Friday, September 15, 2017

Greenbrier Routes Richmond to Stay Unbeaten

Defensive end Tarael Hooks anchors a stingy Greenbrier defense.

Everything clicked for Greenbrier Friday night as the Wolfpack routed Richmond 27-6 to pick up a homecoming win and improve to 4-0 for the season.

The defense, which was featured on the front page of Friday's Augusta Chronicle, was fantastic. Greenbrier forced three first half turnovers and prevented the Musketeers from reaching the red zone until the final series of the game when Richmond finally scored to get on the board.

Greenbrier's Zach Azhar forces Mason Cobb to cough up a first half fumble Friday.

In the first half, Greenbrier's Zach Azhar forced a fumble, and Jonathan Cole and Tyler Mullins each grabbed interceptions. Coleman Fleming, Ben Thorpe, Bryce Atchison, and Tarael Hooks all tallied several tackles, but the Wolfpack's defense was a team effort. Several players combined to hold in check Richmond's running attack, which had been unstoppable in the Musketeers' first three wins.

Jonathan Cole (5) grabbed a second quarter interception.

The offense was equally impressive. Quarterback Hayden Harrison engineered two long first half touchdown drives, accounting for most of the yardage either running (32 yards and a touchdown by halftime) or passing (8 completions on 12 attempts). Star running back JQ Brown capped off the first drive with a 5 yard run around the end before Harrison reached the end zone on a 16 yard run with a second and third effort to give Greenbrier a 13-0 lead at intermission.

Quarterback Hayden Harrison completed 11 of 17 passes for 148 yards and ran for a touchdown.

For the game, Harrison's passing numbers were greater than in his first three contests combined. The dual threat quarterback completed 11 of 17 passes for 148 yards after connecting on 11 of 16 attempts for 93 yards in the Wolfpack's first three outings.

The second half featured Brown pounding away for 129 yards and running for his second and third touchdowns of the evening behind Greenbrier's stellar offensive line. In the entire game, Brown rushed for 160 yards on 32 carries. Afterwards I interviewed right tackle Eric Chatman, who leads the O-line and takes pride in the fact that Brown has now piled up 13 touchdowns and 605 yards in the season's first 4 games.

Greenbrier gained 218 yards on the ground against Richmond.

"It really depends on us to make the holes for him and get him up the field," Chatman said of the junior Brown. "That's probably what we take the most pride in, just getting him off the ball and getting him two, three yards every time because that's the hard trenches right there."

Both teams finish the non region portion of their schedule next Friday when Greenbrier (4-0) visits Cross Creek and Richmond (3-1) hosts Grovetown.

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