09/14/12 — Plenty of incentives for Cougars, Saints

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Plenty of incentives for Cougars, Saints

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 14, 2012 1:48 PM

Coaches from Goldsboro and Southern Wayne don't have to search too hard to find incentives for tonight's county clash in Dudley.

The Saints have won the last two meetings and seven of 10 overall against the Cougars since 2002. They don't want to break the current trend of success.

The Cougars have yet to complete the "county sweep" since alumnus Eric Reid took over the program five years ago. So far they've knocked off Eastern Wayne and Charles B. Aycock, two of five county foes on their 2012 docket, and have two outings remaining with Carolina 1-A opponents Rosewood and Spring Creek.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at the Doyle Whitfield Athletic Complex.

"They've had our number over the past few years," Reid said of the Saints. "We had to put that Aycock win last week behind us as soon as the clock hit triple zeroes and shift our focus to Southern Wayne. We'll have our hands full and we'll have to play a near-perfect game to come out with a win this week."

Goldsboro (2-1 overall) continues to search for an identity.

But it finally discovered a much-needed dimension to its offense necessary to keep the Southern Wayne defense honest. Rasheed Malette rambled for 100 yards against Aycock, the best single-game output by a Cougar ball carrier this season.

If the Cougars can move the sticks with their rushing attack, they'll take some pressure off quarterback Julius Murphy. The senior has thrown for nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns, but he's also been victimized by a receiving corps that's either dropped passes or run incorrect routes.

Murphy will undoubtedly see a talented and speedy secondary tonight. Second-year Saints head coach David Lee said his team can't give the Cougars too much open space, something that proved dangerous and led to part of Aycock's downfall last week.

"They're a very good football team after seeing them on film and watching them in person," second-year Saints head coach David Lee said. "Murphy is probably the best quarterback we have seen all year (and) is capable of winning ballgames by himself.

"They're capable of being explosive and we have to tackle in the open field."

The Cougars' objective on defense is to contain the Saints' misdirection, assignment-based Wing-T offense. Reid describes offensive coordinator Glenn Gardner as a good cook who has good ingredients (strong, physical running backs) and says that combination makes for a "good cake with sweet icing."

Reid said his linemen must trust each other in their blocking scheme and that the linebackers have to stick their nose into the alleys to keep Southern Wayne from finding open pieces of real estate.

"We're trying to get better every week and we have to get better in a hurry this week," Lee said. "We have to consistently move the football to give ourselves a chance. We have to eliminate the three-and-outs we're getting right now, sustain some drives.

"We've got our work cut out for us, but I think we're up for the challenge."

Southern Wayne is 20-13 against county opposition since 2001, including a 6-3 worksheet over the past three seasons. The Saints posted 3-0 records against county foes in 2005, 2007 and 2010.

"It is a rivalry ... has a special meaning to not only the kids, but the coaches and it does get the adrenaline pumping a little bit," Lee said. "We don't want to lose to them and they certainly don't want to lose to us. The kids elevate their game and the coaching staff elevates their game."