By WAYNE PHILLIPS
MOSHEIM -- That big "M" on the side of their helmets didn't stand for "mammoth," "massive," or "mean."
But West Greene's football team might have thought so as visiting Madison County High School of nearby Marshall, N.C., thumped the homestanding Buffs 41-6 Friday night at Jim Sauceman Field.
The Patriots, a state semifinalist in North Carolina a year ago but only 3-3 coming across the state line on Friday to tangle with the Buffs, got 236 yds. rushing and three touchdowns from Tyler Hoffman and quarterback Tyler Rogers threw for 122 yds. and a touchdown as they coasted past West Greene.
"We just didn't get much done," a dejected West Greene Coach Joe Case said after his team dropped to 4-4 on the year. "We couldn't find any creases to run inside, and we couldn't get to the corners, and the passing game just wasn't there. On defense we didn't tackle well at all, so that's what happens."
The Patriots showed up with a much bigger team than West Greene, and their blocking showed it as they rushed for 332 yds. and finished with 454 yds. of total offense on the night.
Defensively, Madison controlled the line of scrimmage and prevented West Greene's speed merchants, Johnathan Padgett and Nathan Morgan, from getting into the clear, and Padgett had to leave the game late in the first half with an apparent ankle injury.
Morgan did turn in a solid second half, finishing with 72 yds. rushing on the night as the Buffs managed only 101 total yards in the game. They collected only one first down in the first half and four for the game.
Things looked good early. Madison fumbled the ball away on their second play from scrimmage as Hoffman lost the handle after a 15-yd. run and Robert Vradenburgh recovered for the Buffs at the WG 25.
But three plays and a punt later, Madison got the ball back and marched 70 yds. to score their first touchdown with Hoffman getting it on a 17-yd. run. The big play was a 33-yd. acrobatic catch by Cole Cuthbertson on a pass from Rogers, who returned to action last week after missing a couple of games with a leg injury.
The Buffs ran only six plays from scrimmage in the first quarter, and when the Patriots got the ball back with 5:20 left in the period they marched 80 yds. in 11 plays to score on the final play of the stanza.
Collin Robinson was wide open behind the Buff secondary to latch onto a 25-yd. TD pass from Rogers. Justin Pinkston blocked the PAT but the visitors led 13-0.
West Greene did show some spirit by halting Rogers out of the end zone on a fourth down and goal play from the 7 with 7:24 left in the second quarter. Rogers scrambled after being unable to find a receiver and was downed at the 1-yd. line.
Padgett got a 16-yd. run to give West Greene its initial first down of the game, but the fun was short-lived as Josh Rice picked off an Austin Greenlee pass at the 25 and returned it to the 10-yd. line. Mason Edwards scored from there and Cuthbertson ran for the two-point conversion to up the lead to 21-0.
West Greene finally had a chance to score near the end of the half after Rogers fumbled the ball away on a sack and Nathan Morgan recovered at the Madison 9-yd. line.
The Buffs got it to the 6 but a quarterback sack moved it back, and a 35-yd. field goal attempt on fourth down by Brock Shelton missed the mark.
Madison settled for the 21-0 halftime lead.
The third quarter got chippy, to say the least. There were a total of 10 penalties marched off in the period, five on each team, with several of them the personal foul variety.
But the Patriots increased their lead with two more touchdown runs by Hoffman, one of 28 yds. and another of 5 yds. One extra point by Ryan Horrell was good and the lead was at 34-0 with 3:31 still left in the period.
West Greene finally got some momentum and moved for a score, thanks to a 36-yd. run by Morgan who finally got to the edge and was able to turn the ball up field into the Madison secondary. The touchdown came on a 7-yd. keeper by quarterback Greenlee. Shelton's PAT attempt was blocked but WG was on the board, down 34-6.
The visitors put one more score on the board early in the final period on a 3-yd. run by Edwards and a PAT by Horrell that pushed the score to 41-6 and put into play the continuous clock rule (35-point advantage by a team in the second half).
Padgett needed only 140 yds. to break the 1,000-yd. plateau for the season, but managed only 16 yds. in the first half and didn't play after that due to the injury..
The Buffs will return to Blue Ridge Conference action next Friday when league leader and unbeaten Greeneville pays a visit. After an open date the Buffs close out the year against county rival Chuckey-Doak.