West Craven shuts out South Lenoir, 34-0
VANCEBORO—The scoreboard told a story: West Craven 34, South Lenoir 0.
But it didn’t tell the entire story.
“The final score may not indicate it, but we made some progress tonight,” South Lenoir coach Jeremy Joyner said. “For four quarters we played as hard as we have all season. We did some good things. We just didn’t have much to show for it.”
Save for a few big plays, including a tide-turning defensive touchdown at the end of the first half, West Craven had trouble moving the ball against the pesky South Lenoir defense.
The Eagles (2-3, 1-0 Eastern Carolina 2A Conference), playing their first game in almost a month due to Hurricane Florence, used its superior speed and athletic ability to strike for offensive TDs of 48, 80, and 30 yards in the contest.
It was a defensive score, however, that really made all the difference.
Trailing 20-0, South Lenoir (1-4, 0-1) took over at the WC 11 after a 46-yard punt return by Jayden Carr with 47 seconds left in the first half.
A false start moved the Blue Devils back 5 yards before freshman quarterback Jon Norman, making his first start, was flushed from the pocket and tried to hit a receiver in the flat.
WC’s Devon Carter stepped in front of the pass and raced untouched 89 yards to paydirt and a 26-0 halftime lead.
Adding insult to injury, SL took the second half kickoff and marched to the Eagles 36 before being stopped on 4th down, and then coughed up a fumble at the WC 10 on its next possession following a Brett Huffman fumble recovery.
“The pick-six at the end of the half was a potential 14-point turnaround,” Joyner said. “Then we had a couple of chances to score in third quarter and couldn’t capitalize. We definitely left some points out there on the field.”
The Devils lost another fumble in the fourth quarter, also at the Eagles’ 10-yard line, one of five SL turnovers on the night.
“Turnovers and penalties have hurt us all year, and tonight was no exception,” Joyner said. “Every time it seemed we had some momentum, we either gave the ball away or jumped offsides.”
The Devils committed 11 penalties for 70 yards, including seven false starts and two delay of game infractions on offense.
They also dropped a potential interception in the second quarter that would have likely resulted in a pick-six.
“We’re young but we’re growing,” Joyner said. “The guys are buying in to what we’re doing, and I firmly believe there are some wins left on our schedule if we continue to play with the effort we gave tonight.”
Carr led SL with 57 hard-fought yards on 16 carries.
Defensively, the Devils forced a pair of turnovers and held the powerful Eagles offense to 299 total yards, just 141 on the ground.
West Craven 34, South Lenoir 0
South Lenoir 0 0 0 0—0
West Craven 6 20 0 8—34
WC—RaQuandre Johnson 48 pass from Trent Casey (kick failed), 10:30
WC—Latrell Campbell 80 pass from Casey (kick failed), 10:35
WC—Silas Wallace 11 run (Wallace run), 6:11
WC—Devon Carter 89 interception return (pass failed), :30
WC—Wallace 30 run (Campbell pass from Casey), 10:38
First Downs 7 12
Rushes-yards 41-123 30-141
Passing 2-7-2 5-14-1
Passing yards 12 158
Total yards 135 299
Punts-avg. 1-33.0 4-24.3
Penalties 11-70 6-48
Fumbles-lost 3-3 4-1
RUSHING—South Lenoir: Jayden Carr 16-57, Damani Raines 13-34, Xavier Mitchell 4-27, Gavin Harrell 3-3, Kodjo Missebukpo 3-3, Jon Howard 2-(minus 1). West Craven: Silas Wallace 15-92, Kedrick Tyre 8-30, Latrell Campbell 1-14, JeRontae Dunn 4-2, Trent Casey 2-(minus 3).
PASSING—South Lenoir: Howard 2-7-2 12. West Craven: Casey 5-14-1 158.
RECEIVING—South Lenoir: Eli Jenkins 1-12, Harrell 1-0. West Craven: Campbell 2-86, Arthur Abrams 2-24, RaQuandre Johnson 1-48.