For the 75th time in school history, the Greenbrier East Spartans football team shut-out their opponent.
The Greenbrier East Spartans glided by the Wyoming East Warriors 56-0 at Spartan Stadium in Fairlea on Friday night, September 18. It was the largest win for the team since 2015 when they defeated Logan by the same score.
The Spartans, needing to redeem themselves after a surprising loss to Jefferson last week, rushed for 329 yards and played about as good of defense as they have ever played in the school’s history.
The Spartans (2-1) honored the senior team members and the cheerleaders prior to kickoff since the COVID-19 pandemic is still potentially threatening a complete season.
Those senior football players are Christian McNeely, Nate Baker, Quentin Wilson, Gabe Shay, Trey Pondexter, Steven White, Colby Piner, Levi Fisher, Noah Foular, Cameron Wilson, Grant Hall, Tanner Skidmore, Owen Hughes, Jared Shoffner and Logan Carr; cheerleaders honored were Kendra Bostic, Samantha Easton, Katie Hamilton, Kaylee Hensley, Caitlynne Price, Carli Shafer, Lindsey Sherwood and Khloe Wagner.
On the field, there was plenty to cheer about.
East’s opening drive saw Baker and Piner move the ball up the field quickly on several nice runs. The seven play, 60-yard drive was capped with quarterback Monquelle Davis’ 16-yard touchdown run. Noah Dotson, the kicker improving leaps and bounds every week, converted the point after for a 7-0 Spartan lead.
JT Spencer and Baker showed out on the Spartans first defensive possession as they gang tackled Warriors running back Caleb Bower for a negative-yards play that forced a punt.
It took only two plays for the Spartans to find the end zone, again. After an 18-yard pass completion to McNeely, Colby Piner got across the goal line from 15 yards away and East led 14-0 just five minutes into the contest.
Later in the quarter, with the Warriors in possession of the ball again, the East defense imposed their will that completely set the tone for the rest of the night. Blake Greene sacked Wyoming East quarterback Jackson Danielson on the first play, then two plays later Quentin Wilson ripped Danielson down behind the line for an 8-yard loss.
If that was not enough, the next series saw Spartan sophomore corner Lucas McCallister pick off a Danielson pass that set the East offense up yet again.
The defensive performance drew praise from their coordinator, Aaron Baker.
“After last week at Jefferson we really got back to some basic techniques this past week and it paid off. Our kids tackled well, did a nice job of pursuing the ball and created turnovers,” Baker said.
Piner had a big run that led to Baker’s seven-yard touchdown after he took the snap from center and extended the Spartans lead to 21-0 with 10:54 left in the first half.
McCallister would pick-off his second pass of the game later in the half. On fourth-and-10, Wilson rumbled 23 yards for a first down. Davis scored again on another 16-yard run as the Spartan rout continued with a 28-0 lead.
On the ensuing possession with the Warriors (0-3) pinned deep in their own territory, Bower got a carry but was hit and fumbled the ball. Bennett scooped it up, took two steps and was in the end zone for another Spartan touchdown and a commanding 35-0 advantage.
And even then, East still was not satisfied with the scoreboard.
This time, Bennett stepped up again and blocked a punt that Braden Bragg jumped on at the one-yard line. McNeely took the ensuing handoff and scored on a one-yard run as the Spartans led 42-0 at halftime.
East emptied the bench basically the entire second half and put many of the team’s young players in to the game for valuable game experience.
Two of those players, Levi Wagner and Davey Vance, scored their first TD’s in impressive fashion. Wagner broke free on a long 75-yard rushing touchdown and Vance intercepted a pass at the 10-yard line and returned it 90 yards for the Spartans final score of the night.
Those were the only two scores of the second half.
Piner led East with 93 yards on just eight carries. Wagner finished with one carry for a 75-yard score.
The Spartan defense held Wyoming East to just 59 total yards. They sacked Danielson four times and he officially ran for -42 yards.
“This coming week we will prepare ourselves again to aim for a shutout,” GEHS Coach Aaron Baker said.
Bower was held to 78 yards on 22 carries.
Bennett was named McDonald’s Player of the Game.
The Spartans will travel to play Buckhannon-Upshur this Friday, September 25. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm.
Stats courtesy of 103.1, WRON.