NASHVILLE — Stratford came into Friday’s game as one of a handful of undefeated teams in the state, but the Bobcats took the Spartans to the limit before coming up just a little short 21-16.
“We may have lost the game, but I really feel like this was one of the best games we’ve played all year,” Greenbrier coach John Elmore said. “The fact that it came when we really had nothing left to play for than pride also showed us a lot.
“Defensively, I think this was our best outing, holding an explosive team like Stratford to just three scores and having a chance late to win the game is all we can ask as coaches.”
Greenbrier had a 3-0 lead at halftime and increased that lead in the third quarter, when Micah Escue intercepted a pass and returned it 26 yards for the score to make it 10-0.
Stratford would score the next three touchdowns to give the Spartans a 21-10 advantage, but the Bobcats cut it to less than a touchdown when quarterback Bailey Young took it in from one yard out to make it 21-16.
Greenbrier had one last chance, driving with the ball in the closing minutes, but a couple of untimely penalties ended the drive and the Spartans hung on for the win.
So here are five things that almost had the Bobcats handing the Spartans their only loss of the season Friday night.
1 – Greenbrier defense gave the Bobcats chance to pull off the upset. Coming in, Greenbrier knew that big plays had been a trademark of the Stratford season. The Bobcats were able to shut out the Spartans in the first half.
2 – Third quarter was the downfall for the Bobcats. The Spartans scored all 21 of their points in the third quarter.
3 – The Greenbrier offensive line opened holes all night for the running game. The offensive line goes greatly unnoticed most games, according to Elmore, but Friday the undersized Bobcats went toe-to-toe with one of the best defensive lines in the state and nearly came away with the win.
4 – Nick Davis returned from injury and led the team in rushing. He had a 26-yard kickoff return and led the way on the defensive side of the ball, coming up with an interception for a touchdown.
5 – Greenbrier was nearly clean, committing just one turnover and only 25 yards in penalties, giving the Bobcats that chance to pull off the upset. Stratford lost two fumbles, threw an interception for a touchdown and had 14 penalties for 120 yards.