08/22/09 — Goldsboro learns lesson in loss

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Goldsboro learns lesson in loss

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 22, 2009 11:41 PM

Don't let one game define your season, but make sure you learn from it.

That was Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid's post-game message after Wilmington New Hanover scored 21 second-quarter points and rolled to a 42-6 win in both teams' season opener on Friday night.

The Wildcats held the Cougars to 117 yards of total offense while New Hanover compiled four plays of 30 yards or more.

"This one game isn't going to define us," said Reid. "Going into this game we wanted to get better. Hopefully this will be something that will keep that taste in our mouth and keep us driving next week. We could have scheduled an easy opponent and blown them out, and the next thing we know we get popped in the mouth.

"Our young guys really needed this."

Wayne Hammonds' 25-yard interception return for a touchdown gave Goldsboro a 6-0 lead less than six minutes into the opening quarter.

From there, it was all Wildcats.

New Hanover answered with Jordan Betts' 54-yard touchdown strike to Jamil James with less than four minutes to play after Hammonds' score.

Chace Murphy's recovery of a Wildcats' fumble in the end zone early in the second quarter and Nick Esquire's extra point extended the lead to 14-6. Betts connected with Murphy on a 15-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining in the half.

Hunter Lancaster's 78-yard interception for a touchdown as time expired in the first half left the Cougars down 28-6.

New Hanover tailback Tevin Mishoe tacked on a pair of touchdown runs in the second half. Mishoe ran for 167 yards on 17 carries.

Goldsboro struggled to generate any momentum offensively, while Reid's preseason concerns about a young offensive line and inexperience at quarterback became realities. An offense that racked up over 4,200 yards on the ground last season rushed for just 111 yards against the Cats and averaged less than four yards a carry.

Freddie Jones, on a gimpy ankle, led the Cougars' ground attack with 60 yards on six carries. First-year starting quarterback Cortez Sprangle was just 3-of-11 through the air and was picked off twice.

"We have to get a rhythm down," said Reid. "We have to get a nucleus that we can gel. We mixed in some guys in there on the line to see what can work for us. We're going to hit that sled on Monday and that's something that we need to keep working on."

Reid saw plenty to build upon in the midst of a lopsided loss. He is optimistic about the progress his team will make before next week's home contest with Eastern Wayne.

"We saw some good things," said Reid. "We put some guys in there at the end that showed us they're not scared to stick their nose in there and get in that fire. This one game doesn't define our season.

"Hopefully this will be something that can make us better."