The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

November 4, 2013

Cougars back on track after EPC win


TARBORO — SouthWest Edgecombe had two tough weeks in a row in Eastern Plains Conference action, losing back-to-back games. But Friday night they were able to bounce back and get a 35-0 win against a North Johnston team that is winless this season.

The Cougars scored six points in the first quarter and added 15 in the second to take a 21-0 lead at the half. They put up 14 more points in the third to put the game away.

"We showed up to play," Cougars Coach Jonathan Cobb said. "It was terrible conditions to play in, but we stayed focused and were able to get the win."

The Cougars (5-4, 2-2) were without junior running back Devontrell Hyman. He was hurt on his first carry of the game a week ago and has been taking it day-to-day to get back to 100 percent. This was the fourth game that Hyman has missed this season.

SouthWest was able to gain 421 yards on offense and their defense held North Johnston to just 68 total yards. SouthWest forced three North Johnston fumbles that the Cougars were able to recover. Quay Wooten, Malik Battle and Delvon Edmondson each forced a fumble, while Eason Harrington, Asa Eller and Fabrion Bandy were able to recover them.

Edmondson had eight tackles and four of them were for a loss of 36 yards. Brandon Jones added nine tackles and one for a loss of six yards.

"Our defense played a great game," Cobb said. "We showed up and followed our assignments. We made the plays and were able to shutdown their offense."

Sophomore running back Marcus Williams led the way offensively rushing for 182 yards on 13 carries and scored a touchdown. Junior fullback Barry Smith rushed for 94 yards and scored a TD and Wooten added 31 yards on the ground, threw for 17 more and scored twice.

"We were able to take care of the ball in wet conditions," Cobb said. "Our offense played well like we have all season against subpar teams."

SouthWest had 23 first downs and were only able to convert on 2 of 7 third down conversions. They were 1 for 2 on fourth down tries.

The Cougars now have a tough task in front of them when they host the Beddingfield Bruins (6-4, 3-1) Friday night. Beddingfield has one more win than the Cougars, but if SouthWest can defeat Beddingfield then it will give the Cougars the edge in the conference standings and they will earn a playoff berth for the 10th consecutive season.

"This is going to be a big game for us because a lot is on the line," Cobb said. "Having a winning or losing record is on the line and how good of a seed we get in the playoffs is also on the line. This game can affect our playoff schedule."

SouthWest will host the Bruins at 7:30 p.m.