09/07/18 — PREP FOOTBALL: Warriors face must-win game

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PREP FOOTBALL: Warriors face must-win game

By Aviel Smolka
Published in Sports on September 7, 2018 5:51 AM



It's never too early for a must-win game.

Possibly hung over from a last-second victory over county rival Goldsboro, Eastern Wayne endured a stunning 20-point home loss to Charles B. Aycock last Thursday.

The Warriors underestimated the Golden Falcons, who easily moved the ball up and down the field all evening.

Eastern Wayne's lone bright spot was Junious Tyson, who rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

"I didn't show my guys film from the Aycock game. I wanted them to move on," Eastern Wayne head coach Lander Oates said. "It's definitely one we wish we could get back, but that's pretty much all lost."

The Warriors (1-2 overall) play their final non-conference game at home tonight against Greene Central. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

"Greene Central is a good team even though they've lost some players. They've got skilled players," Oates said. "We've got to make sure we account for everybody."

Oates expects the Rams to spread the ball around, but stress his defense must shut down AJ Dupree, who has rushed for 275 yards and averages 9.5 yards a carry.

He also wants to see the Warriors wrap up and finish tackles, something they were unable to do against Aycock.

Offensively, Eastern Wayne must be more consistent throwing the ball and make sure its defense stays off the field. Most importantly, the Warriors must put points up on the board. The opposition has outscored EW 92-72 this season.

"The big focal point is scoring, we have to score whenever we get a chance," Oates said. "Granted every time we're on offense that might not be a possibility, but scoring and field position are ways we can help our defense out."

Eastern Wayne needs to improve defensively against the blitz.

Oates anticipates the Rams' defense will come after quarterback Desmond Vaughn. He contends the line must protect him and create open running lanes for the backs.

Oates hopes to avoid a 1-3 start.

"We can't let our head down for anybody," Oates said. "When the lights come on and the referees lay down that ball, that's when it all matters."