Goldsboro takes league title
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on October 28, 2012 1:50 AM
Asunji Maddox watched as his Goldsboro teammates folded in the face of adversity against Ayden-Grifton last season.
Maddox made sure that didn't happen again.
Maddox's blocked punt set up his 39-yard touchdown run that put the Cougars ahead for good with fewer than two minutes to play in a 30-25 victory over the Chargers on Friday night at Cougar Stadium. Goldsboro claimed its third Carolina 1-A Conference championship in its final game in the league.
The Cougars move up to the 2-A ranks next season.
"At halftime we told our kids we took their best shot in the first half," Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid said. "This family we have here goes deeper than X's and O's. We didn't give up, they believed in themselves and I'm so proud of them."
Felipe Ramirez's 35-yard field goal three minutes into the game gave the Chargers an early 3-0 lead. Ayden-Grifton took possession at the Cougars' 40-yard line and quarterback Brandon Larry scored on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line for a 10-0 advantage.
Goldsboro pieced together its best drive of the first half and covered 65 yards in nine plays. Julius Murphy's 16-yard touchdown pass pulled the Cougars to within 10-6 late in the second quarter.
The Chargers answered three plays later on Larry's 69-yard touchdown pass to Giddell Waters that extended their lead to 17-6.
Goldsboro (9-1 overall, 5-0 CC) was held to 11 yards rushing through the first two quarters and converted just 1 of 7 third-down opportunities.
Murphy's 26-yard touchdown pass to Clyde James late in the third quarter pulled Goldsboro to within 17-12.
Shawn Hamm intercepted Larry two plays later and the Cougars cashed in on the second play of the fourth quarter. Rasheid Malette took Murphy's swing pass and raced 50 yards to the end zone. Malette's two-point conversion failed and Goldsboro led 18-17 with more than 11 minutes to play.
Murphy finished 20 for 40 through the air for 211 yards and three touchdowns.
Ayden-Grifton (8-2, 4-1) elected to go for it on fourth-and-two from the Cougars' 43-yard line and Larry broke through the middle of Goldsboro's defense for a 57-yard touchdown run. His two-point conversion pushed Ayden-Grifton in front 25-18 with 6 1/2 minutes to play.
Karon Alston's 7-yard touchdown run pulled the Cougars to within 25-24 with 3:15 left. Goldsboro chose to try a two-point conversion and Murphy's pass fell incomplete.
The Cougars stopped the Chargers on third down at the Ayden-Grifton 26-yard line and Maddox blocked Jake Wright's punt. Maddox continued to make his presence felt as he raced 39-yards to the end zone on the next play and Goldsboro went ahead 30-25 with fewer than two minutes left.
"I timed the snap on the blocked punt and I came very sharp off the edge and I dove out and prayed to the Lord and He came through," Maddox said. "I didn't practice at tailback all week. It was just one of those things where as a senior I felt like I had to go get it. On the touchdown run, my line blocked for me and all I saw was daylight so I had to go get it."
Ayden-Grifton marched to the Cougars' 10-yard line, but Larry threw four incomplete passes in the closing seconds.
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