WILSON – Coming into the game SouthWest Edgecombe Cougars head coach Raymond Cobb knew his team had to control the ball and clock. They also needed to be near flawless if they were going to be successful against the Beddingfield Bruins in Eastern Plains Conference action. Both teams were 2-0 in conference coming into the contest and in a three way tie for first place, but the Cougars were the better team and came away with a 32-13 victory after the game was called with 2:54 left to play when a storm approached. Both coaches agreed to call it a complete game, because the Cougars were driving inside Bruin territory when the storm came.
Cobb's team was very successful offensively gaining 412 yards with 396 coming on the ground. Special teams played a big part in the first half by recovering an onside kick, but the defense stepped it up in the second half and played flawless football. SouthWest's defense shut down the Bruins offensive attack in the second half and allowed only 48 yards of offense. The Bruins had 230 yards of total offense in the game and 152 was in the air.
The Cougars didn't waste anytime putting points on the scoreboard. On the opening series on the fifth play from scrimmage facing a second and three, senior running back Gerald Hinton took the handoff and found a wide open hole in the line of scrimmage and bolted 47 yards for the touchdown. He added the two-point conversion to give the Cougars an 8-0 lead.
The lead didn't last long though, because Beddingfield fought right back and put a six play, 73 yard drive together. They capped off the scoring drive with a 51 yard TD pass when quarterback Javis Nixon connected with Shauntavious Atkinson. That cut into the Cougar lead, but the two-point conversion failed and SouthWest led 8-6.
Cobb knew he had to control the football and put some lengthy drives together and keep the Bruins offense off the field. He went to his playbook and and put an 18 play, 84-yard drive together that lasted over nine minutes. Cobb used four different backs in the series to put the drive together and capped it off with Hinton scoring his second TD of the game from 4 yards out. The two-point conversion failed and the Cougars led 13-6.
After the Cougars score, their special teams went to work. All of the special team players lined up on the left side of the kicker, Quay Wooten and he kicked the ball straight into the ground and the Cougars found a big hop from the ball bouncing and recovered it at the 45-yard line with 10:40 left before halftime.
On the ensuing Cougars drive, they didn't chew but a little over three minutes off the clock on an eight play drive that was capped off when Wooten scored on a QB sneak up the middle. The two-point conversion failed again and SouthWest had a commanding 20-6 lead with 7:10 left to play in the first half.
That lead didn't last long though, because the Bruins took the ensuing kickoff and ran it back 70 yards down to the Cougar 21 yard line. Nixon punched it in for the Bruins on a QB keeper around the right side on an 11 yard run. The extra point was good and SouthWest led 20-13.
The Cougars marched right down the field on the Bruins defense. SouthWest put an eight play 80 yard drive toghether in a three minute span off of some big runs by fullbacks Devontrell Hyman and Devonte Williams. On a first and 10 from the Bruins 12, Milton Ransome had his number called and busted up the middle and had the ball knocked out of his hands at the one yard line and Beddingfield recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback.
The Bruins took the ensuing possession and moved right down the field behind some good passing from Nixon. Beddingfield called a timeout with 58 seconds on the clock when they were facing a third and goal situation. Bruin running back Terrence Paterson took the hand off and gained two yards and that put the Bruins facing a fourth and goal from the one. The Bruins took another timeout to set up a play. This time, Nixon had his number called again and tried to sneak the ball into the end zone, but he lost the ball on the snap and the Cougars defense held Beddingfield scoreless on that drive and led 20-13 at halftime.
The second half was all Cougars after Keyshawn Anderson picked off a Nixon pass on the opening series in the third quarter, which gave SOuthWest good field position at the 45-yard line.
The Cougars took advantage of the Bruin turnover and drove the ball down the field on eight plays and capped the drive off with Hinton's third TD of the game from 15 yards out. The two-point conversion failed and SouthWest led 26-13 with 7:24 left in the third.
SouthWest's defense stepped up again and forced the Bruins to turn the ball over on downs at the Cougar 33 yard line with 4:10 left in the third quarter.
SouthWest started another long drive, but was put in a tough fourth down situation at the 49 yard line. The Cougars facing a fourth and three, Cobb called a timeout. He sent his punt team out on the field, but the snap went to Hinton and he followed his blockers and gained five yards to give SouthWest a new life and a first and 10 situation. The Cougars ran six more plays and capped it off with Hinton's fourth TD of the game from six yards out to give them a 32-13 lead.
The game was cut short with 2:54 left on the clock due to lightening, but both coaches agreed to call it a complete game.
Hinton led all rushers with 219 yards on 26 carries, while Ransome had 75 yards on 15 touches. The fullback corp of Williams and Hyman combined for 87 yards on 16 touches.
SouthWest will be back in action Friday when they host the North Pitt Panthers.