11/10/09 — Goldsboro's offense is ready for playoff test

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Goldsboro's offense is ready for playoff test

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 10, 2009 1:46 PM

Goldsboro has come a long way since its season-opening loss to Wilmington New Hanover. The Wildcats dominated the Cougars in all phases of the game and left head coach Eric Reid with plenty of unanswered questions.

Would the offensive line improve with time?

How long would it take to get healthy?

Could Corteiz Sprangle mature as a varsity quarterback?

Reid finally got his answers just five weeks ago when the Cougars (9-2 overall) started their Carolina 1-A Conference schedule. Goldsboro ran the table and grabbed its second league title during Reid's three-year tenure as head coach.

"At the beginning of the year we knew we were young and that left us guessing a little bit," said Reid during Monday afternoon's practice. "We only had one returning starter on the line, a new quarterback and a few guys that had to step up from Thursday nights to Friday nights."

Heading into Friday's home playoff game, the Cougars have grown into a cohesive unit and Reid is confident that his guys can get the job done.

South Robeson pays a visit to Cougar Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

"We are not taking anything for granted and we are not overlooking anyone," said Reid. "We have been practicing every week like we have lost the week before."

Having a full compliment of skill players has certainly aided the Cougars' ability to reel off seven consecutive wins. Early in the year, running backs Freddie Jones and Andre Montgomery both battled injury issues. Each is healthy now.

Even with two of the area's top backs, Sprangle may be the most-important cog in the Cougars' offensive machine.

"We don't really throw the ball a lot, but when we have Corteiz has done a great job," said Reid. "He has gained a better understanding of where the receivers are going to be. He's such a good athlete that the challenge was to bring the mental side along to catch up to his athletic ability."

Sprangle threw five picks during the first four weeks. Since a lopside loss to county rival Charles B. Aycock, the junior signal caller hasn't thrown an interception.

Reid said the players' collective team mentality and solid ground game has helped Sprangle progress as an offensive leader.

"That is the best part. It's not just one guy," said Reid. "It's a group of guys that get on each other when they need it and they pick each other up when they need it. We are a run-oriented team, but we have shown that we can be efficient in the passing game as the season has gone on."