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Greer completes perfect regular season defeating rival Blue Ridge

By John Clayton, Staff Reporter
Published on Friday, October 30, 2015

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Troy Pride (5) has Kevon Jones of Blue Ridge in his crosshairs as Greer running back Adrian McGee watches intently for the block to send him on his way.
 

Julie McCombs

Troy Pride (5) has Kevon Jones of Blue Ridge in his crosshairs as Greer running back Adrian McGee watches intently for the block to send him on his way.

 



Enlarge photo

Evan Coffin (17) of Blue Ridge and his teammates stand up Chance Coleman of Greer.
 

Julie McCombs

Evan Coffin (17) of Blue Ridge and his teammates stand up Chance Coleman of Greer.

 



Enlarge photo

Mario Cusano (3) of Greer draws a crowd of Blue Ridge defenders.
 

Julie McCombs

Mario Cusano (3) of Greer draws a crowd of Blue Ridge defenders.

 



Enlarge photo

Noah Hannon (60) of Greer puts a crunching block on a Blue Ridge player, knocking his helmet backwards, as he frees more running room for Adrian McGee (24).
 

Julie McCombs

Noah Hannon (60) of Greer puts a crunching block on a Blue Ridge player, knocking his helmet backwards, as he frees more running room for Adrian McGee (24).

 



Greer stepped onto the football field at rival Blue Ridge Friday night with its unbeaten record on the line and left with a 32-7 victory over the Tigers and another slice of history for itself.

The Yellow Jackets, ranked No. 3 in the state in Class 3A, recorded back-to-back undefeated seasons for the first time in the nearly 100-year history of Greer football and will carry a 10-0 mark into the Class 3A playoffs for the second straight year.

“It's absolutely amazing to go undefeated two times in a row with your brothers is just amazing,” Greer linebacker Brodie Wright said. 

Mario Cusano threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, connecting twice with Troy Pride (19 and 50 yards) and once with Dorian Lindsey (16 yards) for scores.

Greer's defense also put points on the scoreboard for the Yellow Jackets (10-0 overall, 7-0 region) on a pair of safeties. The defense forced an intentional-grounding penalty in the end zone on Blue Ridge quarterback Jake Smith early in the second quarter and sacked him in the end zone in the fourth for the final score of the game.

“We've tried to tighten down our defense,” Wright said. “If you can't score, you can't win.”

Blue Ridge, which put up 49 points in a three-point loss at Chapman a week ago, could manage only one scoring drive. The Greer defense stopped the Tigers three times inside the Yellow Jackets' 30-yard-line.

Pride blocked two John Michael Bright field-goal attempts and the defense forced the ball over on downs in the waning minutes of the game.

Against Chapman, Smith threw for more than 600 yards – a short-lived state record broken by Spartanburg's Austin Scott 24 hours later – and six touchdowns. The Yellow Jackets held Smith to 148 yards on 14 of 27 passing and no touchdowns.

The Tigers' only score came on a 2-yard run by senior running back Vonta Jenkins, who led all rushers with 119 yards on 15 attempts.

It was the end of a disappointing season for the Tigers, who finished 2-8 overall and 1-6 in region play.

“I couldn't be more proud with the effort they gave week-in and week-out in practice, in the games and in everything they do," said Blue Ridge head coach Shane Clark. “I love them. I wouldn't have any other group than this one right here. They've faced a lot of adversity this season, but it will make them strong men in life. They never gave up. They fought through it the whole way.”

Cusano completed 19 of 27 passes for 238 yards, the three scores and just his second interception of the season to go with 27 touchdowns.

Lindsey finished with 151 yards on a dozen receptions.

The Yellow Jackets were also penalized eight times for 90 yards, including several personal foul and facemask calls as the game at times turned chippy.

Greer Head Coach Will Young said some mistakes need to be ironed out before the playoffs begin in two weeks.

“We've worked all year – talking since January about being 11-1,’ Young said, referring to last year's early exit from the playoffs. “We don't want to be 11-1.

“We’ve got to eliminate some of the sloppiness we had tonight, but we still came away with the win.”

The Yellow Jackets will have a rare week off before hosting the first of potentially two home playoff games. The playoffs were postponed for a week to allow teams in the Midlands an opportunity to make up games that were to be played during the severe flooding earlier in October.

Young said the Yellow Jackets will welcome the break.

“We need something to be different from last year,” Young said, alluding to last year's stinging early exit from the playoffs. “This is something we can hang our hat on as far as being different. We have the same record as last year, so we'd like something to change. 

