10/08/11 — Cougars play strong on both sides of the ball

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Cougars play strong on both sides of the ball

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 8, 2011 11:10 PM

Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid had plenty to smile about Friday evening.

The Cougars turned in a dominating performance and rolled past Carolina 1-A Conference foe Rosewood 41-0 at Branch Pope Field.

Devante Harris and Karon Alston each rushed for two touchdowns and the Goldsboro defense held the Eagles to 47 yards of total offense. After back-to-back losses, the Cougars (4-3 overall, 2-0 CC) have now won consecutive games to open conference play.

Goldsboro took the opening possession of the game and marched 48 yards in nine plays. Alston's 6-yard touchdown run gave the Cougars an early 7-0 lead. After an Eagles' punt, Harris' 25-yard touchdown run increased the lead to 14-0.

"We really executed offensively and defensively," said Reid. "We told our kids at halftime let's keep building on that and keep working on the fundamentals and I think they did that. This is just one step of where we want to get to, but it's a good step given how we've been playing the past few weeks."

Rodney Cook's 38-yard reception set up Alston's 5-yard score early in the second quarter. Alston scooped up a Rosewood fumble late in the second quarter and raced 48 yards to the end zone as the lead swelled to 27-0.

"I told Karon before the game to be a leader," said Reid. "I think last week gave him some confidence and that's what we've been expecting from him all summer coming into the season. Everybody has started to rally behind him."

Goldsboro outgained the Eagles 180-32 in the first half. Rosewood had just one first down in the opening two quarters. The Eagles finished with just two first downs and had two plays of more than 10 yards.

"This is no excuse, but we've lost some kids to injuries and kids moving away," said Rosewood head coach Robert Britt. "When you can't move the ball at all you put a lot of strain on your defense that is trying to learn something new on the run. That's going to help our defense out better when we can start moving the ball a little bit better."

The Cougars forced a punt on the Eagles' first drive of the second half. Harris' 3-yard score pushed the margin to 34-0 early in the third quarter. Harris finished with 105 yards on 19 carries.

Goldsboro racked up 180 yards on the ground and 259 yards of total offense.

"One thing we've worked on this year is complementing our running game and passing when we needed to, but not a lot of deep passes just underneath stuff," said Reid. "That gave us some confidence. I think as long as we can keep them focused and understanding what we're trying to say I think we'll be all right."

Jalin Sprueil tacked on a 2-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter.

The Cougars entertain Princeton next Friday while the Eagles (3-4, 0-2) play host to Spring Creek.