11/06/10 — Cougars defend Carolina 1-A football title

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Cougars defend Carolina 1-A football title

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 6, 2010 11:11 PM

With all the standouts on the Goldsboro High School football roster, it's easy to overlook the role players that do the dirty work and help the team win.

One of those role players took center stage Friday evening.

Sophomore running back Karon Alston returned two punts for touchdowns, recovered a fumble on defense and delivered a bone-jarring hit on a kickoff return as Goldsboro rolled to a 33-6 victory over Ayden-Grifton at Cougar Stadium.

Goldsboro (8-3 overall, 5-0 CC) locked up its second consecutive Carolina 1-A Conference championship and the automatic berth in the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs.

Alston provided the impetus in the first quarter.

After both squads watched their opening drive, stall the Chargers (8-3, 4-1) were forced to punt from their own 28-yard line. Alston fielded the ball on the Cougars' 42-yard line and made two quick moves to get to the outside. The rest was a simple sprint down the sideline.

"We have been working on the return game all year and tonight I got to break one," said Alston. "Our guys did a great job of blocking and the hole just opened up."

Goldsboro led 13-0 late in the second quarter when Alston rose to the occasion again. The sophomore fielded a punt at the Cougars' 28-yard line, broke a tackle and raced 72 yards to the end zone. An Ayden-Grifton fumble set up a five-yard scoring plunge by Andre Montgomery in the final minute of the half and essentially put the game out of reach.

"We don't expect that kind of game out of Karon, but at the same time we knew he was capable," said Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid. "He is like a flash of light when he catches the ball."

The Cougars added a touchdown run by Freddie Jones in the third quarter and then found plenty of time for reserve players as the clock ticked down. Ayden-Grifton scored in the final minute of the game on a two-yard run by backup quarterback Jeff Mullis.

Montgomery paced the Cougars with 76 yards rushing and 40 yards receiving. Corteiz Sprangle completed three passes for 80 yards.

"This was a special night for our seniors," said Reid. "I am really proud of what this group has accomplished and I hope we can keep it going into the playoffs. It really doesn't matter who we play because we know that we can not take anyone lightly.

"We have to come out with the mindset that our opponent is the number one seed in the east."