“We can take this week and sit back and look at what we've done. We can adjust and see what we can do better as a football team. It gives our guys a chance to heal up a little bit, too.”

While Greer went into the game with the region title in hand, playoff seeding for the rest of the region came down to Friday night.

Chapman (5-2 region) wrapped up the No. 2 seed with a 42-27 win over Southside, which will be seeded third with a 4-3 region record. Emerald took the final playoff spot from Region II-3A with a 41-30 win over Eastside.

Statistics provided by Red Watson of the Yellow Jackets Sports Network.

SCORE BY QUARTERS  1   2   3   4   OT  TOTAL
(V) Greer 7 16 0 9 0 32
(H) Blue Ridge 0 7 0 0 0 7

 

TEAM GHS BRHS
  (VISITOR) (HOME)
Score 32 7
First Downs 22 15
Rushes / Yards (Net) 35 / 142 30 / 103
Passing Yards (Net) 238 148
Passes -- Att / Comp / Int 27/19/1 27/14/0
Total Offensive Plays / Yards 62 / 380 57 / 251
Fumble Returns / Yards 0 / 0 0 / 0
Punt Returns / Yards 1 / 0 0 / 0
Kickoff Returns / Yards 3 / 65 4 / 96
Interception Returns / Yards 0 / 0 1 / 0
Punts (Number/Average) 1 / 28.0 2 / 30.0
Fumbles / Lost 0 / 0 3 / 1
Penalties / Yards 8 / 90 7 / 74
Possession Time 27:46 20:14

GHS INDIVIDUAL LEADERS BRHS
 
RushingAttNetTDLgAvg
Adrian McGee 20 93 0 14 4.7
Mario Cusano 13 63 1 30 4.8
TEAM 1 0 0 0 0.0
Troy Pride 1 -14 0 0 -14.0
RushingAttNetTDLgAvg
Vonta Jenkins 15 119 1 26 7.9
Jake Smith 15 -16 0 11 -1.1
 
PassingAttCompIntYdsTDLg
Mario Cusano 27 19 1 238 3 50
PassingAttCompIntYdsTDLg
Jake Smith 27 14 0 148 0 48
 
Passing ReceivingNoYardsTDLg
Dorian Lindsey 12 151 1 31
Troy Pride 5 75 2 50
Cameron Kelley 1 6 0 6
Chance Coleman 1 6 0 6
Passing ReceivingNoYardsTDLg
Temage Green 5 62 0 48
Austin James 3 29 0 16
Jason Sammons 3 20 0 8
Vonta Jenkins 2 19 0 17
 
PuntingNoYardsAvgTBI20Lg
Jake Arrowood 1 28 28.0 0 0 28
PuntingNoYardsAvgTBI20Lg
Jon Michael Bright 2 60 30.0 0 0 37
 
Punt ReturnsNo.YardsTDLg
Troy Pride 1 0 0 0
Punt ReturnsNo.YardsTDLg
 
Kick ReturnsNoYardsTDLg
Troy Pride 2 46 0 35
Adrian McGee 1 19 0 19
Kick ReturnsNoYardsTDLg
Vonta Jenkins 3 69 0 53
Temage Green 1 27 0 27

Scoring Summary: Plays Yards TOP Score
04:49  GHS Mario Cusano Passes to Troy Pride COMPLETE TOUCHDOWN, clock 04:4919 yds PAT Kick by Nicholas Roberson GOOD. 3 41 01:02 7 - 0
11:05  GHS Jake SMITH Carries(QB Keeper) SAFETY, clock 11:05 -4 yds 3 -5 00:47 9 - 0
04:14  GHS Mario Cusano Carries(QB Keeper) TOUCHDOWN, clock 04:14 1 yds PAT Kick by Nicholas Roberson GOOD. 14 63 06:51 16 - 0
01:12  BRHS Vonta JENKINS Carries(Hand Off) TOUCHDOWN, clock 01:12 2 yds PAT Kick by Jon Michael BRIGHT GOOD. 11 81 03:02 16 - 7
00:20  GHS Mario Cusano Passes to Troy Pride COMPLETE TOUCHDOWN, clock 00:2050 yds PAT Kick by Nicholas Roberson GOOD. 4 61 00:52 23 - 7
06:49  GHS Mario Cusano Passes to Dorian Lindsey COMPLETE TOUCHDOWN, clock06:49 16 yds PAT Kick by Nicholas Roberson GOOD. 7 69 03:38 30 - 7
05:44  GHS Jake SMITH Carries(QB Keeper) SAFETY, clock 05:44 -5 yds 2 -17 01:05 32 - 7
 

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