10/11/07 — Game of the week: Kinston at C.B. Aycock

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Game of the week: Kinston at C.B. Aycock

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 11, 2007 2:48 PM

PIKEVILLE -- The adage 'you don't know what you've got until it's gone," is especially true if 'it' is a football.

Just ask Charles B. Aycock and Kinston.

The Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference rivals hope to take better care of the pigskin when they meet Friday evening at Hardy Talton Stadium. Kickoff for the homecoming game is 7:30 p.m.

Kinston (2-5 overall, 0-1 ECC) turned the ball over three times on its first four possessions during a 35-13 loss at Wilson Hunt last week.

"We just have to take care of ourselves," Kinston head coach Tony Edwards said. "We've been working on the little things and making sure we make the least amount of mistakes. You focus on yourself mostly during the week."

Meanwhile, Aycock (1-5, 0-1) coughed the football up four times in its 41-7 loss at Wilson Beddingfield. Quarterback Zach Poole was picked off twice, and Aycock also lost a pair fumbles.

The Golden Falcons committed a pair of devastating third-quarter turnovers, both of which led to Bruins touchdowns.

"We had a great first half and then the turnovers started to take their toll," Aycock head coach Randy Pinkowski said in a faxed statement to the News-Argus. "We have been very ineffective throwing the ball, so once we get down a couple scores it is hard to recover."

Kinston's run-first offense relies heavily on the duo of Khristan Murphy and Brandon Harris, along with 6-foot-5 quarterback Donovan Ingram. Ingram and Murphy both found the end zone in the first half last week.

Aycock surrendered 217 yards on the ground to Beddingfield, and another 207 through the air. Clogging up some holes on defense this week will be a must for the Golden Falcons.

"Kinston is very fast and athletic. We can not miss tackles," Pinkowski said.

Pinkowski will also turn to his rushing attack in hopes of generating some offense this week. The Golden Falcons gained 196 yards on 42 carries against Beddingfield, but failed to capitalize on six Bruins' turnovers.

"We have seen steady improvement in our ability to run the football which must continue," Pinkowski said. "If we can run the ball, keep field position in our favor and not turn the ball over, we can keep the fans happy on homecoming night."

Having both lost their league openers, the likelihood of Aycock and Kinston vying for the league's last remaining playoff spot at the season's end is becoming more and more of a reality. The Vikings enter losers of four straight, and Aycock's lone victory two weeks ago came against a winless North Lenoir club.

Both teams also have stiff conference tests awaiting down the road as well.

With that being said, Friday's contest becomes one both teams almost have to have.

"It's very important," Edwards said. "We've got to have this game. It's got to be do or die. Our focus is on beating them and I'm sure they're doing the same thing, too."