LEWISBURG (WVDN) – The Greenbrier East Spartans took care of business and did exactly what they needed to do when they defeated the Hampshire Trojans 44-6 this past Friday night.
Proving that a bye week can definitely be beneficial, East put their foot on the gas and never let up in what was Military Appreciation Night at Spartan Stadium.
Here are some observations from the game.
Weather was not a factor:
The wind blew, the rain fell, and the temperature gradually dropped from before kickoff until the game was over, but the Spartans never let it bother them.
Their offense was smooth, and the defense never appeared to really lose footing when pursuing ball carriers. When Hurricane Ian struck the southeast, and heavy rain and wind showed in the forecast for the game, it was assumed a low scoring affair would take place. However, that was not the case for the Spartans as they racked up 317 yards, 44 points and 23 first downs.
Noah Dotson was a weapon again:
Noah Dotson had kicked a 38-yard field goal two weeks ago against Stuarts Draft which put him at fourth place all-time in school history. In fact, his field goal was the only score for the Spartans that night.
But he outshined that good performance with arguably the best night a kicker/punter has had for the program, possibly ever.
Dotson got the Spartans on the board early with a school record 44-yard field goal and was instrumental in helping his defense as he kicked six kickoffs out of the end zone for touchbacks. Throw in a booming 66-yard punt for good measure, and Dotson played a key role once again for the Spartans. Confidence seems to be building for the senior kicker and his specialty kickoffs can continue to help East every week.
Monquelle Davis finally committed to running the football:
Quarterback Monquelle Davis was aggressive on the ground against the Trojans and finished with 132 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries. What is extremely important for East is that Davis continues to try to scramble and find running lanes from his QB position. Sometimes, it feels like Davis takes a passive approach to the game due to the success of his running mate, Ian Cline, but the fact is that Davis has all the tools to take over a game, whether that is running or passing.
His aggressiveness needs to be on overdrive over the second half of the season. If it is, the Spartans offense will be that explosive unit everyone was predicting it would be from the beginning of the year.
Jake Pate is the perfect Jack-of-all trades player:
Five-foot-five-inch Jake Pate is starting to breakout after a great sophomore season a year ago. Pate had a 26-yard reception, a 75-yard interception return for a score, and he shot through the line and blocked a punt that was recovered for a touchdown by his teammate Abram Wickline as well.
Pate is a little spark plug and when he makes a good play or a tough play, the whole team seems to rally behind him.
Pate will continue to be one of the most important players on the team, and when he has some success, the team does as well.
Weston Pence was big time on defense:
On the first couple of drives, linebacker Weston Pence was literally all over the place. He was in on three consecutive tackles at one point and solely stopped a drive when he hit Hampshire quarterback Jenson Fields behind the line on a fourth down.
The Spartans have been looking for players to step up on that side of the ball since game one, and Pence may be the ideal candidate to take that title. He can anchor a defense that has struggled to stop the run but can reverse that as well as the defense as a whole gets better each week.