Cougars trump Aces in 2-A playoffs
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 16, 2008 2:00 AM
It was a tale of two halves as Goldsboro knocked off Edenton Holmes 36-7 during the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 2-A (small-school) playoffs on Friday evening.
The game had a little bit of everything to entertain the home crowd -- big plays, bad blood and bold coaching decisions.
"It was great for our guys to come out and get a playoff win," said Cougars head coach Eric Reid. "I am really proud of the effort. It showed a lot about what this team is made of."
After several failed first-half drives by both teams, Goldsboro made its first offensive statement of the night. With just over one minute remaining in the second quarter, the Cougars took possession at their own 6-yard line.
Quarterback Tyrelle Jackson found A.J. Parker for a 21-yard gain on first down and Reid made the decision not to run out the clock. A Freddie Jones 20-yard run on the next play set up a barrage of passes by Jackson.
With eight seconds on the clock, Jackson delivered a 19-yard touchdown pass to tight end Enrique Moses and gave the Cougars their first lead at 7-0.
"I saw that he had a smaller guy defending him," said Jackson. "I just wanted to get the ball up and the air and let him jump up and get it."
The first-half score set the tone for a rejuvenated Cougar offense going into the intermission.
"That play was huge for us," said Reid. "We had been building them up by shooting ourselves in the foot, so that play gave us some confidence."
The Cougars (9-2-1 overall) came to play in the second half.
Jones raced four yards into the end zone three minutes into the third quarter.
After a quick answer by Aces' star tailback Niko Capehart, Goldsboro again went on the attack. Andre Montgomery opened the fourth quarter with a nine-yard scoring scamper and the Cougars never looked back.
"We issued some personal challenges to some of our guys at halftime," said Reid. "To their credit they responded."
Montgomery added a second touchdown run with eight minutes remaining in the game. Ahead 29-7, Reid worked in some of his younger players in the latter stages of the fourth quarter.
With one minute to play, Jackson tossed a touchdown pass to Lamar Hicks. The score capped the Cougars' second-half outburst and drew the ire of the Edenton sideline.
After the clock ran out, Aces head coach Bob Turner voiced his displeasure with the Cougars' decision to punch in the late exclamation point. Reid quickly silenced any talk that he or his staff was running up the score.
"I had a bunch of freshmen out there for the last possession trying to gain some playoff experience," said Reid. "That is not something that I would do to another team because you never know when my team may be on the other end of that score."
Goldsboro claimed its first playoff win since 2003 and visits fourth-seeded Bunn next Friday.
"They are a very talented team. I talked to coach (David) Howle today and I know that they will be ready to play," said Reid. "Their center is going to Penn State and they have a couple other very good athletes. We know it will take two good halves to pull out a win."
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