Goldsboro was looking to improve its record to 3-0 on Friday evening, but Clinton used a big second half to defeat the Cougars 42-7.
“Clinton is a good ball team, and we’re a good ball team. We just have to polish up some things,” Goldsboro head coach Timothy Ray. “At the end of the day, we just have to keep working hard and come back next week.”
The Cougars got the ball first to open the game but were forced to punt. On their first possession of the game, the Dark Horses faced a third-and-long, and it looked like the Cougars were going to get the ball back.
However, Clinton quarterback Blake Smith evaded the Cougars’ pass rush and completed a pass to Patrick Morrisey, who ran down to the Cougars eight-yard line.
Two plays later, Davion Smith ran into the end zone to put Clinton up 7-0.
Goldsboro was forced to punt on its possession, and Clinton took advantage by going on a 10-play 52-yard drive that was capped off with a nine-yard touchdown run from Smith with 1:28 left in the first quarter.
The Cougars held off the Dark Horses for most of the second quarter, but after Clinton blocked a punt, the Dark Horses scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession and led 21-0 at halftime.
“We do what we do, and we just have to make ball plays,” Ray said. “Once we get out there and make plays, we’re going to be good to go.”
Clinton got the ball to open the second half, and Smith scored his fourth touchdown of the game, which capped a nine-play, four-minute drive.
After a Goldsboro interception, Smith scored his fifth and final TD on a two-yard run midway through the third quarter.
Clinton added another touchdown late in the third quarter and led 42-0 going into the fourth quarter.
Down 42-0 late in the fourth quarter, the Cougars avoided the shutout when Marcus Williams ran into the end zone from six yards out.
“This was a good look of where we are. We played two good non-conference games, and we just had an off night,” Ray said. “We just got to get it together. We’re going to all right.”
Goldsboro (2-1 overall, 0-1 EC) will look to bounce back next Friday when the Cougars travel to James Kenan (2-1, 0-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.