PINETOPS – The SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars exploded in the first half on both sides of the football and never looked back Friday night against the Farmville Central Jaguars in an Eastern Plains Conference matchup.
Cobb and his Cougars were looking for a way to remain undefeated in the conference and they found it by defeating the Jaguars 38-14 to improve to 2-0 in conference. They are 3-3 overall.
Coming into the game, the Jaguars were giving up 44 points per game and Cougars head coach Raymond Cobb took advantage of the opportunity and his team dominated from the outset of the game.
The Cougars scored on their first four possessions and drove the ball down the field at will. The Cougars ran 32 plays and gained 244 yards in the first half and scored four touchdowns.
"I think the first half was as solid as we have been in all three phases," Cobb said. "We put up a zero on the scoreboard in the first half which was big."
The Cougars defense has been struggling this season and coming into the game they had given up an average of 33 points per game. Cobb worked on his teams defense during the course of the week to make sure they were ready to come out and show what type of defense they can really play against their opponents.
The Cougars defense held the Jaguars to 240 yards of total offense, which 75 of that came late in the fourth quarter when Cobb began to substitute in some of his players who haven't played much this season.
"Our goal was to come out and play hard and not let it get ugly in the second half," Cobb said. "I was looking to play more people then we had so far this season because we have been down or had a close game late in the games this season. So that was good we could get some of the other guys in there to get some time."
Cobb had been looking for another running back to step up and make some big plays offensively to help out senior Gerald Hinton. He found that early in the game, when he gave the pigskin to sophomore Barry Smith. He finished the game with 88 yards on just 12 carries and scored a TD.
"Barry is just a solid back and runs low to the ground," Cobb said. "He is tough to bring down."
Smith got the Cougars on the board first, when he scored from six yards out and quarterback Quay Wooten added the two point conversion to give SouthWest an 8-0 lead.
The Cougars defense stepped up and forced the Jaguars to punt. On SouthWest ensuing possession they put together an 11 play drive that went 64 yards. Wooten capped it off with a TD when he leaped over the Jaguars defensive line into the end zone. Hinton punched in the two point conversion and the Cougars had taken a 16-0 lead.
SouthWest forced the Jaguars to punt again on their next possession. The Cougars took advantage of their tough nose defensive performance once again and drove the ball right down the field. The Cougars put a 10 play, 74 yard drive together this time and senior running back Milton Ransome answered for the Cougars on a 19-yard TD run after he broke free from three would be Jaguar tacklers. Ransome added the two point conversion to give the Cougars a commanding 24-0 lead.
They weren't done just yet, because Wooten added one more score for the Cougars 14 seconds before halftime on a 7 yard QB keeper up middle. Ransome added the two point conversion and SouthWest had a commanding 32-0 lead at halftime.
"Nothing was easy about this game," Cobb said. "They (Jaguars) battled us up front and we had to work to get our yards. They didn't give up and came out still ready to play in the second half. I just didn't want my guys to come out and think it was over."
Hinton led the Cougars rushing attack with 130 yards on 20 carries and scored a TD to give him 11 on the season, while fullback Devontrell Hyman added 77 yards on just 10 carries.
SouthWest pounded out 347 yards on the ground and Wooten threw for 35 yards while completing 2 passes.
The schedule doesn't get any easier for the Cougars, because they will travel to Wilson Friday to play an undefeated Eastern Plains Conference opponent in the Beddingfield Bruins. The Bruins defeated the Kinston Vikings Friday and are in a three way tie for first with the Cougars and the Tarboro Vikings.
"We have to work hard this week because we have a big game coming up Friday," Cobb said. " We are going to have to be ready to play against a good Beddingfield team."