09/22/12 — Goldsboro defense shuts down No. 10-ranked Red Springs

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Goldsboro defense shuts down No. 10-ranked Red Springs

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 22, 2012 11:22 PM

Memories leave a lasting effect, especially when the opposing team prevails on a last-second field goal.

Goldsboro didn't forget that loss to Red Springs a year ago.

And the Cougars exacted revenge in dominating fashion at Cougar Stadium on Friday evening. The defense knocked out two preseason All-State selections and forced four turnovers -- all interceptions -- during a 34-7 rout of the No. 10-ranked Red Devils.

"I've been here 13 years and that's the best I've seen us click offensively and defensively at any time," Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid said. "Coach (George) Franklin took it upon himself to make it a personal effort that we shut down their passing game, which is their bread and butter.

"These guys stepped up to the challenge."

No kidding.

The state's top-ranked offense among Class 1-A schools not only endured its third loss of the season, it suffered two key second-half injuries. Starting quarterback Blake Greene, who entered the game with 1,562 yards passing and 21 touchdowns, exited in the third quarter when he got crushed between two Cougar defenders after throwing his third pick of the night.

JuJu Brown, the Red Devils' top receiver, was injured on a kickoff return early in the fourth quarter and transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital. Red Springs head coach George Coltharp did not speculate on Brown's condition, but said Greene should be ready for the team's Three Rivers 1-A/2-A opener against St. Paul's.

"Any time you lose two All-State players in one game, that's what happens because at the 1-A level you don't have enough to replace them," Coltharp said. "We had young kids to come in and try to step up. We've got probably the best quarterback around and he's going to be all right next week.

"He gets dinged and obviously we care about his health more than we do about winning. We sit him for the rest of the game. Losing JuJu right there at the end ... we still don't know what that situation is."

Goldsboro's secondary surrendered a 20-yard scoring pass from Greene to Brown on Red Springs' fourth offensive possession of the opening half. Greene and his backup quarterbacks never found a rhythm the remainder of the night.

The Cougars picked off four passes, raising their total to 11 in the last 12 quarters of play. Karon Alston intercepted Greene twice, while Joseph Baker and Asunji Maddox recorded one pick apiece.

"They've got the best receivers in the state and one of the state's top quarterbacks, so we had to attack by playing our areas and staying disciplined," Franklin said of preparing for the Red Devils' no-huddle scheme.

"All week long we worked on getting to the line of scrimmage and getting set before they got set ... tried to confuse them by showing different schemes and different coverages."

The defense limited the Red Devils to 185 yards of total offense on 56 plays and no fourth-down conversions on six attempts.

Goldsboro's offense clicked all evening.

Senior quarterback Julius Murphy completed 15 of 22 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns. Alston hauled in all three scoring strikes, including a 75-yard bomb just before halftime that put the Cougars in front to stay, 13-7.

Rasheed Malette led the Cougars' ground game with 100 yards and a touchdown on 20 totes. Goldsboro finished with 386 yards of total offense.