10/31/13 — Goldsboro's struggles on short-yardage plays bothers Reid

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Goldsboro's struggles on short-yardage plays bothers Reid

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 31, 2013 1:48 PM

Football has been described as a game of inches and Goldsboro can attest to that, especially the past two games.

The Cougars have had trouble gaining critical inches on the offensive side of the ball. A pair of short-yardage situations cost the team in a loss to Kinston two weeks ago.

A similar story played out last Friday when the Cougars missed a pair of chances to score in the first half against Ayden-Grifton. The Chargers won the battle in the trenches and eventually won the game.

"We have to do a better job of establishing the line of scrimmage," Goldsboro head coach Eric Reid said. "This week at practice we have been looking at some things for those short-yardage situations and we hope that we have fixed some things."

On the Cougars' second possession last week, the Chargers' defense stuffed a fourth-and-two play. Ayden-Grifton scored on the ensuing possession and took a 7-0 lead.

Down 14-0 with less than a minute to play before halftime, Goldsboro got a chance to cut into the deficit. Three attempts to get the ball into the end zone led to a fourth-and-one on the goal line.

The snap was mishandled and the Chargers escaped again.

An inexperienced offensive line is one issue.

The Cougars' lack of a bruising fullback has also been glaring. Tailback Rasheid Malette was the only back to register a carry against Ayden-Grifton. The senior rushed for 63 yards on 16 totes.

"Going back to guys like Freddy Jones and Andre Montgomery and even before that, we have always had a big back," Reid said. "Rasheid is a great tailback, but we can't expect him to do it alone. We have to be better in every facet."

Reid and his staff will have a chance to test their adjustments against North Lenoir in a pivotal Eastern Carolina 2-A Conference showdown. The Hawks and Cougars are locked in a battle for third place in the league standings.

"We have to go into their house and try to get back on track," Reid said. "If we want to give ourselves a shot in the playoffs we need to win on Friday and hopefully gain some momentum."