10/14/10 — Running backs put friendship aside Friday night

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Running backs put friendship aside Friday night

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 14, 2010 1:46 PM

Goldsboro running backs Andre Montgomery and Freddie Jones, and Rosewood fullback Logan Waters can be nearly inseparable at times off the football field.

When the teams face each other Friday evening at Cougar Stadium, that friendship -- for four quarters -- gets thrown out the window.

Montgomery and Waters played for the Rosewood Little Eagles when Waters was 11-years-old and Montgomery was 10. Their friendship continued in middle school and the two remained close after Montgomery transferred to Goldsboro.

"Playing with Logan was fun because both of us would go hard," said Montgomery. "He didn't like it when I was about to switch schools, but we still keep in touch."

Montgomery and Waters text message each other frequently and spend time together on weekends. Those texts generally center around football and when the two are together, the conversation eventually turns to the sport that helped form their bond.

"We usually are talking about football," said Waters. "We're playing video games or wrestling. We bring out the best in each other."

Montgomery admits that when he goes against Waters, the friendship gets put on hold.

"It's all love," said Montgomery. "But, when we step out on that field there's no more friendship. We're going to compete and there's a lot of talking. It's all in love, though."

Montgomery and Jones are cousins and live in the same house. Their friendly rivalry has pushed each other to become the area's most dominant backfield duo. In 2009, they combined to rush for 3,422 yards and 42 touchdowns. Through seven games this season, Montgomery and Jones have combined for 1,543 yards and 22 touchdowns. Both Montgomery and Jones are among the top six rushers in the area.

"Every time he scores, I'm trying to score," said Jones. "If he gets 100 yards, I'm trying to get 100 yards. That's what makes us better players. It's like a big rivalry. It's going to be like that all season."

Aside from the rivalry of continually trying to one-up each another, Montgomery and Jones are also each other's biggest supporter. Whether they're working out, talking football or critiquing each other's game, Montgomery and Jones don't need to look far for motivation.

"We talk about football all the time," said Montgomery. "I know when he's slacking up and he knows when I'm slacking up. We always make sure we're giving all we can and we keep each other up."

Jones underwent micro-fracture surgery on his left knee during the offseason and it was Montgomery who was there to push him through physical therapy.

"I knew if I wasn't going to get better, he was going to have to do everything this season," said Jones. "I felt like if he's going to go hard I have to do the same thing. He pushed me to go hard. He told me he needed me this season and he influenced me to get better."

That's friendship.

That's competition.

Forged together forever.