GARNER — Garner stayed on track for an undefeated regular season and Southeast Raleigh still has a solid shot at a winning season after the Trojans' 28-6 Greater Neuse Conference win over the Bulldogs Friday night.
Garner, in coach Nelson Smith's final season, is 10-0 overall and 6-0 in the league and will travel to Harnett Central for the season finale, while Southeast (5-5, 2-4) will play Smithfield-Selma next week.
"Anytine we play Southeast Raleigh it's going to be a battle and it was a battle tonight," Smith said. "It's a good team, a young team, and they did some things tonight on defense that bothered us. We'll sit down, watch some tape, make some adjustments and go from there. We've got to be ready for Harnett Central. They're about the same place in the league they were last year and they came in here and went up three touchdowns by halftime. I hope that gets our attention."
Garner had a blanced offense through much of the game, rushing for 137 yards and getting 175 pasing yards from quarterback Vincent Jefferies. But Smith said it was the defense that played the biggest role in the win.
"We need to show improvement every game and tonight I thought our defense played better that we had been playing," Smith said. "Everybody from the frontline, to the linebackers, to the backs, all played well. On offense, at times I don't think we executed very well. Offensively, I think we struggled some."
Garner used a 60-yard drive to take a 7-0 first quarter lead on a 1-yard run by fullback Tyler Hinton. The Trojans then put together a 61-yard drive, with Jefferies tossing a 22-yard touchdown pass to Nyheim Hines for the 14-0 lead. Garner put together one more first half scoring drive, an 82-yarder. Garner receiver Armani caught a deflectd Jefferies pass for a score and the 21-0 halftime lead.
In the fourth quarter, Jefferies scored on a 1-yard run before Southeast, which couldn't cash in on a couple of earlier scoring opportunities, avoided the shutout with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Cameron Marshmon to Aschod Meeks-Ewing.
"Garner is a great team, they are every year," Southeast coach Marvin Burke said. "The bottom line in games like this is execution. We got some turnovers, and didn't capitalize. Garner executed tonight and we didn't execute enough. The late score shows we were still being competitive. It was more than x's and o's, wins and losses, it was about being a man, being able to handle adversity."