobb said. "We beat a very good football team, but we earned the win."
SouthWest trailed 7-0 after on quarter, but were able to get things going in the second when they scored twice to take a 14-7 halftime lead.
The third quarter was the momentum changer. SouthWest scored 16 points and added six more in the fourth.
"It was a great night to be a Cougar," Cobb said. "We are looking forward to hosting a talented Washington squad Friday night."
The Cougars will host the Pam Pack and kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.