Goldsboro remained perfect on the gridiron with a tremendous defensive performance on Friday evening.
On senior night, the Goldsboro defense forced eight turnovers in a 21-7 victory against Anson in the home opener for the Cougars, who are now 2-0 for the first time since 2008.
“The biggest thing was they played with the end in mind. They knew what the other team was doing and that we had to come out as winners,” Goldsboro head coach Timothy Ray said. “They did whatever they could to make it happen.”
After both teams had to punt on their first possessions, Anson scored the first touchdown of the game early in the first quarter when Ladavien Simon threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Koydarius Burns.
Goldsboro punted and turned the ball over on its next two possessions, but Malik Willams recovered a fumble on Anson’s ensuing possession, and the Cougars did not waste the opportunity to tie the game.
Starting at Anson’s 28-yard line, Marcus Williams burst down the field for a 26-yard run. Quarterback Jamin Jacobs called his own number and ran into the end zone on the next play, but the Cougars were called for holding.
However, two plays later, the Cougars scored when Jacobs hooked up with Dan Morado for a 15-yard touchdown.
“Our defense is strong, and they’re very sound top to bottom,” Ray said. “They’ve been waiting to show all of the hard work they put in, and we’re just trying to get better every week.”
Late in the second quarter, Justin Taylor picked off Simon, and the Cougars engineered a 12-play drive that was capped off with Williams running into the end zone to give Goldsboro a 14-7 lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, both teams were unable to find the end zone, but late in the third quarter, Zyreake Hazel recovered a fumble, and the Cougars got the ball to start the fourth quarter.
On third down, the Cougars called a trick play where Jacobs caught the ball and was tackled at Anson’s one-yard line, and on the next play, Williams’ one-yard touchdown run gave Goldsboro a 21-7 lead.
“We’ve been practicing that all week,” Ray said about the trick play. “I knew it would come in a big moment, and we needed there on third down. It went just the way we practiced it.”
Anson turned the ball over on its next two possessions, and Goldsboro held off Anson to get the win.
In total, the Cougars recovered four fumbles and picked off Simons four times.
Goldsboro (2-0 overall) next has a showdown with Clinton (2-0) at home next Friday.
“This same group of winners did not win a game on JV, but we knew then that over the next four years, this team could be really good. We just had to put in the work,” Ray said about the 12 seniors on the team. “They really are groundbreakers for what’s going to happen at Goldsboro.”