Malette leads Cougars' ground attack
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 16, 2012 1:52 AM
DUDLEY -- The doubts surrounding Goldsboro's ability to run the football had grown from whispers to blatant skepticism in recent weeks.
Rasheed Malette personally silenced every last one of the Cougars' critics for good on Friday night, and that was just in the first quarter.
Malette finished with 159 yards rushing and two touchdowns and Goldsboro rolled to a 37-14 win at Southern Wayne. The Cougars defeated the Saints for the first time since 2009.
Goldsboro stopped Southern Wayne on fourth-and-one on the Saints' 49-yard line on the game's opening drive. The Cougars (3-1) needed just five plays to reach the end zone and Malette scored from 19 yards out. Alan Odom's extra point was no good and Goldsboro led 6-0 midway through the first quarter.
"Our offensive line coach (Jesse) Pittard did a wonderful job with this line," Cougars' head coach Eric Reid said. "Coach Pittard really took it to heart some of the schools thinking we didn't have a running game anymore. He worked with the line in the weight room and on the field and it paid off.
"We are still Goldsboro."
Southern Wayne's second drive also stalled on fourth down and Malette made the Saints (1-3) pay with a 45-yard touchdown run. Julius Murphy's two-point conversion pass to Toric Best extended the Cougars' lead to 14-0.
Malette tallied 93 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter.
"Our offensive line really helped me out a lot," Malette said. "They really opened up holes for me to run through, and I just followed behind my fullback Toric Best and he helped us out a lot."
Goldsboro's offensive onslaught continued with Murphy's 14-yard touchdown pass to James Clyde early in the second quarter. The Cougars tacked on a safety just before halftime and led 23-0 at the break.
Goldsboro's defensive front seven dominated Southern Wayne on the line of scrimmage and the Saints gained just 52 yards of total offense in the first half and finished the game 0 for 9 on third-down opportunities.
The Cougars owned a 364-170 advantage in total offense for the game.
"Goldsboro really bottled us up tonight," Saints' head coach David Lee said. "They were stacking the box, that's not a secret. Without looking at the film I would guess they were more physical than us on both sides of the ball. When you run the Wing-T, you can't have your opponent be more physical at the point of attack."
The Cougars converted a fourth-and-five on the opening drive of the second half as Joseph Baker caught a tipped pass from Murphy and raced 41 yards to the end zone.
One of the Saints' lone bright spots came on Earle Campbell's third-quarter interception of Murphy. Southern Wayne marched to the Goldsboro 30-yard line on the ensuing drive, but the possession ended on fourth down.
The Cougars added Karon Alston's 3-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
The Saints got on the scoreboard late in the game with touchdown runs from Andrew Matthews and Brion Kornegay.