09/12/04 — Football -- Greene Central survives Chargers

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Football -- Greene Central survives Chargers

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on September 12, 2004 2:00 AM

Courtesy Kinston Free Press

SNOW HILL -- For 28 minutes, Greene Central receiver Dreyan Willis was everywhere while the Rams rushing attack went nowhere.

But with Greene Central clinging to a 22-20 lead in the final four minutes, it was the running game that bowed its neck -- running out the clock to lead the Rams past area rival Ayden-Grifton 22-20 Friday night.

The win was Greene Central's second straight over the Chargers by a two-point margin. The Rams are now 2-1 on the season, while Ayden-Grifton falls to 1-2.

"Our running game was nonexistent until that last drive," said Greene Central coach Jim Bob Bryant, whose team took over at the Charger 48 with 3:52 remaining. "Then our backs started to run hard and our line started to block. I can't explain it."

The Rams ran eight times for 35 yards, with a five-yard pass to Willis mixed in, and picked up three first downs on their final possession. Up to that point, Greene Central had only managed 68 yards on the ground on 22 carries.

But the Rams may not have had a lead with which to work without Willis.

The junior caught 10 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown, and also set up another score with a 54-yard kick return.

"Dreyan's a great receiver," Bryant said. "He and Travis (quarterback Rouse) have developed great chemistry."

After Ayden-Grifton's Daniel Greene returned the opening kickoff 84 yards to paydirt, Rouse and Willis hooked up on a 60-yard pass to give the Rams first-and-goal at the Charger seven on their second possession.

Greene Central was eventually stopped on downs at the two, but the Chargers fumbled on first down, and Greene Central's Devyn Brewington recovered for a touchdown -- slicing Ayden-Grifton's lead to 8-6.

A bad snap from punt formation led to a game-tying safety in the second quarter, and then Willis returned the ensuing free kick to the Charger 11. A two-yard keeper by Rouse put Greene Central up 15-8 with 3:02 left in the half.

After a three-and-out, the Rams took over at their own 48 with 1:20 to go before intermission. Six plays later, Willis caught a two-yard wide receiver screen -- he'd already set up the play with a 28-yard reception -- to make the score 22-8 at halftime.

The Chargers were much better in the second half, taking advantage of a Greene Central turnover and a shanked punt to close to within 22-20 in the third quarter.

The difference was a pair of extra point kicks by the Rams' Tino Fernandez.

Without a decent kicking game, Ayden-Grifton was forced to try for three two-point conversions, succeeding only once.

The Chargers drove as far as the Ram 34 in the fourth quarter but were stopped on downs. Ayden-Grifton was also hurt by three turnovers. They fumbled six times, losing two.

The Rams host Farmville Central next week, while the Chargers entertain North Lenoir.

Ayden-Grifton 8 0 12 0 -- 20

Greene Central 6 16 0 0 -- 22

First quarter

AG -- D. Greene 84 kick return (Tripp run), 11:44

GC -- Brewington fumble recovery in end zone (pass failed), 3:55

Second quarter

GC -- Safety, bad snap out of end zone

GC -- Rouse 2 run (Fernandez kick), 3:02

GC -- Willis 2 pass from Rouse (Fernandez kick), :17.2

Third quarter

AG -- Tripp 5 run (pass failed), 9:10

AG -- Tripp 3 run (run failed), 4:50

A.-Grifton G. Central

First Downs 10 11

Rushes-yards 39-97 30-103

Passing yards 43 173

Total yards 140 286

Comp.-Att.-Int. 3-10-1 13-26-1

Punts-avg. 4-27.8 6-24.0

Fumbles-lost 6-2 2-0

Penalties 7-37 8-58


RUSHING -- Ayden-Grifton -- Tripp 18-58, 2 TD; J. Greene 7-37; D. Greene 4-28; Edwards 2-14; Thompson 1-6; Turner 6-(-10); Little 1-(-36). Greene Central -- Chris Hodges 13-51; Travis Rouse 13-40, TD; Dreyan Willis 1-8; Brown 2-3, Kyle Judd 1-1.

PASSING -- Ayden-Grifton -- Turner 3-7-1 43; Edwards 0-3-0 0. Greene Central -- Travis Rouse 12-25-1 145, TD; Kyle Judd 1-1-0 28.

RECEIVING -- Ayden-Grifton -- Fuller 1-24, Edwards 1-11, D. Greene 1-8. Greene Central -- Dreyan Willis 10-147, TD; Judd 3-26.