The Helen Cox Cougars knew they had size and depth advantages heading into their game against Sophie B. Wright on Saturday at Hoss Memtsas Stadium.
With a 2 p.m. kickoff, the sweltering heat also didn't help the Warriors.
Running back Terrell Brown gained 197 yards on 16 carries and scored three touchdowns, as Cox wore down Wright 40-19.
“I knew going into the game that I was going to get the ball,” Brown said. “My coaches gave me the ball, and the offensive line opened holes. We just wanted to punch them in the mouth.”
Brown gained just 55 yards on four carries in the second half, but his 8-yard run with 4:54 left pushed the score to 40-13. However, he had a 41-yard run to the Wright 21 with 1 minute, 41 seconds left in the third quarter. That set up Colby Johnson's 19-yard touchdown run on the last play of the third that gave the Cougars a 28-13 lead.
After an interception by Cougars cornerback Jacoby Wells, Jordon George teamed with Kalil Lloyd on a l4-yard screen play for a 34-13 lead.
“We just had to be patient and stay true to our game,” Cox coach Derek “Skip” LaMothe said. “I knew it would be a close game for a while. I coached most of the coaches on Wright's staff when we were at (O. Perry) Walker.”
Cox led 20-13 at halftime behind Brown's 134 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. His 4-yard run with 2:39 left in the second quarter gave the Cougars the lead for good.
Cox's other first-half touchdown, a 29-yard pass from George to Eric St. Romain, ended an 80-yard drive on the Cougars' first possession and staked them to a 6-0 lead.
Just when it looked as though Cox might have an easy time against Wright, the Warriors came back behind big plays. Four plays after the ensuing kickoff, quarterback Tyree Skipper found a seam on the left side and broke off a 79-yard run, tying the score at 7:42 of the first quarter.
“It was a great game in the first half,” Wright first-year coach Dennis Christopher said. “Basically, we became fatigued. We have a lot of kids going both ways, and some are on special teams, too. But I saw a lot of positives. (Skipper) made a great run, and this was just his second game playing quarterback.”
The Cougars scored on their next possession when Brown burst up the middle, then cut left for a 24-yard touchdown run. The drive — 65 yards on six plays — put Cox ahead 12-6 with 4:56 left in the first quarter.
Wright answered again, but with its defense. Cox had the ball at the Warriors' 45 after a punt and return. However, George was sacked and fumbled. Four plays later, facing fourth-and-13 at the 50, the Warriors faked the punt, and Derrick Roberts passed over the middle to Jaquan Anderson, who cut left and raced in for the score. Roberts kicked the extra point, giving the Warriors a 13-12 lead at 5:44 of the second quarter.
Brown's second touchdown then capped an 80-yard drive.