Quez Nesbitt looked ready to handle Pickens all by himself Friday night.
With some help from Greer’s defensive backs, there was no doubt about the final result.
The Greer senior tailback had the best game of a stellar career, rushing for a career-high 344 yards and four touchdowns. Yellow Jackets defenders made three interceptions, and Greer rolled to a 51-20 victory against the Blue Flame.
The Yellow Jackets took control of Peach Blossom AAA Region with two regular-season games remaining. Greer won its seventh consecutive game, improving to 7-1, including 5-0 in region play; Pickens fell to 5-3, 3-2.
“We came in and said we had to prove a statement to the rest of the region,” Nesbitt said. “That’s what we did tonight. We worked through the game plan the whole week, and it worked great. I came out with a great game; all my credit goes to the offensive line.”
Pickens struck first with Mason Covey’s 32-yard touchdown catch, taking a 7-0 lead just more than three minutes in, but Nesbitt was ready to answer.
He carried five times for 59 yards on the next drive, including an 11-yard touchdown dash to the left side to tie the score with 6:59 left in the quarter.
The next exchange was more of the same: Turner passed Covey for a 27-yard touchdown and 14-7 lead.
A clip stunted what would have been an 80-yard interception return by Taghai Mack, but no matter; Nesbitt’s 33-yard run tied the score at 14.
Late in the second quarter, Nesbitt gave the Yellow Jackets the lead for good with a juking 28-yard touchdown run during which he broke multiple tackles to the end zone with 5:20 left.
Pickens cut the lead to 30-20 late in the third quarter on Austin Clark’s 1-yard touchdown run, but two big plays doused the Flame for good.
Emanuel Kelly returned the ensuing kickoff for a 99-yard touchdown — with Nesbitt making the key block. Later Nesbitt found a seam and raced for a 76-yard touchdown on the final play of the third quarter for a 44-20 lead.
“I thought we played well in the second half on offense and defense,” Greer coach Will Young said. “Which is big when you come over here.”