11/12/10 — Reid: Cougars must not take Midway for granted

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Reid: Cougars must not take Midway for granted

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on November 12, 2010 1:47 PM

Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid still remembers a hard lesson he was forced to learn three seasons ago. Never overlook an opponent, especially in the postseason.

During Reid's first year as head coach the Cougars drew East Duplin in the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2-A playoffs. The Cougars did not have a good week of practice and simply thought they would cruise past the Panthers, who entered the game with a losing record.

The result was a shocking 41-35 defeat and a long offseason.

"I remember telling myself the I would never do that again," said Reid. "I would never look at a team's record or their seed or any of that, because we got caught looking down the road."

So, tonight's eerily similar story line is this: Midway is 3-8 and has lost seven consecutive games -- all against Tri-County 1-A opposition. The Raiders have been outscored 272-82 during that stretch.

None of that matters to Reid or his veteran football team.

"I don't think that Midway is your typical 3-8 team," said Reid. "Looking at them on film, they have the size to match up with anybody and when they don't turn the ball over, they have had some success."

Midway's three victories occurred against Carolina 1-A Conference teams. The Raiders defeated Spring Creek, Rosewood and Princeton in consecutive weeks. Once the schedule flipped to Tri-County 1-A Conference play, the Raiders' struggles began.

"If you look at who they beat, it makes you wonder if (Midway) might have been the second-best team in our conference," said Reid. "They are in one of the most competitive leagues in the state, so it's hard to measure losses to teams like Wallace, Pender and James Kenan."

When the Raiders have the ball, the focus will be on quarterback Barrett Sloan and tailback Quincy Little. Sloan has shown the ability to throw the deep ball throughout the season. Little rumbled for 114 yards and a touchdown in the team's last game against Hobbton.

The Raiders' offense has been solid, averaging 15 points per game this season. The problem has been on defense where they allow 32 points per game. Last week, Midway surrendered 412 yards rushing, a statistic that could bode well for the Cougars' power running game.

"We have to run the football effectively to win the game, that's no secret," said Reid. "We also need to take care of the football and not put it on the ground."

As has been the case for the past two seasons, seniors Andre Montgomery and Freddie Jones will carry most of the offensive load for Goldsboro. The duo amassed 2,411 yards and 35 touchdowns during the regular season. Quarterback Corteiz Sprangle has thrown for 595 yards and four touchdowns.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Cougar Stadium.