11/27/09 — 1-AA football playoff preview: Goldsboro's Reid respects Trask

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1-AA football playoff preview: Goldsboro's Reid respects Trask

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 27, 2009 9:12 AM

No fooling around.

That's the brand of no-nonsense football that spectators at Goldsboro High School can expect tonight when Heide Trask visits in N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-AA eastern semifinal football playoffs.

The Titans spell toughness.

Everything from the team's imposing mascot, to its black and blue uniforms let opponents know that they better pack a lunch for a long day at the office.

Led by a hard-nosed rushing attack that features four versatile running backs, the Titans have won back-to-back playoff games over East Columbus and Gates County. Trask (6-7 overall) had never won a postseason game prior to this season.

And Goldsboro coach Eric Reid knows just how good the Titans are.

"They are not what their playoff seed might indicate," Reid said before Wednesday's practice. "I think that we are a physical football team, too, and the games we played against teams like New Hanover and C.B. Aycock should help prepare us for Friday night."

In their opening-round playoff game against East Columbus, the 14th-seeded Titans pulled off a stunning upset without ever completing a pass. Trask head coach Glenn Sellers relied on his ground game and the calculated gamble paid off with a 13-9 victory.

Last week the Titans rolled for 339 yards on the ground in a 42-14 hammering of Gates County.

Senior tailback Dominique Lesine has shouldered the playoff load. The hard-nosed running back played perhaps his best game of the season against Gates County as he racked-up 181 yards and two scores on the ground.

Lesine added a defensive touchdown on a 37-yard interception return.

"Trask runs the veer option very well and they put their backs in a position to make plays," said Reid. "They have an athletic quarterback and he is capable of getting outside and keeping the ball so you have to be ready for anything."

The key to a Goldsboro victory may be beating Trask at its own game.

Built for ball control, the Cougars (11-2) have dominated the line of scrimmage in both of their playoff victories. Big backs Andre Montgomery, Freddie Jones and Vontarius Kornegay have punished secondaries by lowering their shoulders and scratching out yards after contact.

So far in the postseason, Montgomery has led the way with 329 yards and three touchdowns in Goldsboro's routs of South Robeson and Southeast Halifax. The Cougars have tallied an astounding 762 yards on the ground as a team in the postseason.

"We know that we have to execute, first and foremost," said Reid. "Our guys are capable of winning the small battles in a cloud of dust so we have to stay focussed on what we do well."

With a berth in the eastern championship on the line, the Cougars versus the Titans should be a hard-hitting battle won or lost at the point of attack.

Neither team would have it any other way.