After picking Greer High seniors Troy Pride and Dorian Lindsey for the South Carolina Shrine Bowl team this week, Berea coach Wayne Green watched them burn his Bulldogs for 174 yards and three touchdowns combined Friday night in a 61-0 rout at Harold Batson Stadium.
But it was Greer’s Mario Cusano and Adrian McGee who stole the show.
Cusano completed 16 of 22 passes for 287 yards with five touchdowns to eclipse 5,000 yards passing for his career. This year he has 1,246 passing yards, 17 touchdowns and no interceptions.
He completed passes to six receivers in the first half.
After the game, Greer coach Will Young, a former Clemson University player, wondered why Cusano hasn’t drawn scholarship offers from colleges.
“I don’t get it,” Young said. “They did the same thing with Reese Hannon (now playing for Furman University). I bet you South Carolina would like to have Reese Hannon right now. I don’t understand what they’re looking for. Everybody wants the 6-4 or 6-5 guy, but when you’ve got a guy sitting here who’s as good as Mario (6-1, 180 pounds), I don’t know what they’re waiting on.”
McGee rushed for 30 yards and a touchdown, and he put a stamp on his team’s effort early in the second half when he tipped a pass from Berea’s Colby Pressley high into the air, pulled in the interception, rumbled through a would-be tackler and raced 36 yards to score.
He had two interceptions.
Lindsey intercepted a pass late in the first half and returned it 57 yards to set up his 36-yard touchdown reception.
Cusano opened the game with a perfectly lofted spiral deep over the middle to Pride, who raced in untouched for the 54-yard score.
“It was the first dry night in a couple of weeks,” Young said. “It was good to get out and do everything that we’re capable of doing.”
Greer, ranked No. 3 in Class AAA, improved to 7-0, including 4-0 in the Peach Blossom AAA Region. Berea fell to 2-5, 0-4.
“That’s a great team,” said Green, who’ll lead Pride and Lindsey in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas Dec. 19 at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg. That will come two weeks after a Class AAA state championship game that Greer hopes to reach.
“Greer probably has five players that are good enough players to play in the Shrine Bowl, but we could only take two of them,” Green said. “We didn’t play our best, but I was pleased that we didn’t quit, even though the score didn’t look like it. They were just that much better than us tonight.”
Chris Quinn, a sophomore who grabbed an interception, Isaiah Long and C.J. Collins were among Greer’s standouts on defense. The Yellow Jackets held Berea to 118 total yards.
Travis Hagood led Berea with 47 rushing yards. Pressley passed for 84 yards but was stung by four interceptions.
– Follow Michael Burns on Twitter @MikeNearGreer