09/03/11 — OPINION: Golden Falcons take tough road

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OPINION: Golden Falcons take tough road

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 3, 2011 11:37 PM

Tremendous challenges often present with them the opportunity to display great character.

The opportunity to play three football games in 11 days is nothing short of a challenge for Charles B. Aycock. The affects of Hurricane Irene, a missed day of school and football practice along with having two games crammed into four days has created a difficult scheduling situation Golden Falcons' head coach Randy Pinkowski is choosing to embrace.

On the scoreboard Aycock may have failed its first test, Tuesday night's 21-0 loss to Wilson Hunt in Pikeville. Pinkowski didn't see his team's performance as a failure, choosing instead to praise their efforts -- particularly on defense.

The Golden Falcons kept Hunt out of the end zone on its final three possessions of the first half after surrendering an early touchdown that was set up by an Aycock fumble. The Warriors went just 1 for 4 on third down in the first two quarters and for 1 for 6 for the game.

The Golden Falcons held a Hunt team that hung 48 points on Eastern Wayne the week before to just seven points in the second half.

"We were moving and stunting," Pinkowski said. "We would move and stunt and bring a linebacker and then we wouldn't bring him on a stunt. Playing Hunt for as long as we have, I've started to get a pretty good feel for what I think is going to happen. We had some things worked up and tonight it worked."

The task of playing two games in four days continued for Aycock at Greene Central on Friday night. The Golden Falcons' biggest concern was more physical than strategical since they lost starting linebacker Charles Mills to injury against Hunt.

"We''ve got the typical bumps and bruises that you get in a physical war like this was," said Pinkowski.

The Golden Falcons' offense remains a work in progress.

They mustered just 84 yards against Hunt and just two plays went for more than 10 yards. Aycock attempted just two passes.

"The offense that we're running really repeats itself constantly," Pinkowski said. "When you run an option offense, it's three plays in one, so it blocks constantly the same way. Now, going into a short week I'm not concerned. You're not going to be installing a whole bunch of new stuff.

"Now, it's just a matter of polishing it up. Going into (the Hunt) game with the time off I didn't feel like we were ready to come out and throw the ball in the second half. I think from that standpoint, we're very well suited to play on a short week with what we're running in this offense."

The schedule doesn't get any easier when Aycock visits Goldsboro a week from Friday. Goldsboro (1-1) has a bye this week and should be well rested by the time the Golden Falcons play their third game in less than two weeks.

Aycock is loaded with untested upperclassmen eager to disprove the critics who picked the Golden Falcons to finish sixth in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference. Regardless of how the next 1 1/2 weeks go for the Golden Falcons, Pinkowski should know plenty about the character of his football team by the time the schedule returns to normal.