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Kelly, Cusano lead Greer past Southside; Jackets win 8th straight

Published on Saturday, October 26, 2013

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Emanuel Kelly scores his third touchdown after being flipped at the goal line by Southside players Cam Wrice (1) and Davion Washington. 

Julie McCombs

Emanuel Kelly scores his third touchdown after being flipped at the goal line by Southside players Cam Wrice (1) and Davion Washington. 



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Tyler Wright (43) zeros in on Southside's Luttrell Dallas (15).  Dallas gained 143 yards on 19 carries for Southside.

Julie McCombs

Tyler Wright (43) zeros in on Southside's Luttrell Dallas (15).  Dallas gained 143 yards on 19 carries for Southside.



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Zechariah Glidden comes face-to-face with Southside's Gabriel Young. Glidden was looking to block on the play.

Julie McCombs

Zechariah Glidden comes face-to-face with Southside's Gabriel Young. Glidden was looking to block on the play.



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Sophomore quarterback Mario Cusano threw 5 touchdown passes – 2 to Emanuel Kelly and one each to Dorian Lindsey, Zachariah Glidden and Tay Woods.

Julie McCombs

Sophomore quarterback Mario Cusano threw 5 touchdown passes – 2 to Emanuel Kelly and one each to Dorian Lindsey, Zachariah Glidden and Tay Woods.



Scoring summary, statisics

Standings

How dare Mario Cusano, sophomore transfer quarterback for the Greer Yellow Jackets, crash the Senior Night party at Dooley Field? Lucky for Cusano, his teammate is Emanuel Kelly, the senior all-around player who virtually plays every down, including on special teams.

Cusano threw five touchdown passes, two to Kelly, as Greer clinched a share of the Region II-AAA championship Friday night with a 42-7 win over Southside.  Greer is 6-0 in the region and 8-1 overall, winning eight straight. Southside fell to 3-3 and 6-3.  Greer can win the championship outright with a win next Friday at Blue Ridge  (5-1 in the region, 7-2 overall).

Kelly accounted for three touchdowns – a 3-yard scoring run in the first quarter, 48-yard scoring pass in the second and 31-yard TD reception in the third quarter – to help Greer build a comfortable lead and cruise to the win.

It was an emotional night for Kelly, who has turned his senior season into a stunning example of maturity and leadership. He is one of the senior captains and has taken that responsibility to heart.

“I cried a little before the game and put my heart on the line every snap,” Kelly said.  He and a dozen other seniors were introduced before the game.

“(Emanuel) played great on both sides of the ball and played great on special teams,” Greer Head Coach Will Young said. “He’s another one of our great players. We’re fortunate to have a bunch of them so when we lose one of them we can still perform a little bit.”

Kelly said he realized as a junior he would need to make some changes for his senior year. “Last year I played around a lot. I had stuff I had to clear my mind and step up and be a man.”

Kelly’s play and nurturing the underclassmen has been his way of paying it forward. “I try to keep my boys up every time, keep them going. I am going to fight for my boys and my team. I love the group we have right now,” Kelly said.

Kelly said Greer came into the game with a singular focus. “We wanted to prove we are not a one-player team.” Kelly was referring to fellow senior Quez Nesbitt, the most prolific runner in Greer history, who did not play Friday night.

Nesbitt was sidelined with a with a thigh bruise. DeAndre Moren“It’s been three and a half years since (Quez) hasn’t been out here. It’s kind of weird not having him,” Young said.

“I didn’t like being on the sidelines. I don’t want to do that again,” said Nesbitt, dressed out in sweatpants.

Sophomore Adrian McGee started in place of Nesbitt and led Greer with 116 yards gained on 20 carries. He fumbled once, Greer recovered, but Kelly explained to McGee nerves are part of the game at this point. “I told him, next year it’s going to be your spot. It’s no point being nervous. It’s going to be like that every game. Just come out here and work.”

Kelly said he also coached McGee to keep moving forward when opponents are retreating. “One play he was dragging like nine players. I told him to keep going,” Kelly said.

Cusano completed 66 percent of his passes attempted, 12 of 18, for 258 yards. Besides Kelly’s TD receptions, Cusano connected on scoring passes of 20 yards to Zechariah Glidden, 35 yards to Tay Woods and 25 yards to Dorian Lindsey.

"I had some good blocks on the play I scored,” Woods said.

“(Mario) has grown up and gets better every game,” Young said. “He’s going to be a real good quarterback in the future. He is a tremendous talent. This is all kind of a new experience for him from where he came from. He is a very poised young man and he doesn’t get riled easily.”

Cusano said he and Kelly frequently practice the passes that Kelly caught for two touchdowns, perfectly thrown and leading the receiver. “We practice throwing to a spot,” Cusano said. “We’ll put trash cans in spots and try to throw the ball into them. My percentage is pretty good.”

“I told Mario that anytime he wanted to throw the ball deep I could beat my man,” Kelly said.

Cusano said he is confident Kelly can track down almost any thrown pass. “All I’ve got to do is throw it far and high. He can catch anything,” Cusano said.  

Young had no trouble handing out praise. “The offensive line protected well and all the receivers did a good job,” he said.

The defense had seven tackles for loss and two sacks. “That was impressive and I think those kids have come a long way,” Young said.

Southside was held to 164 total yards. Running back Luttrell Dallas had 143 yards rushing and scored Southside’s touchdown. “It feels good to end (final home season) on a good note,” said senior Raymond Booker.

Kelly’s grandmother and aunt, each holding an arm, in pre-game senior introductions, escorted him to the sidelines. He was asked what he said to them. “On the way out I just gave them a kiss and told them I loved them.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCORING SUMMARY

 

1st Quarter

2nd Quarter

3rd Quarter

4th Quarter

Total

Southside

0

0

7

0

7

Greer

7

14

7

14

42

First Quarter

 

Greer: Emanuel Kelly 4 run (Nick Roberson kick). 6:53. 7-0.

 

Second Quarter

 

Greer: Kelly 48 pass from Mario Cusano (Roberson kick). 10:26. 14-0.

 

Greer: Zechariah Glidden 20 pass from Cusano. (Roberson kick). : 44. 21-0.

 

Third Quarter

 

Greer: Kelly 30 pass from Cusano. 9:31. 28-0.

 

Southside: Lutrell Dallas 48 run (Micah Tiffin kick). : 54. 28-7.

 

Fourth Quarter

 

Greer: Tay Woods 35 pass from Cusano (Roberson kick). 11:46. 35-7.

 

Greer: Dorian Lindsey 25 pass from Cusano (Roberson kick). 9:02. 42-7.

 

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