Offense holds GC back in loss to West Craven
Greene Central’s A.J. Dupree goes back to pass during Friday’s loss to West Craven. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
SNOW HILL – It was an offensive night to forget for Greene Central.
The Rams entered Friday’s Eastern Carolina 2A showdown with West Craven on a three-game winning streak, but fell to the Eagles, 29-6, on Homecoming Night.
“This was probably the worst game we’ve played in three or four years,” GC head coach Allen Wooten said.
The primary reason for the defeat was the poor offensive performance by the Rams – they finished with a total of 45 yards on 58 plays from scrimmage, an average of 0.78 yards per play.
“We’ve been playing with some different rotations; tonight, (West Craven) played a lot more physical on the defensive line than we did on the offensive line,” said Wooten, who also noted the loss of senior lineman Walker Sutton to injury. “Some nights you don’t have your nights.”
Greene Central’s rushing attack was particularly putrid as the Rams rushed for 7 yards on 44 attempts – an average of 0.16 yards per rush. The main culprit for GC (5-3 overall, 2-1 EC2A) was bad snaps by the center to the quarterback; the Rams had losses of 22, 23 and 21 yards on separate occasions due to bad snaps.
“We got our butts whooped tonight; we had a lot of bad snaps giving us negative plays and getting us behind the sticks,” Wooten said. “When you’re playing good teams, you can’t have second-and-15s.”
Despite the horrible offense, though, the Rams were still within striking distance of the Eagles (3-3, 2-0) until late in the game, mostly due to West Craven’s propensity to turn the ball over, which it did four times. Greene Central’s lone score of the game – a 7-yard touchdown run by senior A.J. Dupree – came after GC senior linebacker Savyone Best returned an Eagles interception 50 yards.
Dupree, who relieved starting quarterback B.J. Corbitt at the signal-caller position early in the second half, finished with 32 yards rushing on 20 attempts. He also completed two passes for 14 yards. Corbitt, who was cleared from concussion protocol last week, was taken out of the QB spot for precautionary reasons, Wooten said.
West Craven sophomore running back Silas Wallace was a one-man wrecking crew for the Eagles, rushing 35 times for 187 yards and three touchdowns. Hikeem Green had 32 yards and a touchdown on nine carries while WC quarterback Trent Casey completed three passes for 52 yards. West Craven’s other score came on a safety late in the first half when the Eagles defense tackled GC’s punter, Jared Fields, in the end zone.
Greene Central, which fell to 0-14 all-time against West Craven with the loss, next plays South Lenoir in Deep Run next week. The Rams are 27-5-1 all-time against the Blue Devils, including winning the last 15 times they’ve played. GC defeated South Lenoir, 55-0, last year in Snow Hill; the last time SL downed the Rams was in 1994.
“We’re still 2-1 in the conference; we’ve got three games left so a conference championship is still in play,” Wooten said. “We just don’t control our own destiny.”
West Craven 29, Greene Central 6
WC 7 9 6 7 -- 29
GC 0 6 0 0 -- 6
WC—Silas Wallace 3 run (Jeremiah Cannon kick), 2:15
WC—Wallace 5 run (Cannon kick), 11:45
GC—A.J. Dupree 7 run (run failed), 7:14
WC—Safety: Jared Fields tackled in end zone, 1:22
WC—Hikeem Green 2 run (kick blocked), 4:22
WC—Wallace 9 run (Cannon kick), 1:58
First downs 13 7
Rushes/att 53-234 44-7
Comp/att/int 3-9-2 3-14-1
Passing yds 52 38
Total yards 286 45
Penalties/yds 11-103 1-5
Punts/avg 1-27.0 2-27.0
Fumb/lost 3-2 6-2
Rushing: WC—Silas Wallace 35-187, Hikeem Green 9-32, Kedrick Tyree 5-24, Trent Casey 3-5, Latrell Campbell 1-(minus-14). GC—A.J. Dupree 20-32, Knowledge Branch 6-20, Savyone Best 3-3, Cornelius Smith 1-(minus-5), Jared Fields 1-(minus-13), B.J. Corbitt 13-(minus-30).
Passing: WC—Casey 3-9-2, 52. GC—Corbitt 1-4-0, 24; Dupree 2-10-1, 14.
Receiving: WC—Raquandre Johnson 1-32, Jeremiah Murrell 1-14, Jonathan Ward 1-6. GC—Saquan Connor 2-22, Jabari Barnes 1-16.