Quez Nesbitt, Greer's sensational junior running back, is the focus of defenses. Alex Waters, far left, and D'Anta Fleming (3) are clearing the path for Nesbitt on this play.
John Hicks' performance last Friday night at Union County was one for the ages – 18 tackles, 10 assists, 4 fumbles, 2 tackles for loss. The senior linebacker's sights turn to Greenville in the first conference game of the season.
Rest assured Greer’s “now you see him, now you don’t” running back Quez Nesbitt will be the focus point of Greenville’s defense. John Hicks, a linebacker with 4.5 speed in the 40, who enjoys creating mayhem, was a one-man wrecking crew last Friday (28 tackles, 18 unassisted, 4 sacks, two tackles for loss) at Union County.
The supporting cast for the Yellow Jackets is maturing at an alarming rate for opponents. Last week, down 14-0, Greer tied the game with two touchdowns scored – one offense and one defense – in 90 seconds. Within 17 seconds, with 3:18 remaining in the half, Greer again scored a pair of touchdowns for a 26-14 lead. Adding insult to injury Greer milked the clock for all of 3:24 to score its final two touchdowns – Nesbitt’s 65-yard TD run still defies description. Nesbitt has 708 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Last year against Greenville, in a 59-14 victory, Nesbitt gained 246 yards and three touchdowns.
Greer Head Football Coach Will Young is becoming acclimated to his team’s quick strike offense. Young, a traditional coach, favors a grind it out, ball control type of offense and a defense that is intimidating, fearless and stingy.
But there is one glaring problem that concerns Young. “We have got to get better on third down percentage (20 percent successful). This week in practice we will focus on third down and six or seven yards,” Young said.
Greer is 2-1, winning both games after an opening season loss to Seneca. Greenville is 1-2 winning its first game last week, 41-7, over J.L. Mann. Greenville had its biggest offensive showing last week with Jamond Thomason, senior running back, accumulating for 160 yards.
“The offense as a whole did well and Gentry played well and made some good decisions,” Young said. Gentry was part of Greer’s ground game last week, gaining 97 yards on 13 carries including a 50-yard TD run when he slipped off tackle and raced untouched into the end zone. “He was always part of our package,” Young said. “When you have one back you will have to have something for the second back to do. We want less shake and bake and more north and south running.”
Teams routinely bait Nesbitt in an effort to get him to retaliate and face a penalty and/or ejection. Riverside, the victim of Nesbitt’s 314-yards rushing, 6 TDs performance in a 63-14 win tried it. Union County, after a hard but legal tackle, came up into Nesbitt’s face to coax him into responding. Both times Nesbitt, surrounded by his teammates, calmly walked back to the huddle. Against Union Nesbitt scored two plays later on the 65-yard TD run that Young described having, “No explanation.”
“We’ve talked about not hurting the team,” Young said. “We’ve talked a lot about that over the summer and Mr. Waters (Greer principle) has talked with them. If the players look at Quez and he’s calm and collected, everybody else will be too.
“It’s all about winning the game. If the kids get it, everybody will get it,” Young said.
Greer Police Department School Resource Officers and staff will work tonight’s game to monitor crowd control. Protocol, according to a Greer police spokesperson, requires Greenville County law enforcement to ask for assistance.