09/05/13 — County rivals have plenty at stake Friday

View Archive

County rivals have plenty at stake Friday

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 5, 2013 1:47 PM


Goldsboro and Southern Wayne meet at Cougar Stadium on Friday evening with more than just county bragging rights at stake.

The Cougars (0-2 overall) desperately need a win.

The Saints (1-1) have the opportunity to build momentum and continue in the right direction after a 361-yard offensive effort against Smithfield-Selma last week.

Goldsboro has never started the season 0-3 with current head coach Eric Reid. The realization of possibly digging out of that difficult hole has created a sense of urgency at practice this week.

"I would have never thought we would be in this situation going into this week," Reid said. "This game is important for us for establishing an identity. This is a big character game for us. We can still salvage the season and accomplish our goals of winning the conference and going to the playoffs.

"It doesn't matter who we play right now, we just need a win."

Goldsboro's offensive line failed to create running room or protect sophomore quarterback Nashir Bowden in last week's 35-14 loss at Eastern Wayne.

The Cougars uncharacteristically rushed for just 111 yards. Bowden threw for 150 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions.

Whether it's Goldsboro creating third-and-short situations to keep Bowden comfortable, or Southern Wayne's defense forcing third-and-longs, first and second down execution will be critical Friday night.

"When we use the proper technique, we've seen that we can run the ball and throw the ball," Reid said. "Our offensive line just has to know what situation they're in. A couple of times against Eastern Wayne in our pass blocking scheme they got a little undisciplined with their protection and that cost us dearly.

"Especially with a young quarterback, you don't want to put him in a situation where he's rushed or he's flustered. When you have a young quarterback and a young line, that kind of offsets the whole situation."

The Saints bounced back from a 41-13 season-opening loss at James Kenan with a balanced performance last week. Southern Wayne rushed for 320 yards and three different ball carriers scored a touchdown. A.J. Williams led the rushing attack with 139 yards on 15 carries.

Sustaining long drives against a Cougars' defense that allowed 35 points to the Warriors last week is pivotal for the Saints.

Defensively, Southern Wayne kept Smithfield Selma out of the end zone until the fourth quarter and it scored a pair of defensive touchdowns.

The Saints have won two of the last three meetings against the Cougars.