GREER – As Greer practiced on the eve of its Class AAA second-round playoff game against Union County, nerves were absent.
The Greer Yellow Jackets (11-0) were enjoying themselves Thursday, and they expect to do the same Friday when the Union County Yellow Jackets (5-6) visit Dooley Field for the second time this season.
“It doesn’t get better than Union vs. Greer,” said Greer senior quarterback Mario Cusano. “This’ll be my fourth time playing them, and it’s been down to the wire every single time.
“It’ll be fun. I love the atmosphere at these games. We’ve just got to play loose and do what we can do.”
“I think we always enjoy playing them, even though it’s one of the tougher games we have every year,” Greer coach Will Young said.
When the teams met in Week 3, Greer won 35-28. Union County is the only team to come within fewer than 14 points against Greer.
In the first Jacket Bowl of 2015, Cusano threw for 274 yards and four touchdowns. Greer wide receiver Troy Pride had three catches for 150 yards and two touchdowns, including one of 53 yards from Cusano that decided the game with 1:01 remaining.
Greer wide receiver Dorian Lindsey had five catches for 39 yards. Running back Adrian McGee rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown. Lindsey, McGee and Pride also played in the secondary against a bevy of talented Union County receivers, led by junior Shi Smith, who has offers from Clemson and South Carolina, among others. Lindsey and McGee each had an interception.
“Our guys have been (playing both ways) all year, and it has not been an issue for us,” Young said. “You’re not going to get Adrian McGee off the field anyway. He’ll fight you before you take him off the field. He’s probably the first running back we’ve ever had that actually plays that much defense.”
McGee did it last year, too, when he started at linebacker.
“We’re pretty lucky,” Young said. “We don’t have a lot of them, but the ones we do having going both ways — and it’s those three — happen to be really, really good. It’s kind of hard to make any changes with that.”
Union County, which dropped to 0-4 with the loss at Greer, has come on strong, which is often the case.
Union County also came on strong in the first round against Belton-Honea Path, rallying from a 14-0 deficit and scoring the go-ahead touchdown with 2:30 left to win 27-24.
Greer expects a game just like that, just like the first one.
“I can’t remember the last one we had that wasn’t down to the wire,” Young said. “We have a lot of respect for their team and their program and just the history of the game.”
“There’s a lot of great athletes on both teams, and it’s always fun to see who can get that last drive,” said Cusano. “Whoever gets that last drive normally gets the win.”