Here is a recap of Friday’s Enka-Erwin football game from correspondent Marlon Morgan:
CANDLER — After escaping Enka with a hard-fought, 20-0 victory Friday night against the rival Jets, Erwin coach Mike Sexton was in no mood to lament on his team’s countless mistakes on offense.
Instead, he told his players to enjoy the win, one that improved the Warriors to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the Mountain Athletic Conference. Next week, they will work on fixing the problems that easily could have cost them the victory.
“I thought Enka played hard and well,” Sexton said. “I wish we could have executed better. We’ve got a lot of things to fix before we can be considered a good team. But we’ll keep working. The defense played lights out and it’s a good thing. We made so many mistakes offensively. It’s a good thing our defense came on.”
The defense kept Enka (1-6, 0-2) bottled up on its side of the field for most of the game. The Jets crossed midfield just twice, on their opening drive which resulted in a missed 28-yard field, and just before halftime.
Meanwhile, the Warriors spent most of the night in Enka territory, but a host of penalties negated big play after big play, allowing Enka to stay in the game. Erwin committed 13 penalties, 10 of them coming on offensive holding calls.
“We’ll look at film and see where we’re falling short when we get the ball in good field position and fail to score,” Sexton said. “Those are things we’re going to have to fix.”
After a scoreless first half, the Warriors finally got on the board late in the third quarter when senior running back Isaiah Poore scored on a 15-yard run. Early in the fourth, quarterback Damien Ferguson hooked up with receiver C.J. Thompson on a 57-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead.
Erwin added a score in the final minute on Ferguson’s 14-yard touchdown pass to Thompson.
“I’m extremely pleased with our kids,” Enka coach Jeff Frady said. “We played our tails off defensively. We struggled a little bit offensively. A lot of that has to do with them (Erwin). They’re pretty good defensively. It was 14-0 essentially. It was a great effort by our kids.
“We’ve gone through a tough stretch. Even though we lost, our kids feel good, and they should. They were playing against an extremely good football team. It gives us a boost to compete for the rest of the year and we’re excited about that.”
The Jets also felt good about the surprise they got before the game. After pre-game warm ups, the players headed back to the locker room. When they opened the doors, waiting for them were brand new dark blue helmets with “Jets” written in light blue.
The helmets, along with shoulder pads, were purchased with a $25,000 donation from the Jack and Carolyn Ferguson Foundation. Frady managed to keep it a secret from the players.
“That was extremely generous,” Frady said. “And the kids were excited about that, too. As soon as they went up to get dressed, I talked to them for a little bit, then we opened up the door and it was like Christmas.”
For Erwin, Ferguson completed 15-of-30 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns, giving the junior 200-plus passing yards in 10 consecutive starts. Thompson, also a junior, caught 8 passes for 208 yards and two scores.
Enka junior quarterback Jason Fabio completed 7 of 18 passes for 61 yards with two interceptions. He was also sacked five times. Senior running back Michael Cantrell, who entered the game with 1,035 yards rushing, was held to 18 yards on 10 carries after missing parts of the second and third quarters with an injury. Junior Donyelle Gaines led the team with 34 yards on 9 carries.
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