Game of the week - C.B. Aycock at Goldsboro
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 6, 2007 1:48 PM
See the big picture.
That's the message getting passed along each day to members of the Goldsboro High and Charles B. Aycock football teams. While neither program has a glamorous record through three weeks of play, their respective head coaches have seen improvement.
The Cougars (1-2 overall) have shown better levels of maturity after tough losses to county rival Eastern Wayne and perennial power Durham Hillside. The Golden Falcons (0-2) are just nine points shy of boasting an unbeaten record.
"It's early in the season for both of us," said C.B. Aycock head coach Randy Pinkowski. "They've got a new coach running a new system and I'm running a new system with a lot of new kids. We're both working the kinks out right now.
"These non-conference games are giving us a chance to see what we can and can't do. We've got some growing pains going on right now."
Shut down offensively two weeks ago at Clayton, C.B. Aycock tallied 21 points in its triple-overtime loss at Greene Central last week. Pinkowski's team accumulated 240 yards of total offense, but also committed six turnovers -- three fumbles and three interceptions.
Meanwhile, Goldsboro piled up 303 yards of total offense -- all rushing -- against Hillside. A penalty negated one touchdown and a phantom fumble stopped a potential scoring drive inside the Hornet's red zone.
Had those two deeds not occurred, the Cougars might have presented head coach Eric Reid with career win No. 2.
"They hate to lose, but I'm trying to get them to see the big picture," said Reid. "With a majority of my kids playing both ways, they're getting tired, but they're staying competitive and are always in the game.
"They're still willing to work hard and are giving me nothing but a good effort. The wins are going to come and we're close to turning the corner. What people have to remember is we are a work in progress."
Heralded running back Anthony Council and lineman Antwon Greenfield will suit up for the Cougars this week. Each is recovering from injuries that have kept them sidelined since a season-opening win at Rosewood.
The Aycock defense will face its third different offensive scheme when the Cougars line up in their wing-T. Clayton ran a power-oriented offense, while Greene Central relied on a spread offense to utilize its athleticism.
"We feel like we've held up well against both scenarios," said Pinkowski. "The preseason has been everything I've wanted it to be. We've really been concentrating on our defense.
"But I've said it before. It's really not about the opposing team and what they can or can't do. It's about what my team is doing ... correcting errors in each game and getting better."
Offensively, the Golden Falcon offense took a hit last Friday. Senior quarterback Stephen Strouse suffered a minor tear at the top of his Achilles where it meets the muscle.
Strouse is about 80-percent healthy this week.
"He's bearing with it pretty good and we're doing some things to alleviate some pressure off him," said Pinkowski.
C.B. Aycock has won the past two meetings in shootout fashion -- 46-27 and 38-32. Goldsboro blanked the Golden Falcons 6-0 in 2004 at Cougar Stadium.
It's the Cougars' first home game after traveling the month of August.
"This is a county rivalry and the kids normally step up for these kinds of games, especially the seniors," said Reid. "I know they'll put a lot of extra effort into practice this week, and hopefully that will carry over into Friday night.
"With it being our first home game should bring some added excitement. Our community has been extremely supportive and we're hoping for a wonderful night of football."
And a clearer view of the big picture.
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