The Cougars knew they had a talented running back in Gerald Hinton, and now they’re finding out they have the full backfield to complement him.
Hinton rushed 17 times for 121 yards and a touchdown in Friday’s 38-14 victory against Farmville Central to help the Cougars improve to 2-0 in the Eastern Plains Conference.
But the Cougars’ running game was marked by the pieces around Hinton. Barry Smith rushed 12 times for 85 yards and a touchdown, while backup fullback Devontrell Hyman rushed for 77 yards on 10 carries.
Quarterback Quay Wooten added two scores on the ground.
“It was nice that we’ve got some other backs that are stepping up to help Gerald,” SouthWest Edgecombe coach Raymond Cobb said. “Smith has really played well the last four weeks, and our second-string fullback played (Friday) because Devante Williams sprained his ankle the Kinston game, and did a good job for us.”
Next up for SouthWest Edgecombe is Wilson Beddingfield, which is also 2-0 in the EPC.
Both teams have yet to play No. 1 ranked Tarboro, which remains undefeated.
“The team that loses next Friday night – it’s going to be tough to win that conference championship,” Cobb said. “It’s a big, big, big game here in the middle of the season.”
Rocky Mount Academy
Rocky Mount Academy couldn’t hide the fact that its offense is finding its form Friday night.
No turnovers and no punts made that well-known. The Eagles scored a touchdown on all but one drive – a blocked field goal to end the first half.
But first-year coach B.W. Holt’s address to his team after the game included the point that the Eagles (2-3) aren’t a complete football team yet. As obvious as it was that the Eagles offense is clicking, 157 points in the past two games, the defense blatantly is struggling.
Rocky Mount Academy has allowed 97 points in its past two games.
“Obviously, our defense isn’t playing to its capability right now,” senior fullback Adam Bayless said. “That’s because of a couple of injuries along with other things. I think next week, we’ll step up defensively.”
Next week, Rocky Mount Academy plays Raleigh Word of God. The Eagles secondary, will only grow a week old. Sophomores Linwood Jones and Jackson Browder anchor a unit which needs to improve because the offense likely won’t continue to put up 70-plus points per game.
“Our defense has to step it up,” Jones said. “Our secondary has to step it up. We can’t have any more deep passes.”
Along with a vertically overmatched secondary, Rocky Mount Academy’s biggest weakness from last year seethed forth: Tackling. Arms tackles weren’t going to bring any Merry Hill Lawrence Academy runners down, and they probably won’t bring any ball carriers down in the future.
As far as issues to correct, proper tackling should be front and center for Holt.
“We have to become better tacklers,” Holt said. “ … We just have to become better all around.”
Big East Conference
Big East teams had byes Friday night. Conference play begins Friday when Nash Central plays host to Rocky Mount High, Northern Nash visits Wilson Hunt and Southern Nash plays host to Wilson Fike.