Normally, scoring 50 points in a football game is a rare thing. However, for the 9th ranked Greenbrier East Spartans recently, hitting the 50-point plateau is starting to become part of their Friday routine.
East (4-1) made a four-hour road trip this past Friday, October 2, overcame a slow start and then flattened the Berkeley Springs Indians 56-22. It is the third straight game the Spartans have scored at least 55 points.
It was not nearly as easy early on as the final score made it look though.
After a long kickoff return by Colby Piner to the Indians 36-yard line to start the game, Piner then fumbled on the drive’s second play and Berkeley Springs (0-4) jumped on top of the ball and recovered.
And it did not take them long to capitalize on the East miscue.
On the third play, Indians quarterback Gavin Barkley hit Shawn Lord for 27 yards. Two plays later, Tymir Ross ran for 11 more. Ross would then cap the 7-play drive with an incredible 25-yard touchdown catch that gave the Indians an 8-0 lead after Peyton Thompson scored the two-point conversion.
That is when Piner redeemed himself.
On the ensuing kickoff, the speedy senior ran it back 65 yards for a score and the Spartans tied the game at 8-all after their two-point try was also successful.
Turnovers then continued to play a huge role in the opening quarter. Berkeley Springs fumbled the following kickoff and the Spartans recovered. But Monquelle Davis was picked off on East’s possession by Connor Duvall and gave the ball right back to Berkeley Springs.
Two Spartan possessions later, East lost another fumble and that made three turnovers in just one quarter of play, but that would be the last time East would give the ball away.
After recovering an Indian fumble deep in their own territory, the Spartans hit the ground running, literally, and never looked back. Davis went for 24 yards, then Piner had a big run, but it was called back for holding. Piner did not hesitate, though, to find the end zone again when he scored on an 11-yard run and East went up 15-8 with 9:10 left in the first half.
Ross caught a 41-yard pass on Berkeley Springs’ next series, but it was the Spartans Jacob Wickline who was the true star. The defensive lineman recorded two sacks on the possession with the second one coming on fourth down to give the ball back to his offense.
Later in the second, Trey Pondexter picked off a Barkley pass and gave his team an opportunity that East would not squander this time.
Piner caught a 33-yard pass following that turnover and Christian McNeely hauled one in for seven yards. Piner then caught a 20-yard touchdown pass on the last play of the half when Davis rolled to his left, threw across his body off of his back foot and the Spartans went into the locker room at the break ahead 21-8.
Nate Baker got East going in the third period when he recorded an interception on defense and followed it with a 39-yard touchdown catch from Davis on offense. That made the score 28-8, East, with just over 10 minutes remaining in the third.
East’s Braden Bragg got a sack later in the quarter. That forced a Berkeley Springs punt that the Spartans blocked, and Jarrett McHale scooped it up and returned it 10 yards to set up another easy touchdown drive.
Quentin Wilson ran 20 yards on two plays and ended the drive with an 8-yard run as East was now in control, 35-8.
Pondexter had a 26-yard touchdown catch, Wickline recovered a fumble, Piner scored on a 5-yard run and Davis had a 22-yard touchdown run to finish off the highlights for the Spartans.
Pondexter was named McDonald’s Player of the Game.
Piner had 103 yards on 17 carries and had four catches for 73 yards. He had three total touchdowns. Davis ran for 128 yards and passed for 152 more and had four total scores. Levi Wagner ran for 74 yards on just four carries.
Barkley threw for 258 yards and two TD’s for the Indians.
The Spartans will play Oak Hill this Friday, October 9. Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM.
Stats courtesy of 103.1, WRON.