HIGH POINT — It took a little while, but Southwest Guilford finally made something happen against crosstown rival High Point Central.
The Cowboys, capitalizing on turnovers, scored a touchdown in each of the final two quarters to beat the Bison 14-0 in both teams’ season opener Monday on a wet, muddy football field at Southwest.
“I thought we were sloppy,” Southwest coach Chuck Doak said. “I thought we missed a lot of opportunities. I thought our kids played hard, but the fact that we haven’t been on a lined field to understand our positions, to understand the dynamics of what we’re trying to accomplish — it looked it tonight.
“We can’t paint the swamp out here,” he added, referring to the team’s saturated practice field. “We don’t have anywhere to practice, and it’s showing. We’re a better football team than this. And if we can’t get this thing fixed, I’m going to have to paint the parking lot.”
Caleb Parker ran 10 times for 45 yards and a touchdown to lead the Cowboys (1-0), who outgained Central 185-10 in total yards for the game. Will Armstrong added six carries for 37 yards and a touchdown.
“It was kind of sloppy in the first half,” Parker said. “But in the second half Coach gave us a few words, and we got together and came out with a win — that’s all that matters.”
After a scoreless first half, Southwest jumped on the board early in the third quarter. After the Bison mishandled a short, spinning kick, the Cowboys went 48 yards in seven plays — capped by a 1-yard run by Parker off the left side.
“It was pretty good,” Parker said. “That started the energy, that posted a lead for the defense — the defense was already playing good. I think that just gave us a little more energy and got us rolling.”
Early in the fourth, following another fumble by Central (it lost five for the game) in its own territory, Southwest went 27 yards in five plays — highlighted by a toss out to Armstrong, who raced to the right pylon.
Michael Phillips added a 2-point conversion catch from Joey McGinnis.
Both teams showed signs of not playing in over a year and the recent weather not cooperating. The Cowboys struggled with penalties — totaling 10 for 82 yards — while the Bison put the ball on the ground seven times.
Elijah Kennedy carried 16 times for 50 yards to lead Central.
“Given we’ve had only two weeks with the team, I thought the defense played their tails off,” said Bison coach Jacob Sheffield, in his first season. “I thought we flew around, got to the ball, and I thought we tackled well. Offensively, we did some really good things and we’ve got a lot of things we’re going to fix tomorrow.
“But I think we’ve got a team that’s on the right path. They’re young, they’re hungry, they want that drive to get better. So, we’re going to be fine.”
Both teams play another rival Friday. Central will host T.W. Andrews at A.J. Simeon Stadium, while the Cowboys will travel to Kenneth T. Miller Stadium to face Ragsdale.
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SW GUILFORD 14, HP CENTRAL 0
HPC 0 0 0 0 — 0
SWG 0 0 6 8 — 14
SWG — Caleb Parker 1 run (pass failed), 7:55
SWG — Will Armstrong 4 run (Michael Phillips pass from Joey McGinnis), 8:20