GREER When the Greer High football team arrives at Inman for Friday night’s game against Chapman, Yellow Jackets coach Will Young expects his players to be alert, energetic and determined.
“We’ve been doing this long enough that we ought to be sharp early,” he said.
“One thing that coach is always preaching is that we’ve got to ‘get off the bus,’ ” said junior offensive tackle Noah Hannon. “We’ve got to hit it from the start. We can’t have any letdowns, any slow starts, because that can hinder our chances to win.”
Greer (7-0, 4-0), No. 3 in Class AAA, has won 17 consecutive regular-season games, including 11 straight Peach Blossom AAA Region contests.
Chapman (5-2, 3-1) is coming off an impressive, 42-21 victory against Emerald that kept the Panthers squarely in the thick of the region race. Chapman and Southside — next week’s opponent — are one game behind Greer and in a tie for second place.
“They’re probably one of the strongest teams in our region,” said Hannon, a three-year starter up front. “We know we’re going to get their best shot. When you wear the ‘G,’ you’ve got a target on you, so you’ve got to come ready to play every day.”
So far the Jackets have done that. They’ve beaten opponents by an average of 33 points, and only Union County has come within fewer than 19 points.
Greer has limited the opposition to averages of 263 yards and 11.7 points per game.
“Another thing, a motto for this year, is ‘fifth gear,’ ” Hannon said. “When everybody else is in fourth gear, we’ve got to put it in that fifth gear and be able to go. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, it doesn’t whether it’s away or home, we just put the pedal to the medal and get after it.”
Much of the Jackets’ desire stems from last year’s 55-21 loss to Belton-Honea Path in the second round of the playoffs.
“It’s been a motivating factor since January,” Young said. “We’ve talked about it a lot. We were only down seven points at half in that game, and then we came out and turned the ball over three times in the second half and it looks like a blowout.
“That’s the part that’s hard to swallow. It’s supposed to be tough in the playoffs. We didn’t handle it very well when it got tough in the playoffs. Playing teams like Chapman gives us a chance to play somebody that’s good and well-coached. We need more of these games. Chapman’s good, Southside’s good, so these next two weeks are huge for us.”
“We know Chapman’s going to bring it,” said Hannon. “We’ve got to be ready to take it.”