PINETOPS – With a sense of worry in his voice, SouthWest Edgecombe coach Raymond Cobb walked the sideline midway through the first quarter Friday night.
“We have to match their intensity,” he said.
It took another quarter and a half for the Cougars to receive the message. As a result, SouthWest Edgecombe lost its first Eastern Plains Conference game, 27-24, to North Pitt at SouthWest Edgecombe High School.
“We talked about matching their intensity to start with, but obviously, we didn’t,” Cobb said.
It was homecoming night, and the Cougars (4-4, 3-1 EPC) saluted teammate Edward Dickens, whose career was recently cut short by injury, before the game. But SouthWest Edgecombe failed to lack the early intensity that the situation presented.
In the first half, the Cougars gained just 104 yards – less than half of the total by North Pitt (5-3, 2-1).
“We just didn’t come out here like we ought to, and how we had been doing,” offensive lineman Eric Webb said. “... We weren’t playing SouthWest football.
“... That first half just wasn’t SouthWest football.”
Dickens was involved in a car accident last December but was cleared to play football.
After five games this season, his lingering concussion turned into more serious issue that could cause paralysis.
He watched Friday from a car just beyond the fence.
“It’s real tough, but my teammates help me,” Dickens said. “They support me with that.”
Dickens started at guard for the Cougars, which was exactly where SouthWest Edgecombe struggled early.
North Pitt utilized its power run game offensively, and kept the Cougars’ offense to just five plays on the North Pitt side of the field in the first half.
“We should have come out right off the start and hit them in the mouth,” said Webb, who was surprised by the lack of intensity.
SouthWest Edgecombe finally found itself and its explosive offense. Gerald Hinton scored the first of his two touchdowns 129 seconds into the third quarter. The defecit was just too big.
“We were a completely different football team in the second half,” Cobb said. “To beat a good team like North Pitt, you have to bring it both halves.”
North Pitt 27
SW Edgecombe 24
NP 7 7 7 6 – 27
SWE 0 0 8 16 – 24
NP – Cedric Razor 1 run (Octavio Alonsa), 8:38
NP – Brian Staton 3 run (Alonsa kick), 2:19
SWE – Gerald Hinton 4 run (Hinton run), 9:51
NP – Razor 13 run (Alonsa kick), 4:92
SWE – Quay Wooten 2 run (Hinton run), 10:25
NP – Staton 22 run (run failed), 2:57
SWE – Hinton 56 run (Milton Ransome run), 1:25
18 First downs,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,11
99 Passing yards,,,,,,,,,,,30
362 Total offense..........290
Rushing – NP: Brian Staton 27-161; Cedric Razor 8-45; Anthony Harris 8-43; Denautica Knight 3-13; Monte Foreman 1-2; Christopher Perry 2-(-1). SWE: Gerald Hinton 16-182; Milton Ransome 9-42; Devante Williams 5-25; Devontrell Hyman 3-7; Quay Wooten 4-4.
Passing – NP: Perry 7-12-0 99. SWE: Wooten 3-11-0 30
Receiving – NP: Davion council 4-70; Foreman 1-10; Desmond Davis 1-9; Chris Parrish 1-7. SWE: Anthony Coley 2-24; Joseph Hall 1-6.