Spartans Get Huge Road Win to Open 2021

The Greenbrier East Spartans football team hit the road to Mason County to open their 2021 campaign against the traditional power Point Pleasant Big Blacks on Friday, Aug. 27.

After the nerves settled and the players became accustomed to the high temperature, the Spartans headed back home with a 32-22 victory under their belts.

Both teams got off to slow starts early.

East turned the ball over on downs on their first series and Point Pleasant fumbled on theirs as Kamon Anderson recovered for the Spartans.

However, the first score of the contest came late in the opening quarter when the Big Blacks capitalized on a 10-play, 78-yard drive when quarterback Evan Roach scored on a 2-yard run. Gavin Jeffers propelled the score with a 29-yard run to set it up as the Big Blacks led 7-0 with 1:36 left in the first quarter.

And it did not take the Spartans long to answer.

After running back Ian Cline ran for two yards on the opening play of the subsequent possession, he then caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from Monquelle Davis, and East tied the game at 7-all.

Anderson got another big hit as the second quarter started in a drive that eventually led to a Point Pleasant punt, which East used in their favor.

Cline went for 10 yards on the first play of the next drive and two plays later went for seven more. Five-foot-five-inch Jake Pate made a huge play on the drive’s eighth play when Davis was scrambling around in the backfield looking to make play. He rolled every direction and just heaved the ball toward Pate who caught it along the sideline and gave the Spartans an important fourth-down conversion to keep the possession going. Then three plays later, Davis rumbled into the end zone from 17 yards away and gave the Spartans (1-0) a 13-7 advantage after 11 plays and 61 yards.

Point Pleasant (0-1) answered again, however. East’s Garrett Bennett had a huge sack that seemed to kill the Big Blacks momentum, but a couple of plays later, Jeffers went for 34 yards deep into Spartan territory. Roach followed that with his second touchdown, this one on a 1-yard sneak, and Point Pleasant regained the lead 14-13.

But the Spartans motto this year may very well be “do not stay behind for long.”

Cline returned the ensuing kickoff 28 yards to midfield. Davis then ran for 11 yards. On the final play of the half, as the clock struck zero, Cline hauled in another touchdown catch, this one from 40 yards out and East took a 19-14 lead into halftime.

The third quarter was much like the first as both teams played good defense, and the offense did not come around until the end of the period.

Jeffers raced 22 yards on the Big Blacks’ second series of the half, then Roach converted a fourth-down with a 7-yard scramble. Jeffers then went 14 yards to set up another short 1-yard scoring run from Roach. Roach found Cody Schultz for the 2-point try and Point Pleasant led 22-19 with 2:26 remaining in the third.

Lucas McCallister returned the subsequent kickoff 50 yards into Point Pleasant territory to give the Spartans life again. A long touchdown pass to Bryson Ormsbee was called back for a penalty, but the Spartan offense did not let that deter them in any way. Tight end Jarett McHale caught a 25-yard pass and two plays later caught another for four more. That is when Bennett took the handoff and scored on a 4-yard run and East took the lead back 25-22 midway through the fourth.

The Spartans sealed the game when Pate recovered a fumble on Point Pleasant’s next possession and Davis found Ormsbee for a 14-yard touchdown strike and East went ahead 32-22 and ruined the Big Blacks season opener.

The stats were pretty even with East gaining 299 yards and Point Pleasant getting 293.

But East did not turn the ball over at all while the Big Blacks gave it away three times as Anderson, Pate and Bennett all recovered fumbles.

Anderson was the McDonald’s player of the game with two sacks and controlling the Point Pleasant offense.

Davis paced the Spartan offense with 184 total yards (140 passing) and four total touchdowns. Cline rushed for 101 yards on 25 carries and had two receptions for 88 yards and two scores.

Jeffers led the Big Blacks with 191 yards on 12 carries.

The Spartans will be tested again this Friday, Sept. 3 when they travel to Beckley to take on the Woodrow Wilson Flying Eagles (1-0). Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.


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