Goldsboro battles in loss to Carver
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 25, 2005 2:13 AM
After an off week, Goldsboro will enter its first season in the Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference with a 1-5 overall mark when it faces Tarboro on Oct. 7 at home.
Still, the Cougars finished their final non-conference test against Winston-Salem Carver on Saturday afternoon at home in impressive fashion -- leaving coach Maurice Jackson with a sense of optimism going into league play.
Trailing 41-8 with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, Goldsboro scored 24 unanswered points in less than six minutes and turned an apparent blowout into a respectable, 41-32 loss to the Class 3-A Yellow Jackets of the Piedmont Triad Conference.
Treme Boone, who finished with 204 all-purpose yards, had one touchdown reception from quarterback Adrian Lewis, then rushed for a 58-yard score to make it 41-24 at 3:37. The Cougars recovered the ensuing onside kick near midfield and struck for their final score six plays later on a 3-yard rumble by Hykeem Coley.
Goldsboro attempted another onside kick, but Carver (4-1) recovered and ran out the final 1:30.
"I think out of everybody in the conference, we've had the toughest non-conference schedule with just our rivals alone, then you figure Carver and Rocky Mount," Goldsboro coach Maurice Jackson said. "We've obviously got some things to work on, but we also think we've done some things we can build on.
"We're looking forward to getting into conference now."
The Cougars finished with fervor, but the Jackets owned the early stages on a humid, late-summer afternoon.
Three plays into the game, Carver quarterback Lavon Lawrence connected with Ricky Johnson on an 82-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown to make it 7-0 after Michael Simington's kick. In a first quarter that saw Goldsboro punt twice and throw one interception, the Jackets took advantage of their chances with two more touchdowns to push the score to 21-0 with 4:20 left in the first.
The Cougars posted their only score of the first half when Lewis busted through the line and turned a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-one at the 26 into a 26-yard touchdown run. On a busted play on the extra-point attempt, kicker Monaquavius Edwards recovered a bad snap and found Lewis, the holder, in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion to make it 21-8 early in the second quarter
Goldsboro had two more turnovers in the second and punted on another possession as the Jackets rushed for two more scores before the end of the half to push their lead to 34-8 at intermission. The Cougars finished with only two first downs in the first half, while Carver had five.
"Our goal is to come out and play hard for 48 minutes. We were a little star-struck coming out. Then, we realized they put their pads on like we do, and we came out and made a game of it," Jackson said. "My first comment to them at halftime was, 'did everybody get an autograph.'"
The Jackets marched 56 yards on 10 plays late in the third quarter as Carl Grey found the end zone for the second time on a four-yard plunge to make it 41-8, before Goldsboro started its comeback attempt midway through the fourth.
"I was disappointed in our second string guys, because their shouldn't be that kind of drop-off when they come into the game," Carver coach Keith Wilkes said. "I'm still pretty satisfied with the guys being 4-1.
"We did some things well, but t we've got a lot of work to do."
Grey was one of four rushers with at least 27 yards and one-of-three to score as Carver finished with 175 yards on 45 carries. Lawrence passed for 120 yards as Johnson led the receiving corps with two catches for 83 yards.
Keyed by Boone's 173 yards, Goldsboro finished with 203 yards on the ground. Lewis was only 4-of-16 passing with two interceptions but improved steadily through the second half.
Both coaches were pleased with the atmosphere of the rare, Saturday afternoon game.
"I liked it. It was unusual, but I thought it was good for the fans," said Wilkes, who's team and fans made the 150-plus mile trip from Forsyth County. "Maybe it's something one time during the season we can continue doing, and hopefully this will work out."
"I loved it. With those guys traveling so far, we didn't want them getting home at two or three in the morning," Jackson said. "So, we just decided to make a day of it ... feed them, eat and have a good time."
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