PINETOPS – SouthWest Edgecombe roared back on the football field Friday night, locking up at spot in the state playoffs with a 52-6 victory of visiting Greene Central.
The game also was the final home regular season victory for head coach Raymond Cobb, who will retire Jan. 31 as a coach and teacher.
The Cougars are assured of at least a No. 3 seed with the win. They could rise higher depending on the outcome of the Wilson Beddingfield-North Pitt game Friday night and the Kinston-North Pitt game Oct. 26, Cobb said after the game.
“I’ve got three words: 'This was fun,’” he told his team after the game. “That’s the kind of football I envisioned us playing this year.”
SouthWest Edgecombe scored twice in the first quarter, three times in the second and once each in the third and fourth.
Leading the Cougars was senior halfback Gerald Hinton with three touchdowns.
Scoring once each were junior quarterback Quay Wooten, senior receiver Anthony Coley, sophomore fullback Devontrell Hyman and senior quarterback Taquan Battle.
Coley’s score was one of the night’s more dramatic plays and reversed what looked like a short, sharp Rams drive for the end zone in the second quarter.
The action started when Greene Central’s Curtez Braswell, a junior running back, took a SouthWest Edgecombe kickoff on his own 10-yard-line and, in a wild sprint down field, made it to the SouthWest Edgecombe 32 before being brought down.
But the Cougars’ Jereson Whitehead, ended the Rams’ dream of scoring when the SouthWest senior defensive back picked off a pass by quarterback Austin Bathchelor.
Starting from their own 20-yard line, the Cougars advanced 25 yards on a series of four short runs. Then, from his own 45-yard line on the fifth play of the possession, Wooten lofted a deep pass to Coley for a 55-yard scoring play.
The Cougars’ defense also battered the Rams. With his offensive line regularly beaten, Batchelor found himself forced out of pocket and having to convert would-be passes to frantic quarterback keeper rushes.
Other times he wasn’t as lucky.
In one first-quarter series, Batchelor was sacked for a 5-yard loss by SouthWest Edgecombe defensive end Kenneth Plemmer and two plays later for another 5-yard loss by the Cougars’ senior defensive lineman Eric Williams.
With the victory, SouthWest Edgecombe’s record improved to 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the Eastern Plains Conference. Greene Central’s record fell to 1-8.