09/13/13 — County rivals face each face biggest challenge of the year

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County rivals face each face biggest challenge of the year

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 13, 2013 1:48 PM

Charles B. Aycock's previous three senior classes graduated without a victory over county rival Goldsboro High on the football the field.

The latest group of Golden Falcon seniors look to write a different chapter in their "new beginning" book when the teams meet tonight at Hardy Talton Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

"It's going to be a great Friday night," CBA head coach Steve Brooks said. "It's what high school football is built on. Local communities meeting for bragging rights. It's either going to be a momentum pusher for the next few weeks or it's going to be how do you respond the following Monday at practice (if you lose)."

Goldsboro leads the series 7-5 since 2002.

Aycock's last win over the Cougars occurred in 2009 at Cougar Stadium.

Brooks and veteran Goldsboro coach Eric Reid have learned numerous facts about their respective teams three weeks into the season. The Golden Falcons (3-0 overall) have developed a fighter mentality as if they're battling Mike Tyson and eager to go 12 rounds every Friday night.

The Cougars (1-2) have shown improvement on both sides of the ball. They're gaining confidence in game-like situations, and beginning to put the game action and game plan together.

But anything can happen in a rivalry game.

Four meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less. The largest margin of victory was 52 points by the Cougars in 2007.

"Coach Brooks has done a great job of motivating his kids and you're battling an atmosphere of a new excitement that's been created over there," Reid said. "They are pretty talented and big up front, so we're going to have to be physical. If we can execute the game plan we have put together, we can come out on the positive side.

"We're going to have our hands full."

Each team will.

The Golden Falcons average 476 yards and 31 points an outing. Senior Neil Clark has rushed for a team-leading 494 yards and five touchdowns on 58 carries. Junior quarterback TJ Morrow has thrown for 476 yards and six TDs -- including 231 yards and three scoring strikes to senior Michael Eutsey.

Reid said Goldsboro must work to keep Morrow in the pocket and the defensive backs must play solid coverage on every down. Should Morrow break loose, the Cougars' second-level players must limit his yardage.

Goldsboro's success is its running game. Senior Rasheid Malette is coming off his best performance of the season and has rushed for nearly 500 yards. The offensive line is starting to block better, which is important for sophomore quarterback Nashir Bowden.

Bowden, at times, has been able to complete passes to his main target -- Joseph Baker. He's spread his 340 yards among seven different receivers this season.

Brooks contends his team must play a complete game against the Cougars. They have to play up-tempo on offense, come with intensity and passion on every play and close the door when the other team makes mistakes.

"A win means the world to our team," Brooks said. "I've told our kids y'all have not been hit in the mouth yet. You've been in the squared circle, but you have not seen anything like this team. They're big, they're athletic and as fast as I've ever seen them.

"The next eight weeks are going to be the toughest weeks of their lives."

Beginning for both teams tonight.