BY MARLIN CURNUTT
SPECIAL TO THE SUN
Different day, same story.
The Greeneville Greene Devils have made a habit of jumping out to a big first half lead and then cruising to an easy win this season. That game plan played out as scripted again Friday night as the Greene Devils jumped out to a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, exploded for 35 points in the second frame and rolled to a 70-7 win over the Grainger Grizzlies.
Senior Quan Wilson was the story of the game as he carried the ball nine times for 156 yards and four touchdowns on scoring runs of one, four, 13 and 45 yards, respectively. He sparked a Greene Devils offense that rolled up 510 yards of total offense and the defensive starters did not allow a touchdown for the sixth straight game this season.
"We wanted to start fast as we always do," Greeneville head coach Caine Ballard said after the game. "I challenged the kids to do that and we made a couple of mistakes in the first quarter but I thought the second quarter was about as good as we could play."
"I thought Quan had a little extra step tonight," Ballard said of his running back's big performance against the Grizzlies. "When he got a crease, he was very explosive in it. We have challenged our backs to step up and give us some big runs and they did it tonight."
After a 13-yard touchdown score, Wilson's second score of the night came when he rumbled 74 yards all the way to the Grizzlies four yard line and then punched it in on the next play. Wilson added a one-yard score and then his final touchdown of the first half came when he sliced through the Grizzlies defense and didn't stop until he reached pay dirt 45 yards later.
Greeneville's (6-0, 3-0) second score of the game was on a defensive play as the Greene Devils blocked a punt and Jake Sell snatched the ball up and ran 24 yards for the score to make it 14-0. Other players got in on the scoring binge in the first half as Zack Finchum had a 47-yard run for six, Hays Culbreth had a 45-yard score and Jalen Pruitt capped the scoring with a seven yard bolt to put Greeneville up 56-0 at the half.
The Greene Devils rolled up 397 yards of total offense in the first half and the defense did its part as well, limiting the Grizzlies to only 104 yards. The Greeneville defense forced three turnovers in the first 24 minutes of play. Only one of Greeneville's scoring drives took more than three plays or one minute.
Ballard said he was pleased with his starting defense who remains un-scored upon this year. "Offense and defense feed off of each other and the turnovers we forced produced points. We preach that all the time that we need field position and we need turnovers and we got that tonight."
None of the Greene Devils' starters played in the second half and that allowed Greeneville to once again allow some of their younger players to get into the game. Desmond Dabbs made the most of his opportunity as he sprinted to a 53-yard score that pushed the Greeneville lead past the 60-point mark.
Aaron Reece had the only score of the contest for Grainger (3-3, 2-1) as he capped a 15-play, 70 yard drive that gobbled just under eight minutes off the second half clock with a one-yard touchdown run. The touchdown by Grainger was only the third the Greene Devils have allowed this season.
Junior Mikhail Anderson produced the final score of the contest with a one-yard score late in the contest to produce the 70-7 final. Kicker Ethan Ellis was true on all 10 of his point after attempts for the Greene Devils and quarterback Zack Finchum was an efficient five-for-five in the game as Greeneville kept the ball on the ground for most of the contest.