It took 21 years, 70 points and yet another splendid performance by quarterback Kelly Bryant, but Wren finally snapped its postseason victory drought.
Bryant threw four touchdown passes and ran for three scores, and the Hurricanes held off a late charge by Greenville to win a slugfest, 70-61, in the first round of the Class AAA football playoffs Friday night at Sirrine Stadium.
Wren (8-3), which won a playoff game for the first time since 1992, will be at home in the second round against Chapman.
“It’s been a while, so I’m very proud and happy for our school and community,” said Hurricanes coach Jeff Tate, whose team helped him celebrate his 56th birthday.
Tate said he felt pretty good when the Hurricanes were ahead 63-28, but he credited the Red Raiders (7-4) with hanging tough.
“They fought back and made a game out of it, and we had to finish it, and thankfully we were able to do so,” Tate said.
Bryant completed 19 of 32 passes for 296 yards, including touchdowns of 6 and 29 yards to Harrison Hix, 4 yards to Nathaniel Ekwere and 35 yards to Bailey Rogers. He also ran for touchdowns of 79, 10 and 5 yards.
“I don’t know what Kelly’s numbers were, but I know this: If people don’t think that kid can play quarterback, then they haven’t seen him play,” Tate said. “They just need to watch his video, and they’ll see what kind of playmaker he is and what kind of resolve he has.
“He never loses his cool. He can run, can throw it, he’s tough, makes good decisions with the ball. I’m just very proud of the effort that he gave.”
“What I noticed is how much leverage he has when he stiff-arms to keep them away,” said Greenville coach Phil Magdic. “That’s the thing that you don’t see on film. He just kept those guys at bay with a stiff-arm, and it’s hard to get to him.”
Wren also benefited from a pair of blocked punts, one of which Evan Bagwell returned for a touchdown, and a fumble return for a touchdown by Will Brotherton.
For Greenville, Carson Spiers threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns, and Clark Scolamiero passed for two scores and ran for two. Jalen Wilkes had five catches for 190 yards and four touchdowns.
Also, LeMarcus Martin returned a pair of kickoffs for touchdowns for the Red Raiders.