After back-to-back losses to Springfield to begin the last two seasons, Greenbrier ended its losing streak in the series by defeating the Yellow Jackets 21-7 to kick off the 2012 season.
“We really fought hard, kept the ball moving and played power football,” said fullback James Pentecost, who scored two of Greenbrier’s three rushing touchdowns.
Pentecost, along with fellow junior J.R. Brown, a tailback, guided Greenbrier (1-0) to a dominate rushing performance against their Robertson County rivals to the north, combining for 218 yards on 45 carries and three rushing scores.
“It’s a good win for us tonight,” Greenbrier coach Kirk Williams said. “We don’t really have the best seats in the house when it comes to watching what happens in the trenches, but I thought our offensive line was able to get our backs a few running lanes and our backs were able to take advantage of that.”
Williams also praised his defense, which held Springfield (0-1) to four first downs and less than 150 yards of total offense.
“I was pleased with our defensive effort,” Williams said. “We gave up that one big play early, but other than that we were able to kind of contain their speed and it paid off for us tonight.”
Pentecost capped the Bobcats’ opening drive with a five-yard touchdown run, giving Greenbrier a 7-0 lead. after sophomore kicker Nick Kelly made the extra point with 11:05 to play in the first quarter.
The Jackets, who held the Bobcats scoreless in the second half, answered quickly though, as quarterback Michael Smith found wide receiver Brandon Farmer for a 66-yard touchdown on Springfield’s second offensive play of the game. Kicker Mason Clark’s extra point tied the game 7-7 less than two minutes into the game.
“That was good to see, but when you get pushed around up front like we did tonight, that’s just unacceptable,” first-year Springfield coach Dustin Wilson said. “We have to get better at that if we expect to compete.”
Greenbrier answered Farmer’s touchdown grab when Pentecost, who finished with 89 yards on 20 carries, ended the Bobcats’ second drive with a four-yard touchdown. Kelly’s extra point gave Greenbrier a 14-7 lead with 4:20 left in the first quarter, which they didn’t relinquish the rest of the way.
Brown, who finished with 129 yards on 25 carries, added his touchdown with 2:11 left in the first half to provide the final margin of 21-7. Neither team scored in the second half.