Greer’s Adrian McGee (24) leaves Blue Ridge’s Ethan Ellison (28) on a touchdown run.
GREER — Jumping out to a 28-0 lead in the first quarter, when the defense helped the offense take over in Blue Ridge territory on every possession, the Greer High Yellow Jackets put an exclamation point on a perfect regular season with a 51-0 win over the Tigers Friday night at Dooley Field.
Greer coach Will Young and quarterback Mario Cusano said last year’s 10-9 loss to Blue Ridge provided motivation.
“We thought about it a lot in the offseason and during the summertime,” Young said. “I think that’s what’s propelled us to win nine games (before Friday), to be honest with you. I felt like we were the better team last year, but we didn’t play that way. They played at a higher level than we did. Tonight we challenged our kids to play at a high level, and they did.”
Adrian McGee rushed for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Dorian Lindsey caught four passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. Cusano completed 10 of 14 passes for 177 yards and four touchdowns. And Troy Pride caught a 43-yard touchdown pass and intercepted Blue Ridge quarterback Jay Urich on defense.
Tiquan Lyles, Tyler Wright and Korey Styles were among Greer defenders to record sacks. The Yellow Jackets outgained Blue Ridge by more than 300 yards and limited the Tigers to 140 yards overall in keeping their perfect record unblemished.
“It did not come easy,” said Cusano. “Last year’s game humbled us. We wanted to come out here and be great every game, every week. That’s what we wanted to do, one week at a time.”
Now it’s on to the Class AAA playoffs, with seedings to be announced. No. 5 Daniel, an old thorn in Greer’s side, and No. 3 Wren, quarterbacked by dynamic Clemson commitment Kelly Bryant, lurk, not to mention lower-state powers in No. 1 Myrtle Beach and No. 2 Hartsville. And Clinton, a team Greer struggled against early this season, could be the opening-round opponent.
But No. 4 Greer must be considered a serious contender for the state championship.
“We’ve got so many weapons, and we use them all over the field,” said Lindsey. “It’s fun to distribute the ball and get everybody involved. I think no one can stop us because we’re so versatile on offense and our defense is real good, too.”
However good the Yellow Jackets are this year, they may be better next year, though they’ll have to rebuild some of their lines. The only senior who had a hand in the scoring Friday was receiver Xavier Wright.
Melvin Smith led Blue Ridge with 24 yards rushing and three receptions. Vonta Jenkins caught one pass for 50 yards and may’ve been a tripped shoe-tip away from breaking Greer’s shutout.
– Follow Michael Burns on Twitter @MikeNearGreer