All-Area: Gurganus, Cobb named co-offensive players of the year
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on December 19, 2009 11:08 PM
One picks apart defenses with a right arm that at times appears to possess magic, while the other runs with a harnessed aggression fueled by an injury that nearly ended his career.
Together, they combined for more than 6,000 yards of offense, 65 touchdowns and helped lead their respective teams to 10-win seasons.
It's no wonder Princeton quarterback David Gurganus and Charles B. Aycock tailback Marcus Cobb share the 2009 News-Argus All-Area Offensive Player-of-the-Year award.
Gurganus, an Aycock transfer, excelled in the Bulldogs' newly-installed spread offense. The senior finished with 4,116 yards through the air and 37 touchdowns, and threw for more than 300 yards in six different games.
"I never thought that we would ever have anyone to throw for more than 4,000 yards," said Princeton head coach Russell Williamson. "For him to accomplish this is a testament to his hard work and to his teammates for spending the time with him in the offseason to get better at what we wanted to do."
In a season-opening, 19-12 win over Hobbton, Gurganus threw for 271 yards and a touchdown. While the Bulldogs didn't produce the 30 points a game they would average over the course of the season, Gurganus could see plenty of potential in the offense.
"I didn't expect to do too much, it was our first game for the offense," said Gurganus. "I knew after the first game we could do some big things. You could see what it could do and it progressed over the year. In the first game you could tell the offense was going to carry us a long way and it did."
Princeton closed the year by winning six of seven games before having its season end in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1-A (small-school) playoffs at Mount Airy. The Bulldogs concluded the year 10-4 and won 10 games for the first time since 1979.
"Just being around this group of guys and group of coaches is what stands out the most," said Gurganus. "They worked hard and they wanted it. The numbers I had and what we had were great but being with this team was something special. It was a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
Cobb suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) following his freshman season and was forced to sit out his entire sophomore year. He began to build momentum by rushing for over 100 yards in four of the Golden Falcons' final five games.
Cobb built on that by rushing for 1,889 yards and 28 touchdowns this season. In 13 games this year, Cobb failed to rush for over 100 yards just twice.
"I didn't want it to be my last time to ever play," said Cobb. "I just gave it my all and I have no regrets. You learn what hard work is and what you get out of hard work."
Aycock ended the 2008 season at 4-7 but with a healthy Cobb the Golden Falcons went 10-3 this year and reached the second round of the NCHSAA 3-A (small-school) playoffs.
Perhaps Cobb's greatest accomplishment is the attitude he displayed in the face of adversity and success. Quiet in demeanor, Cobb is quick to point to his teammates when asked about his success.
"Marcus was never boastful on or off the field. He never made a big production after a good play or a bad one," said Aycock head coach Randy Pinkowski. "He always patted the offensive linemen on the back after a great play and never complained or said a word to them if they missed a block and he took a big shot.
"He exemplified our blue-collar, workman-like mentality that is Aycock football."
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