BY WAYNE PHILLIPS
SPORTS EDITOR EMERITUS
MOSHEIM - To an opposing defense, West Greene's rushing attack looks like a two-headed monster.
First one takes a bite out of you, then the other.
Such was the case Friday night on Jim Sauceman Field at West Greene where the Buffs celebrated Homecoming 2013 with a 41-19 victory over cross-county rival North Greene before a standing-room-only crowd.
Junior Jonathan Padgett carried 17 times for 185 yds. and three touchdowns, and senior Nathan Morgan added 94 yds. on 11 carries and also scored twice to lead the Buffs' potent ground attack.
"Speed helps," winning Coach Joe Case said in what might be the understatement of the year. "Don't know what we'd do without those two guys."
First-year Huskies Coach Scotty Verran also praised the speed of the two West Greene backs.
"They come with one, then the other, they keep coming, you get tired, they pop one and there they go ... touchdown," he said.
The Huskies had their share of success offensively, as junior QB-turned-tailback Zane Britton carried the ball 28 times for 152 yds. and a touchdown and senior kicker-turned-QB Tyler Bailey rushed for 42 yds. and accounted for two scores, one running and one passing.
Verran, who made the switch last week, likes the combination.
"We had some success on offense with those two," he said. "Especially in the second half when I thought we played much better. But we've got to work harder on defense."
The two county rivals combined for lots of offense. The Buffs chalked up 286 yds. on the ground and quarterback Austin Greenlee hit 6-of-9 passes for 118 yds. and one touchdown with no interceptions.
"We made some plays in the passing game when we had to, and that was positive," Case noted.
North Greene had 232 yds. rushing and Bailey was 5-of-13 passing for 111 yds. and a score, but he did have two passes picked off.
The Huskies controlled the ball most of the opening quarter but couldn't score. West Greene tallied in only two plays after gaining the ball following a NG punt.
Morgan took a sweep right for 15 yds. to the NG 39, then Greenlee hurled a touchdown pass to Trebor Wilson. Wilson made a good recovery by turning toward the ball as it arrived near the goal line and reeled it in for the score. Brock Shelton kicked the point-after for a 7-0 Buff lead with 7:25 left in the period.
The Huskies kept shooting themselves in the foot on their next possession, which consumed the majority of the remainder of the first period. Two delay of game penalties and a false start flag kept them backing up, offsetting nice rushing yardage by Britton. They finally were forced to punt.
The Buffs got the ball back at their 20 with only 38 seconds left in the first canto and proceeded to drive 80 yds. for another score, with Padgett churning out runs of 18 and 21 yds. Morgan got the score on a 22-yd. run with 10:22 left in the half. Shelton's PAT was wide but the Buffs led 13-0.
Again the Huskies gained a couple of first downs on a drive which stalled near mid-field, and Bailey's punt attempt was blocked by Justin Pinkston with the Buffs taking over at the NG 36.
It took only two plays for WG to take advantage of the mistake, with Padgett doing it all on a 12 yd. scamper, then a 24 yd. run for a touchdown. Shelton's kick was good for a 20-0 lead with 5:39 left.
A 34-yd. pass from Bailey to Emmett Robinson helped the Huskies get down the field quickly, but a pass to the end zone by Bailey was picked off by junior Lucas Pratt.
Three plays later the Huskies got the ball back when WG made its only turnover of the night, a fumble on a lateral, which Robinson recovered at the WG 44.
This time the Huskies wouldn't be denied as Britton scored on a 13-yd. run. An 18-yd. scamper by Britton set up the score as North Greene went for it on a fourth and two from the 36. Bailey's PAT was no good and the scoreboard read 20-6 with 54 seconds left until intermission.
That was enough time for West Greene to answer after Padgett took the kickoff at his 5-yd. line and returned it all the way to the NG 4 before Brett Bolton tripped him up. Morgan scored on the next play from scrimmage, Shelton kicked the PAT and the Buffs went to the locker room up 27-6.
The Buffs took the second half kickoff and got a 27-yd. pass from Greenlee to Jacob Justice, but the drive stalled at the 15 when the Huskies stopped Morgan short on a fourth down play.
North Greene then looked very impressive, moving 89 yds. in 12 plays as Britton, Bailey and fullback junior Luke White churned out huge chunks of running yardage.
Bailey got the touchdown on a 4-yd. run. A try for the two-point conversion failed with an incomplete pass but the Huskies had pulled to within two touchdowns at 27-12.
Again the Buffs answered immediately. Starting at their 42, they moved the distance in five plays. Padgett had a 20 yd. run and Morgan got 15 more. Padgett scored on a 12-yd. blast after breaking through two tacklers at the line of scrimmage. Shelton's kick made it 34-12.
Padgett also shined on defense, intercepting a Bailey pass in the fourth quarter that halted a touchdown drive. That also set up West Greene's final score, which came ona 28-yd. run by Padgett. Two nice passes by Greenlee, one to Bobby Jones for 26 and one to Pinkston for 12, helped the drive along. Trebor Wilson got the PAT this time for a 41-12 WG lead.
North Greene wouldn't quit and Bailey went to the airways to quickly drive his team to a score. He hit Robinson for 19, then again for 26 yds. to the 24. From there he connected with Will West for a touchdown pass, and Bailey boomed the point-after for a 41-19 score with 1:22 left in the contest.
Reserves mopped up for both teams.
"Out of 50-some guys who dressed out, I think we played about 40 of'em," Case smiled. "That's always good to get those young guys in there. I'm proud of our team. We've got some people dinged up and we had some others step up and played well."
Case also praised the play of the Huskies.
"They've got some good players and Coach Verran has them headed in the right direction."
Next week the Buffs (2-2, 0-1) return to conference play with a trip to Cumberland Gap, while North Greene (1-3, 1-0) plays rival South Greene in a Region 1-A matchup on Rebel Hill.
In pre-game ceremonies, senior Mary Jo Moncier was named the 2013 Homecoming Queen at West Greene. Logan Long was first runnerup and Shelby Scantling was second runnerup.