Saturday, September 9, 2017

Greenbrier runs away from Harlem after a big second quarter

Greenbrier's Jonathan Cole gained 63 yards returning punts in Friday's win.

Greenbrier scored 27 points between the last play of the first quarter and halftime, and in the end that margin held as the Wolfpack finished Friday's game with a 34-7 home win over Harlem in a non region matchup. JQ Brown rushed for three touchdowns and John Waters ran for another during the deciding stretch. Brown and Waters rushed for 71 and 76 yards, respectively, during the Wolfpack's dominant first half, and Brown piled up 155 yards in the game. Greenbrier improved to 3-0 for the season, and Harlem fell to 2-1.

Each of Brown's three second quarter scores were set up by big plays from teammates. On the play before Brown's first touchdown run, quarterback Hayden Harrison completed a pass on third-and-long to Jack O'Leary, who ran for extra yardage into Bulldog territory and was further helped by a 15 yard face masking penalty on Harlem. John Waters broke a long run down the left sideline and followed that with a nice pick up to set up Brown's second score. And Jonathan Cole returned a punt down the right sideline that started in Wolfpack territory and ended just short of the end zone before Brown's third score. Waters's touchdown came on fourth-and-long inside the Harlem 20 and made the score 20-0.

Greenbrier JQ Brown dragged a pair of Harlem defenders in Friday's win.

Brown was happy his teammates had a big night. "It felt good because coming into the game people were saying 'JQ's gonna get the ball.' So it felt good for me to see my teammates scoring and catching passes. That was the key to this win," said the dynamic junior rusher during the post game interview at the end of the highlight video above.

Brown's statistical output has been massive in the season's first three games. He has tallied 10 touchdowns and amassed 445 yards on 39 carries for an average of more than 11 yards per carry. Again, Brown credited his teammates for his performance: "Our line has gotten stronger. They stepped it up in the first half tonight, and that's was the key to my three touchdowns in the first half."

Harlem's own pair of dynamic rushers were held in check during the first half before coming alive the moment the third quarter began. Freshman Cameron Garnett ran for a 42 yard score on the third play of the half (right after teammate AJ Brown picked up a 22 yard first down) to narrow the margin to 27-7. The Bulldogs stopped Greenbrier on three downs deep in Wolfpack territory on the following series, but fumbled the punt to turn the ball over at midfield, the first of three opportunities the Bulldogs failed to take advantage of in the second half.

Greenbrier was the first team to hold freshman phenom Cameron Garnett to fewer than 100 yards rushing.

After Harlem came up short on two separate occasions near the Wolfpack goal line, including an apparent touchdown that was called back on a holding penalty, Greenbrier marched 83 yards for a fourth quarter score to seal the contest. Harrison did the honors on a well executed option play which fooled not only the Harlem defense, but the camera of yours truly, as you can see in the frames below.

Greenbrier hosts Richmond next Friday in another non-region matchup between unbeaten teams.

Region foe Glenn Hills will visit Harlem in a game that will be televised by WJBF's Me TV.

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