After a tough loss against Princeton last week, Eastern Wayne bounced back in a big way against Spring Creek on Friday.
The Warriors scored 43 points in the first half and defeated the Gators 64-0 in Neuse Six 2A Conference play. Eastern Wayne is now one win away from clinching its first winning season since 2017.
“Going into this week, I knew we had to relax,” Eastern Wayne head coach Leander Oates said. “Going back, we looked at the film against Princeton, and we knew that we left some points off the board.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to see them (Princeton) again, but we have to make sure we take of business against the rest of the conference right now.”
Eastern Wayne marched downfield on its opening possession. Stepping in for the injured Trevor Warren, who will miss a couple of weeks with a shoulder injury, C.J. Battle directed the offense on a quick four-play, a 64-yard scoring drive that ended on Demontae Robinson’s nine-yard run.
Spring Creek fumbled on the ensuing possession, and Dylan Favors picked up the ball and returned it 50 yards for a touchdown.
“I did something different,” Oates said. “I took all my starters other than corners off of defense. Everybody else was new or was a backup. I wanted to put everything heavy on the offense just to kind of see what we could do. So, you saw all my best guys on offense.
“Hats off to my backup unit on defense that stepped in. Spring Creek pounded us, but we were well prepared for that pound.”
And after another Spring Creek turnover, Battle orchestrated a seven-play 45-yard drive that ended with Battle running into the endzone from 24 yards out, and the Warriors led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.
“I think C.J. played well. Trevor is a linebacker at quarterback when he runs. C.J. gives you more athleticism,” Oates said. “C.J. gave us another athletic piece on the field, and it makes teams have to play honest defense because when C.J. doesn’t see it, he’s been smart enough to run it.”
The Gators punted on the opening possession of the second quarter, and one play later, Dowan Hodges broke loose for a long touchdown.
Late in the second quarter, Battle threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Albert Brown, and Rahkeem Faison had a 66-yard touchdown run that gave the Warriors a 43-0 lead at halftime.
Faison returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown that gave the Warriors a 50-0 lead.
Brown scored his second touchdown of the game on the defensive side of the ball when he returned an interception for a pick-six, while Dennislyn Swinson capped off the Warriors’ scoring with a touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter.
Eastern Wayne (5-2 overall, 1-1 NSC) travels to Beddingfield (1-4, 0-2) next Friday, while the Gators (3-3, 0-2) head to Princeton (6-0, 2-0).
“I want to see us do what we did in this game, which is put points on the board, get stops on defense, and create an environment where people understand that Eastern Wayne can play,” Oates said.