BY WAYNE PHILLIPS
SPORTS EDITOR EMERITUS
Greeneville has entered the segment of its football season where wins have been pretty easy to come by ever since the formation of the Blue Ridge Athletic Conference.
Friday night was no different.
The Greene Devils (1-0, 2-2) romped past South Greene (0-2, 1-4) on crowded Rebel Hill 72-7, pretty much scoring at will against a young team with a lineup consisting primarily of sophomores and freshmen.
The Devils amassed 437 yds. of offense, and they already had two touchdowns on the board before running their first play from scrimmage. That came about by returning the game's opening kickoff for a score, then returning South Greene's first punt for a touchdown.
To the credit of the maroon-clad Rebs, they never laid down, battling for hard-earned yards to the final whistle. But the speed of the Devils was just too much to overcome.
Lots of young folks got into the action for Greeneville, including freshman Desmond Dabbs, who had two long touchdown runs in leading the rushing on the night with 141 yds. in only five carries. Xzavier Goode rushed for 85, and seven other backs split up the rest of the rushing totals as GHS had 351 yds. on the ground.
The Rebels continue to try to find a running game, finishing with only 15 yds. on the ground for the night. But they did find some spark in a passing attack, netting 95 yds. as Hunter Waddell was 9-of-19 for 95 yds. and no interceptions. Greeneville did get a couple of interceptions, but those passes came off the fingers of different players.
Quan Wilson got the scoring parade started by taking the game's opening kickoff and darted into the clear, scooting 85 yds. to the end zone. Lincoln Taylor was true on the first of seven extra points he would collect on the night.
The Rebels couldn't pick up a first down on their opening possession, and Lucas Riddle punted the ball to Hays Culbreth, who gathered it in at the 45 and raced all the way to paydirt. The score read 14-0 and the game was not two minutes old.
South Greene showed some spunk, taking over at their own 17 and driving to the GHS 20 before turning it over. Waddell hit a 32-yd. pass across the middle to Tim Lightfoot, then nailed Justin Casteel for 13 yds. A roughing the passer penalty on GHS had the Rebs in good shape with a first down at the 23.
Waddell on a keeper picked up 3-yds. to the 20, but lost his helmet on the play and had to go to the sideline. Justin Casteel tried a pass that Quan Wilson picked off at the 15-yd. line and SG's drive was thwarted.
Greeneville marched right down the field, moving 86 yds. in 10 plays. The big play in the drive was a 23-yd. run by Goode. The score came on Wilson's second TD of the night, a 15-yd. run.
A short punt by the Rebels had GHS in good shape moments later, taking over at the SG 39. In two plays GHS scored when quarterback Tanner Stewart went around right end for 21 yds. The score was 28-0 with still three minutes left in the first quarter.
A 16-yd. run by Goode on the first play of the second period increased the margin to 35-0, and a 10-yd. run by Wilson, his third TD of the night, with 9:50 remaining had the Devils in complete control at 42-0.
Greeneville wasn't finished. Zack Finchum took over at quarterback and ran one in from 14-yds. out. Lincoln Taylor bombed a 39-yd. field goal to close out the first half scoring at 52-0.
With the clock running continuously in the second half due to the TSSAA "mercy rule," Greeneville got three more scores. Finchum scored on an 11-yd. run in the third period, then freshman Dabbs broke loose on a pair of fourth quarter jaunts, a 61-yarder and a 65-yarder. Martin Deconavich had one PAT kick and Russell Ramsey kicked one.
South Greene dented the scoreboard with a nice 84-yd. drive that started in the third quarter and ran into the fourth. Again Waddell hit some passes, including a 15-yarder to Manny Alcantara, and Waddell picked up 10 yds. on a keeper.
Facing third and goal from the 9, Preston Shuffler on a reverse took it to the 1-yd. line, then on fourth down he plowed his way across the stripe for the touchdown. Christian Cisneros booted the PAT.
The two teams step outside the Blue Ridge for next week's games. Greeneville faces a tough task on the road at Alcoa, while South Greene goes up to Jonesborough to face David Crockett.