LELAND — Purnell Swett snapped a three-game losing streak Friday night at North Brunswick, using a stiff defensive effort for a 27-6 win.
The Rams (2-4) built a two-touchdown lead at halftime with a dominating performance from their front seven.
“We’re a work in progress and we’re slowly seeing that, but our guys are fighting hard,” Swett coach Mark Heil said after the Rams ended North Brunswick’s five-game win streak to open the season. “I think if we would’ve started the last two (losses) the way we started tonight, we’d be 4-2 right now.”
With his defense settled in early, Heil’s offense went work behind junior quarterback Thristian Lowry.
“He’s getting better every week,” Heil said. “I thought he did a good job running the football tonight and making things happen.”
Lumberton loses sloppy affair at New Hanover
WILMINGTON — It was not the prettiest win by any means, but New Hanover was able to pull back over .500 with their 26-14 victory against Lumberton on Friday night.
After a first quarter that saw junior quarterback Ward Coleman lead New Hanover to 14-0 lead while going 5 of 7 for 51 yards and two scores, one being on the ground, the wheels nearly fell off for the Wildcats in the second quarter.
Following Nick Mutascio’s interception off Lumberton quarterback Austin Foley, the Wildcats took over possession at their own five yard line.
The next two plays could not have gone much worse for New Hanover as Coleman was sacked for a two yard loss, before throwing a pick-six to the Pirates’ Damien Ness.
Coleman went on to the finish the second quarter going 5 of 11 for 79 yards and two more interceptions. Luckily for New Hanover, Lumberton had turnover problems off their own as Foley, the team’s JV starter whom was pushed into action due to injuries, threw two picks, allowing the Wildcats to take a 14-7 lead into the half.
Overall, there were six turnovers between the two teams in the first half: Coleman’s three interceptions for New Hanover, and Foley’s two interceptions and fumble for Lumberton.
“Real proud of the way our defense played, but hats off to New Hanover,” Lumberton coach Joe Salas said. “They’re a great team, they played great in pressure situations and I think they’ll have a great year. I’m super proud of our JV quarterback that played the entire game because of injuries, and he stepped up and played like a man. That kind of pressure, against that kind of team, he could have easily folded, but he played within the system, did a great job, and he has a great future ahead of him.
“We just have to keep growing up. We’re so young and that’s just part of the process, sometimes you have to screw thing up to get good at them.”
Competing against the winless Pirates, New Hanover’s performance left a lot to be desired in the wake of their Mideastern Conference play beginning next week.
“We’ve got to grow up,” said New Hanover coach Kevin Motsinger. “We’ve got to be able to carry how we practice into playing and we’re not doing that. The team I had at practice on Tuesday, I would play anybody and I haven’t seen that on a Friday night yet. Tonight was the last non-conference game and we’re running out of time. We have to start playing at the level that we’ve shown in practice and that’s on me. I’m the head coach and I’ve got to find a way to get us there.”
The second half was much sounder for New Hanover, with the team choosing to lean on the run more.
Ramone Simpson was the spark plug for the Wildcats in the final 24 minutes as he had 86 yards on nine touches.
The more balanced attack, keeping the Lumberton defense honest, also allowed Coleman to pick and choose his passes more.
The junior was able to regain his groove in the final half of play, as he added two more passing scores of 15 and 22 yards to Garrett Walston and Parese Williams, respectively. However, he also added another pick on the night when he tried to force a pass into traffic on the Pirates’ 10 yard line and was intercepted by Gilbert Huggins for the second time.
Coleman finished the night going 20-29 for 236 yards with four total touchdowns, one on the ground, and four interceptions.
While the team has not performed up to his expectations so far this season, Motsinger admits it’ll be a different ball game when the Wildcats host their rival Hoggard next week.
“It’s Hoggard-New Hanover, bottom line,” Motsinger said. “They have a really good football team and, right now, we’ve got to get our mess together and we have to come to play. But, the thing about Hoggard-New Hanover, when those schools get together it doesn’t matter what you got. The good thing about next week is I know our kids are going to be ready to play. You can throw the records out, that’s just a different game.”
New Hanover 26, Lumberton 14
New Hanover 14 0 6 6 - 26
Lumberton 0 7 0 7 - 14
NH — Coleman 1 yard rush
NH — Coleman to Murphy for 28 yards
LHS — Damien Ness 17 interception return
NH — Coleman 15 yards to Garrett Walston
NH — Coleman 22 yards to Williams
LHS — Andrews 68 pass from Foley
HIGHLIGHT — Lumberton intercepted four passes: Damien Ness managed a pick-six, Gilbert Huggins picked off two passes and Demetri Sheridan notched an interception.
PASSING — NH-Ward Coleman 20-29 236 yards, 3 TDs, 4 INTs; L-Austin Foley 21-24 189 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
RUSHING — NH-Terron Piedra 4-29; Malachi Mosley 4-12; Ramone Simpson 10-77; Coleman 5- (-16) TD; L-Bryan Carpenter 3-20; Rodney Henderson 14- (-8)
RECEIVING — NH-Garrett Walston 3-24 TD; Ramone Simpson 8-77; Rome Murphy 5-45 TD; Parese Williams 4-93 TD; L-Stefhan Greene 4-28; Dylan Floyd 4-17; Robert Andrews 5-109 TD; Bryan Carpenter 4-22; Jamal Cromartie 2-5; Jashon Davis 2-8.
RECORDS — Lumberton 0-6; New Hanover 3-2.