Oct 25, 2008
CLAYTON — A soggy field made for a sloppy game between Greater Neuse rivals Clayton and East Wake, but the East Wake defense was flawless and led the Warriors to a 12-0 victory.
Both defenses played tough for much of the first half, as neither team was able to capitalize on their limited scoring opportunities. It looked as if both teams would take the scoreless tie into the locker rooms at halftime, but the East Wake defense came up big, recovering a Clayton fumble on the Comet 3-yard line with just more than a minute left in the half. Two plays later, East Wake quarterback Greg Jones took the ball into the end zone from two yards out to put the Warriors up 6-0 at the break.
Early in the third quarter, the Clayton offense had an opportunity to even things up when Marcus Tilley recovered an East Wake fumble on the Warrior 40-yard line. But the Warrior defensive line frustrated the powerful Clayton rushing attack, sending the Comets backward.
Clayton had additional opportunities to score in the fourth quarter, recovering two East Wake fumbles, but the Warrior defense refused to give the Comets any ground, closing down rushing lanes and harassing Comet quarterback Chris Ferguson.
"Clayton helped us out with some turnovers, of course we turned it over, too," said East Wake coach Jimmy Williams. "But our defense was the story tonight."
Indeed, the Warrior defense took center stage for most of the evening, forcing two turnovers, sacking the Clayton quarterback seven times and limiting the Comets to just 74 yards of total offense.
"Our defense was just lights out tonight," Williams said. "This was one of the best performances on defense that I've seen during my tenure at East Wake, and we're known for our defense. I'm really proud of our guys tonight."
East Wake running back Gus Goodson provided the Warriors with some insurance late in the fourth quarter, with a touchdown run that accounted for 70 of his 111 yards.
This game was just the second win of the season for the Warriors, but prior to the game, Williams reminded his team that it still has an outside shot at making the playoffs.
"We gave our players a challenge tonight, and they responded," Williams said. "We've lost a lot of close games this season ... we feel like we could possibly be 6-2 right now, and we've played some very good football teams."
With the win, the Warriors move to 2-6 overall and keep their playoff hopes alive, but they'll be facing an even bigger challenge next week when they play host to Garner. Clayton moves to 2-7 on the year with the loss, but they look to bounce back when they welcome Knightdale to Comet Stadium next week.
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