Third-quarter outburst ignites Cougars’ 47-7 rout of Panthers

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PINETOPS — SouthWest Edgecombe turned a 12-point halftime lead into a 47-7 rout of visiting North Johnston on Thursday as the Cougars remained unbeaten through four 2-A Eastern Plains Conference varsity football games. SouthWest Edgecombe, now 8-1 overall, will visit Beddingfield on Friday, Nov. 2, for the EPC title. The Bruins are also 8-1 and 4-0 in conference play.

The Cougars led 19-0 before the Panthers (3-6, 1-3 EPC) scored in the second quarter. However, the second half was all SouthWest as the Cougars scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to turn the game into a romp.

Senior quarterback Jayden Lewis again sparkled with a pair of touchdown passes, both to junior Keishon Porter, who finished with five catches for 70 yards. Lewis completed 8-of-13 passes without an interception.

Senior Jareil Collins ran for three TDs, part of a team-high 80 yards on nine carries, while junior Cortezz Jones had 62 yards and a TD on four carries. Jordan Clayton also ran for a TD for the Cougars.

Jelan Smith had four sacks to lead the SouthWest defense, part of a 15-tackle night for the senior end, who also caused and recovered a fumble. Junior linebacker Michael Hussey rang up 11 tackles, including eight solo stops.

No individual statistics for North Johnston were posted.