BY TATE RUSSELL
SUN SPORTS WRITER
Greeneville's first-round playoff game was over about the time it started.
Trevor Wright returned the opening kickoff 77 yards for a touchdown and the No. 2 Greene Devils went on to roll to a 51-7 victory over seventh-seeded Grainger at Burley Stadium Friday night.
The road should get tougher for Greeneville next week as they welcome No. 3 Elizabethton. The two teams also are ranked 2-3 in the latest Class 4A state poll.
"We played good tonight, but we're just ready to move on to week two," Greeneville coach Caine Ballard said. "We know it gets a whole lot bigger, but I'm proud of the guys. We're just taking things one at a time."
"I don't think we have to do very much to get ready for the step up in competition. The kids are dying to play another level of competition and they're going to get it next week."
Wright started things off for Greeneville by taking the opening kickoff to the house to make it a 7-0 advantage 18 seconds into the contest.
Quan Harrison pulled in an interception on the Grizzlies' first drive and Zack Finchum found Hays Culbreth streaking down the sideline on Greeneville's first offensive play for a 33-yard gain. He was knocked out of bounds standing at the two-yard line.
Nic Wright pounded the ball in on their second play for a quick 14-0 lead.
Wright and freshman Leau-Alston Williams played a noticeably larger role in the backfield as the Devils tried to prepare a more powerful running attack as they move deeper into the playoffs.
"We are trying to get more of a power running game," Ballard said. "We know its coming where we'll need to get that tough yard on third and one or fourth and one."
"In playoff time, those hard yards are going to come and somebody has to get them. I hope Desmond (Dabbs) can get them but if not, we're looking for a way to get them with other guys."
On Greeneville's next drive, Culbreth caught a slip screen and took it 62 yards down the home sideline to put the Greene Devils up by three scores with more than half of the first quarter still to play.
Culbreth finished the game with 112 receiving yards on four catches. Finchum threw for 120 yards in less than two quarters of work.
Ballard said,"Hays played well. He's a great preparer. He brings it every day and may be our best practice player. He practices like he plays and that showed tonight."
Desmond Dabbs shot through the line of scrimmage and ran past the Grizzlies' defense for a 75-yard score on Greeneville's next possession to give the Devils their fourth touchdown on just their fifth offensive play.
Dabbs led the Devils in rushing with 128 yards while filling in Quan Wilson who.
"Desmond has played awfully well lately," Ballard said. "He had a knee injury early that hampered him for two or three weeks, but he has heeled up nicely and has an extra step right now."
After a Balsa Rogosic field goal, Dabbs picked up his second touchdown of the evening, this one on a one-yard plunge with 8:19 left in the first half that gave Greeneville a 38-0 lead.
With the starters' night over, backups Lincoln Bowman and Mikahail Anderson made some highlight plays of their own to stretch the Greeneville lead in the second half.
Anderson took a handoff up the middle on Greeneville's second play of the second half and blew through the Grizzlies' second level for a 82-yard score.
Bowman used runs of 19 and 13 yards, as well as a 32-yard pass to Nick Payne, to set up a second Anderson touchdown. On the scoring play, the junior running back bounced off and spun through multiple tackles to give Greeneville its seventh touchdown on the evening.
Anderson rushed for 107 yards and the Greene Devils rushed for 301 yards as a team.
Bowman finished with 53 yards through the air and 13 on the ground while filling in for Finchum.
Grainger got on the board one drive prior to Anderson's second score when Noah Bunch rushed in from the 19-yard line forty seconds into the fourth quarter.
Bunch led Grainger with 96 yards on 25 carries.