09/03/08 — OPINION - Separating contenders, pretenders

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OPINION - Separating contenders, pretenders

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 3, 2008 1:12 PM

Two weeks into high school football season area teams are already separating themselves into three groups -- contenders, just off the pace and pretenders.

Goldsboro has looked impressive in a pair of routs over county foes Rosewood and Eastern Wayne. The Cougars have recorded over 340 rushing yards in each of their first two games behind the three-headed monster of running backs Andre Montgomery, Freddie Jones and A.J. Parker.

"They're doing a wonderful job," said Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid. "They're really bringing it to the table and those three guys are putting in some good work. It's hard to stop just one of them but when you have three it makes the job a little harder."

The Cougars, without question, face their biggest test of the season when they host Durham Hillside on Thursday. The Hornets, led by Duke recruits Corey Gattis (quarterback) and Desmond Scott (receiver/running back), have averaged 39 points in their first two outings of the season.

James Kenan has also been strong in its first two game, earning victories over Clinton and Ayden-Grifton. The Tigers should roll when they visit Heide Trask on Thursday before Pender visits Warsaw next week in a rematch of last season's N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-AA (large-school) state semifinals.

Outside of its meeting with Pender, Kenan may not be challenged again until Nov. 7 when it visits archrival Wallace-Rose Hill.

Winless a year ago, North Lenoir is quietly turning some heads with its 2-0 start.

Meanwhile, Eastern Wayne (1-1) was sent back to the drawing board after a 37-6 loss at Goldsboro last week. Warriors head coach Jeff Price admitted his team isn't as good as it appeared.

Eastern Wayne had a balanced and effective attack in its opener against West Carteret, but was outgained 474 to 191 by Goldsboro and was plagued by five turnovers.

Price and company will look to right the ship when South Central (2-0) visits New Hope on Thursday.

Princeton shook off a rough home opener and responded with a shutout at North Moore on Friday. If the Bulldawgs can continue to find the same offensive balance and play the same solid defense they did Friday, keeping pace in a down Carolina 1-A Conference should be within reach.

Finally, Charles B. Aycock, Spring Creek and Greene Central will each look to get in the win column this week. The Golden Falcons and Rams meet in Pikeville either Friday or Monday, while the Gators entertain Midway on Thursday.

Editor's note: Teams competing on Monday evening were not included.