Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Greene Central fails to hold lead, falls to South Central

3 min read

By Laieke Abebe

WJG Sports Contributor

GREENVILLE — Up by as many as 14 in the second half, Greene Central fell to South Central 29-28 in the season opener for both teams on Friday. 

Jay Wilson’s varsity football coaching debut didn’t feature the result the Rams wanted, but there were a lot of good things for the Rams to feel good about.

“Obviously, it’s frustrating to come up short with how well we played,” he said. “I saw a lot of things we can build on from tonight. We did make some mistakes we need to correct, but I’m proud of my guys for their effort. It’s a learning experience for us and hopefully we can finish in the fourth quarter next week.”

After senior Zakvil Smith’s punt pinned the Falcons inside the five yard line, the Rams forced a safety when senior linebacker Quantavious Horne made a huge end zone tackle with 2:32 left in the opening quarter. A Jayden Willis interception put the Rams in the Falcons red zone early in the second quarter before a lightning delay forced both teams to exit the field.

When the game resumed about 45 minutes later, the Rams failed to score off the turnover. The defense came to play as the Falcons couldn’t get anything going until late in the first half. Cole Dawson found Smith on a 32 yard touchdown pass to make it 10-0 midway through the second quarter.

The Falcons would answer with a Zyaire Williams one-yard rushing touchdown before the half. Greene Central forced a three and out to start the second half, but they were pinned inside the 10. That’s when Dawson found Smith again for a 78-yard pass and catch down to the 15. 

Knowledge Branch scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns on the next play. After a fumble recovery on the ensuing possession by Hezekiah Pagan, the Rams junior running back scored from eight yards out on third and goal to make it 22-8 late in the third.

However, the Falcons didn’t go away. Williams scored again for the Falcons on a 17-yard run late in the third to make it a one possession game. After a Rams three and out, Kevone Harris’ 29 yard touchdown and two point conversion tied the game at 22 early in the fourth.

The Rams answered with a touchdown drive of their own as Dawson found Lamar Pridgen for a 17-yard strike to regain the lead, but they failed to score the two point conversion.

That would come into play on the next drive. With 4:33 left in regulation and on third and 12 from their own 34, Falcons senior quarterback Justin Humphries found Jyquan Sheppard for a 66 yard touchdown that became the game winner. 

Greene Central got stopped on fourth down late in the game, but they did have one last chance to get the winning score. Unfortunately, the Hail Mary fell well short of the end zone and it was a bitter defeat for the Rams.

The Rams face C.B. Aycock next Friday in their home opener.

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August 2019