10/16/05 — GC blanks Goldsboro

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GC blanks Goldsboro

Published in Sports on October 16, 2005 2:25 AM


Courtesy Kinston Free Press

Maybe Greene Central needs to change its nickname to the Red Zone Defenders.

If you want to thank anyone for the Rams' 12-0 shutout at Goldsboro on Friday, look no further than the Greene Central defense.

Five times, Goldsboro advanced within the red zone -- that mystical area that extends 20 yards from the end zone -- and five times, the Rams repelled the Cougars.

What made the defensive effort even more impressive was the fact that Greene Central stopped the Cougars three times at the 1-yard line.

Four of the stops came in the first half as the teams fought to a 0-0 halftime tie. The Rams offense sputtered throughout the first 24 minutes and didn't cross the 50-yard line until less than 90 seconds remained in the first half. The Rams also turned the ball over three times in their six possessions.

The offensive inefficiency led to an impassioned halftime speech by Bryant.

"I was pretty upset with the offense," Bryant said. "Turning the ball over three times in the first half was unacceptable. I got a little fired up at halftime, told my coaches to wait outside and I think the players got the message."

Bryant's speech helped spark the Rams offense. After holding Goldsboro at their own 14 on the opening possession of the third quarter, it only took Greene Central two plays to cover 86 yards for the 6-0 lead. Cameron Shelton hit Harrison Walston for a 64-yard pass, then Dreyan Willis sprinted 17 yards for the lead.

Two possessions later, the Rams strung together a nine-play, 71-yard drive that culminated in a 2-yard run by Mario Brown with 8:12 left in the game.

Goldsboro coach Maurice Jackson saw his team fall to 2-6 overall and 1-1 in their first season in the Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference.

"Anytime you get five opportunities in the red zone and don't finish it, you know you're in trouble," said Jackson, whose team travels to Farmville Central next week. "You can't let a team just hang around like that. We just had to finish the job and we didn't do it. We had five golden opportunities inside the 20-yard line and didn't finish it. We're a better team than that."

Goldsboro was led offensively by sophomore running back Treme Boone, who rushed 21 times for 78 yards and senior quarterback Adrian Lewis, who completed 10 passes for 134 yards.

Greene Central, the preseason favorite to win the EPC, improved to 2-0 in the league, 4-4 overall. The shutout was Greene Central's second straight, following Monday's 45-0 win at home against North Pitt.

Greene Central was paced offensively by Brown, who had 97 yards rushing on 14 carries. Shelton was a dual threat, completing six passes for 94 yards and rushing 11 times for 61 yards.