Cougars alone atop EPC after downing Jaguars 21-7

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FARMVILLE — SouthWest Edgecombe varsity football head coach Jonathan Cobb admits that playing Farmville Central always makes for “a stressful week” for him.

Cobb’s Cougars helped him out with a fairly stress-free Friday night as they plowed through the host Jaguars for a 21-7 win to stay unbeaten through three weeks of 2-A Eastern Plains Conference play. The Cougars climbed to 8-1 overall while the Jaguars dropped to 4-5 and 1-2 in league games.

Dashon Bandy got the ball moving on the Cougars’ third play from scrimmage as he bolted 51 yards to the end zone. It was part of a 172-yard night for the junior halfback as he led SouthWest’s 348-yard assault.

Dillon Garbrandt tacked on the extra point in what would be a productive first half for the senior placekicker. He made a 22-yard field goal with 1:18 left on the second-quarter clock and, after an interception and return by SouthWest junior Jayden Lewis, Garbrandt nailed a 26-yard field goal as time ran out in the first half.

Senior halfback Alex Foster pounded five yards for another Cougars touchdown early in the fourth quarter and Lewis tacked on the two-point run for a 21-0 lead. Foster finished with 114 yards on 20 carries to complement Bandy.

“I think it’s a good win because they’ve got a good ball club. Farmville’s a tough place to go play,” Cobb said. “I’m proud of our guys and I’m really proud of our defense tonight.”

Sophomore Michael Hussey had six tackles, including a fumble-causing hit, to lead the Cougars.

The Jaguars only TD came on a 4-yard pass from Jay Leavelle to Quintaye Reid with 6:53 to play.

SouthWest, the preseason pick by EPC coaches to repeat as league champion, is alone in first place after Beddingfield’s loss at Nash Central on Friday. The Cougars can take another step in that direction next Friday when they hit the road again to play at North Johnston. The Panthers won at SouthWest last year, the only conference defeat for the Cougars.

“We’ve got to prepare better for North Johnston this year than we did last year,” Cobb warned.