Goldsboro tops Trask to reach East finals
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 28, 2009 11:48 PM
Just win baby.
The popular mantra adopted by the Oakland Raiders of the 1970s is the perfect way to describe the Goldsboro's victory in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-AA (large-school) football playoffs.
The second-seeded Cougars overcame a pair of costly turnovers and double-digit penalties to beat Heide Trask 20-7 at Cougar Stadium on Friday evening. Goldsboro (12-2 overall) travels to unbeaten and top-seeded Southwest Onslow for the eastern regional championship Friday.
The winner advances to the state title game Dec. 12 in Winston-Salem.
"It was not our prettiest win, but it was our best win," said Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid, who picked up his 30th career win. "We knew that Trask would be physical and we stepped up and matched their intensity which was the key to getting this win."
Each team stalled on its opening drive.
Goldsboro nearly did on its second possession.
Quarterback Corteiz Sprangle directed a 60-yard drive to the Titans' 5-yard line. A sack, holding penalty and two failed rushing attempts put the Cougars in a fourth-and-goal situation from the 27-yard line.
Reid decided not to try a directional punt and called a fade pass in the corner of the end zone. Sprangle hit Demetrio Irby for the team's first touchdown.
"That play was huge because we were able to steal the momentum," said Reid. "Our receivers played well tonight, and Irby concentrated and made a nice catch."
On the Cougars' next offensive series, Freddie Jones broke free for a 36-yard scoring run. Goldsboro seemed poised to race past the visitors.
Trask's defensive line hunkered down in the trenches and came with a big play on Goldsboro's next possession. Sprangle dropped back to pass, got blind-sided by a Trask defender and fumbled.
The Titans' Conner Hansen picked up the ball and returned it to the Cougars' 32-yard line. Seven plays later, Jeremy Lee cashed in a Trask touchdown and the Cougars' lead was shaved to 12-7.
Goldsboro's defense stiffened in the third quarter and Trask never sustained any offensive rhythm. Each team squandered potential, fourth-quarter scoring possessions with costly penalties.
"We definitely made too many mistakes, especially in the second half," said Reid. "As we go forward we know that we will have to clean those things up."
Trask (6-8) attempted a fourth-and-3 from its own 25-yard line and didn't convert. Goldsboro took over, but fumbled two plays later on a bad exchange from center. Lineman Jarran Reed and a Titan defender landed on top of the ball at the same time, and Reed wrestled the ball away to give the Cougars a second chance.
Five plays later, Jones raced 17 yards to the end zone. Jones finished with a team- and game-high 167 yards rushing on 18 totes. Andre Montgomery, the area's leading rusher, contributed 100 yards on 20 carries.
"That is where the weight room came up huge," said Reid. "Jarran was stronger than the other guy and he was able to wrestle the ball away for us."