Goldsboro snaps skid in EPC play
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 7, 2007 4:11 AM
Eric Reid couldn't stop smiling.
Despite week-long distractions associated with homecoming festivities, the first-year Goldsboro High football coach got what he really wanted -- a conference-opening win -- on Friday evening.
The Cougars rushed for nearly 300 yards, produced big plays on defense and dealt Tarboro High a 20-0 loss in Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference action. It was Goldsboro's first league win since 2005 and second over Tarboro in three meetings.
"We haven't won a homecoming for probably about five years," said Reid. "I'm just happy. I wanted this for my senior class. I want them to go out with some good memories this year.
"It was good for us, we got the monkey off our back and I think this will be big momentum builder for us."
Goldsboro set the tone early with a scoring possession which covered 88 yards. A.J. Parker capped the 11-play with a 6-yard run.
Tarboro (4-3 overall) reached the Cougars' 9-yard line on its initial possession, but came up empty. Hykeem Coley picked off Viking quarterback Jeremy Bellamy.
After a Goldsboro punt, Tarboro again came up short inside the 20. Jamal Farmer was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-4 at the Cougars' 8-yard line. The Vikings finished the game 0-for-3 on fourth-down conversions and manufactured just 108 yards of total offense.
"Our defense stepped up big," Reid said. "I challenged them earlier this week. Tarboro ran a similar offense to what we run. I told our defense, 'look, nobody runs that offense better than we do, so nobody can defend better than we do.'
"They rose to the occasion, had some very key stops down here and it was big for us."
The Cougars (4-3, 1-0 EPC) pieced together another long drive midway through the third quarter. This time the offense traveled 82 yards in eight plays, and Iveon Sprangle found the end zone from 3 yards out.
Goldsboro led 14-0.
Arguably the Cougars' most impressive possession of the night started early in the fourth quarter, with just over 11 minutes remaining and the verdict still in question.
The Cougars took over at their own 34-yard line after Tarboro failed to convert again on fourth down. Quarterback Dustin Uzzardo orchestrated a time-consuming, 66-yard drive which took nearly 8 minutes off the clock. Reid's team converted two third-down plays and one fourth-down call to keep the chains moving.
Sprangle ended the 14-play possession with a 16-yard scoring run.
"That was huge," Reid said. "We knew if we could eat up the clock and get the clock in our favor that would be to our advantage. Luckily, we were getting those first downs when we needed them.
"There were a couple of tense moments there, but they stepped up to the challenge."
Goldsboro's heralded backfield duo of Anthony Council (142 yards) and Coley (110 yards) once again did the dirty work for the Cougars' offense. But it was Sprangle, nicknamed 'The Silent Assassin' by his head coach, who basked in the homecoming spotlight.
"I feel like other teams really key on (Council and Coley)," said Sprangle. "So, I have to step up so we can have more than two backs. The line did it all for me.
"This feels real good. I told my line, 'if ya'll get me open, I'm going to go in for the touchdown.'"
Goldsboro entertains Greene Central next Friday. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at Cougar Stadium.
Tarboro 0 0 0 0 -- 0
Goldsboro 7 0 7 6 -- 20
G -- Parker 6 run (Uzzardo kick), 6:58
G -- I. Sprangle 3 run (Uzzardo kick), 2:14
G -- I. Sprangle 16 run (Uzzardo kick blocked), 3:12
First Downs 17 8
Rushes-yds 51-297 27-98
Passing-yds 24 10
Total Yds 321 108
C-A-I 1-4-0 1-6-2
Fumbles-lost 0-0 0-0
Penalties 4-40 3-31
RUSHING -- Tarboro -- Damarius Harper 16-46; Jamal Farmer 5-23; Adam Williams 4-20; Jeremy Bellamy 2-9. Goldsboro -- Anthony Council 20-142; Hykeem Coley 18-110; A.J. Parker 6-26; Iveon Sprangle 6-20, 2 TDs; Dustin Uzzardo 1-(-1).
PASSING -- Tarboro -- Jeremy Bellamy 1-6-2 10. Goldsboro -- Dustin Uzzardo 1-4-0 24.
RECEIVING -- Tarboro -- Damarius Harper 1-10. Goldsboro -- Hykeem Coley 1-24.
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