WASHINGTON—After almost two weeks of Hurricane Florence-wrought adversity and distractions, Greene Central coach Allen Wooten was just glad to be able to get back onto the football field.
He was even more pleased with the way his Rams dominated Washington in the Eastern Carolina 2A Conference opener for both teams.
GC rolled up 426 yards of total offense, controlled the ball for almost 30 minutes, and pitched a shutout on defense in a 28-0 shellacking of the Pam Pack Friday at Wagner Field.
“Words can’t express how proud I am of this team,” Wooten said following the impressive victory. “Considering what these kids and their families have been through, it would have been easy to come in here and fold up. To play as well as they did under the circumstances is just amazing.”
The 4-touchdown victory margin was unusual for GC, whose previous 4 games had been decided by a total of 16 points.
So they didn’t have to sweat this one out, the Rams (3-2) put it away early, scoring on three of their four first-half possessions to build a 20-0 lead at the break.
The other possession easily could have resulted in points after GC marched to the Washington 1-yard line. However, a penalty and a red zone interception ended the threat.
Standout running back AJ Dupree accounted for all three first-half TD’s. The 6-2, 200-pound senior blitzed the Pam Pack defense for scoring runs of 1, 34, and 84 yards.
Dupree also tallied the game’s final TD from 5 yards out midway through the third quarter. To go with his 4 TD runs, Dupree rushed for 215 yards on 22 carries and caught a pass for 24 yards.
“I just followed my offensive line and trusted their blocks,” Dupree said. “They deserve all the credit for giving me room to run.”
He and fellow ball carriers Knowledge Branch, BJ Corbitt, and Cornelius Smith had plenty of room to run. The quartet shredded the Pam Pack defense for 360 yards on the ground, averaging over 7 yards per carry.
Corbitt also completed 5 of 6 passes for 66 yards, all in the first half.
“We have a good quarterback, good running backs, and good line play,” Wooten said. “We’ve also got the best two-way player in the conference (Dupree). I’ve tried to make this team understand how good they can be when they play up to their potential like they did tonight.”
The GC defense forced a pair of turnovers and held the Pam Pack to 244 total yards. Washington entered the game averaging 34 points per contest and had scored at least 44 points in three of its first 4 outings.
“Washington is a very good offensive team,” Wooten said. “To shut them out says a lot about how well our defense played tonight. Offensively and defensively it was a total team effort; a great night for our kids and for the entire community.”
GAME NOTES: The only down note for GC came late in the second quarter when three-year starter on the offensive and defensive lines Walker Sutton suffered a broken leg. The senior co-captain was already dealing with an injured ACL and was planning to have surgery at the end of the season. “My heart hurts for Walker,” Wooten said. “He’s a remarkable young man and he’ll be fine, but I hate that his senior season had to end this way.”
Greene Central 28, Washington 0
Greene Central 8 12 8 0—28
Washington 0 0 0 0—0
GC—AJ Dupree 34 run (Cornelius Smith run), 7:52
GC—Dupree 84 run (run failed), 9:21
GC—Dupree 1 run (run failed), :58.5
GC—Dupree 5 run (BJ Corbitt run), 6:32
First Downs 21 12
Rushes-yards 50-360 31-169
Passing 5-6-1 4-14-1
Passing yards 66 75
Total yards 426 244
Punts-avg 1-27.0 3-43.3
Penalties 14-89 7-62
Fumbles-lost 3-1 3-1
RUSHING—Greene Central: AJ Dupree 22-215, BJ Corbitt 12-84, Knowledge Branch 13-48, Cornelius Smith 3-13. Washington: Ganeryan Parker 12-81, Ka’ci Foreman 3-38, Michael Clark 7-34, Antwone Godley 6-23, Montrice Selby 2-(minus 2), Team 1-(minus 5).
PASSING—Greene Central: Corbitt 5-6-1 66. Washington: Godley 4-14-1 75.
RECEIVING—Greene Central: Quaheem Giggetts 2-21, Brian Casias 2-21, Dupree 1-24. Washington: Uriah Lawrence 2-49, Selby 2-26.