Starting quarterback Blake Greene and receiver JuJu Brown were each knocked out of the Red Devils’ 34-7 defeat against Goldsboro High at Cougar Stadium.
Greene exited in the third quarter when he got sandwiched between two defenders after throwing his third interception of the game. Brown was injured on a kickoff return early in the fourth quarter and transported to Wayne Memorial Hospital.
Red Springs head coach George Coltharp said Greene would be ready for next week’s Three Rivers 1-A/2-A opener against St. Paul’s. He did not speculate on Brown’s condition.
“Any time you lose two All-State players in one game, that’s what happens because at the 1-A level you don’t have enough to replace them,” Coltharp said. “We had young kids to come in and try to step up. We’ve got probably the best quarterback around and he’s going to be all right next week.
“He gets dinged and obviously we care about his health more than we do about winning. We sit him for the rest of the game. Losing JuJu right there at the end … we still don’t know what that situation is.”
The Cougars (4-1 overall) held the No. 10-ranked Red Devils to just 185 yards of total offense on 56 plays in their no-huddle offense. Red Springs (3-3) finished 0-for-6 on fourth-down conversions and came up empty-handed on two red-zone possessions in the opening half.
“We just felt like every time we got something going, something would happen that would derail it,” said Coltharp, whose team ran 56 offensive plays. “We’ll go back and look at the film. There’s an old saying in coaching that it’s never as good or as bad you think it was until you look at the tape.
“That’s a good ballclub.”
The teams traded first-quarter picks and combined for three second-quarter scores. Rasheed Malette, who led all rushers with 100 yards, capped Goldsboro’s first drive — a 97-yard, 16-play march — with an 8-yard dive.
The Red Devils forged a 7-7 tie on Brown’s touchdown reception. Eighteen seconds later, Goldsboro quarterback Julius Murphy hooked up with Karon Alston for a 75-yard touchdown pass. Murphy ended the night 15 of 22 for 233 yards, including three touchdown strikes to Alston.
“It was a game at halftime,” Coltharp said.
However, the Red Devils managed just 28 yards of total offense in the second half and had five possessions end on downs.