11/09/08 — Greene Central closes out regular season with win

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Greene Central closes out regular season with win

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on November 9, 2008 9:28 AM

LaGRANGE -- Greene Central scored a pair of late touchdowns to earn a 33-21, Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference win over archrival North Lenoir on Friday evening.

The Rams (4-7 overall, 2-3 EPC) won their fourth straight game in the series and became playoff eligible with first-year head coach Ken Grantham. Reggie Sanders paced Greene Central's offense with 127 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Maquis Graham's 67-yard touchdown run late in the first half gave Greene Central a 13-7 advantage. The Hawks (3-8, 0-5) fumbled the ensuing kickoff and two plays later ,Brandon Suit connected with T.J. McPhail from 28 yards out to give the Rams an 18-7 cushion at halftime.

"We played well in spurts," said Grantham. "It was pretty much a slugfest early on. We got a couple of big plays before halftime."

Mike Sutton's 5-yard touchdown run early in the fourth trimmed Greene Central's lead to 19-14.

Sanders' 46-yard score with less than 71/2 minutes remaining in the ballgame stretched the margin to 27-14. After a North Lenoir punt, Aaron Harper raced 27 yards to the end zone to put the Hawks in a 33-14 hole.

Wiley Jackson's scoring strike to Hunter Vandiford allowed North Lenoir to climb within 33-21. Marquez Powell led the Hawks, who finished the season with seven straight losses, with 137 yards on 29 carries.

"I thought our kids were patient," said Grantham. "We played hard and waited for some big plays to open up things."

Grantham hopes the Rams receive an at-large bid to extend the program's playoff streak to eight consecutive appearances.

"I think we probably have (clinched)," said Grantham. "I think we've gotten better, but we still have a lot of room for improvement. I hadn't thought about that (postseason) streak. I know for our seniors it was frustrating early and they were making adjustments a new system and new staff.

"Our kids just stayed patient and fought through it, and now they're taking advantage of an opportunity to get to the postseason. That's what means the most to them."