The Southwest Guilford Cowboys’ defensive regrouping at halftime and a team effort on the offensive side of the ball led the Cowboys to a 49-21 rout of the Northwest Guilford Vikings at R.L. Billings Stadium.
The teams went into the game coming off of rivalry-week losses and had matching (2-2) records.
In the opening quarter, neither team could get the ball into the end zone because it seemed every time they had a drive going, they turned the ball over. Northwest had two fumbles for turnovers and Southwest had one.
The first points weren’t scored until with 5:31 to play in the first half. Quantez Poche broke free from nine yards out to make the score 6-0 in favor of the Cowboys after the extra point attempt failed.
The Vikings went to the air to try to find success following the Cowboys’ score. They found it when Micah Salmon connected with Brandon Thomas three times on the drive — the final reception, a 48-yard touchdown pass to give the Vikings the lead 7-6.
Three plays later, the Cowboys answered. Jaden Rogers hooked up with Quincy Martin for a 67-yard touchdown to put Southwest back in the lead.
Northwest answered the score once more with just 21 seconds remaining in the first half on Salmon’s second touchdown pass of the game when he found Cam Carter wide open in the end zone to make the score 14-13 going into halftime.
However, there was a game changing speech taking place on the Vikings practice field by Southwest head coach Chuck Doak at halftime.
The Southwest defense came out in the second half and dominated the line of scrimmage, forcing Salmon out of the pocket, and shutting down the running game that had given the Vikings the ability to hang with the Cowboys in the first half.
The worst was yet to come.
Southwest scored their third touchdown of the game with just under two minutes to play in the third quarter. Rogers found Caleb Curtain on the far sideline, broke a tackle and took the ball seventy yards to regain the lead for the Cowboys, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Following the Southwest touchdown, the Cowboys defense forced a fumble, and their offense capitalized with Rodney Scott scoring two plays after Southwest regained possession.
In the fourth quarter, the Cowboys dominated.
They blocked a punt that went out of the end zone, scored on the possession after the safety, and again 42 seconds later when Ledarrius Hough intercepted Salmon for the second time on the evening. Their final score of the game came when Darius Johnson returned a punt 45 yards to make the score 49-14 with 6:59 remaining in the game.
Northwest was gnarly and didn’t give up. Salmon threw the Vikings final score of the game with just 39 seconds remaining. A 20-yard pass to Cosie Pagano made the final score 49-21 in favor of Southwest.
Quantez Poche spoke about the responsibility that the team had after losing to Ragsdale last week.
“Last week we came up a little short,” he said. “We knew what we had to do to get better in practice, we improved on what we had to improve on, and we got the ‘W’.”
Poche said he was confident that he could beat the Northwest cornerbacks.
“After I ran a couple of plays in the first quarter. I told them I could get by them and to hit me,” Poche said. “That’s what they did.”
Miles Taylor made a big difference in the game and was happy with his team’s execution in the victory.
“In practice we schemed for the option; that’s what we saw on film and we shut that down early,” Taylor said. “They went to the pass game, our secondary was a little slow at picking it up at first, but they did, and the scoreboard showed it.”
Doak was pleased with the adjustments that his defense made that ended up getting his team the victory.
“Getting our inside-linebackers to understand where their drops have to be in relation to the safeties and getting the safeties to understand what they are trying to do to you with the receivers was the difference,” Doak said. “Everything fell into place.”
He believes that the offense has arrived.
“(Scoring 49 points) shows that we’re finally awake,” Doak said. “I’ve known that about these kids the whole time. We have good speed, we have two good arms, we’ve got kids that can catch the ball and get into space. We can score, and we should do it a lot from here on in.”
Southwest Guilford improves to (3-2) overall and has a bye week next Friday night.
Northwest Guilford drops to (2-3) and takes on Reagan next Friday.
(SW) Quantez Poche 9 run, (run failed)
(NW) Brandon Thomas 48 pass from Micah Salmon (Cameron Tippett kick)
(SW) Quincy Martin 67 pass from Jaden Rogers (Nicholas Schwertner kick)
(NW) Cam Carter 9 pass from Salmon (Tippett kick)
(SW) Caleb Curtain 70 pass from Rogers (run failed)
(SW) Rodney Scott 6 run (Schwertner kick)
(SW) Safety- blocked punt into back of end zone
(SW) Poche 35 pass from Rogers (Schwertner kick)
(SW) Ronnie Baker 47 pass from Matt Jones (Ezzulddin Adnan kick)
(SW) Darius Johnson 45 punt return (Adnan kick)
(NW) Cosie Pagano 20 pass from Salmon (Tippett kick)