SUSSEX — Greensville County wasn’t perfect in Friday’s district title game clash against Sussex-Central. Still, the dominance in stretches paved the way for a 38-14 Eagles victory.
The green and gold finished the night with 13 tackles for loss, many of those sacks of Tiger quarterback Tyree Rose. Senior Greensville linebacker MarQuais Cain had two quarterback sacks.
“It was all about coaching adjustments,” Cain said.”Coach wanted me to go to the outside of the field like we did at Nottoway. It worked out, and I got me two sacks.”
After stopping Sussex-Central (7-2, 5-1) on downs open the contest, the Eagles drove the ball 54 yards on seven plays, capped by a Kemory Sykes 9-yard run. Quarterback Jayden White ran in the 2-point conversion to give Greensville (7-2, 6-0) an 8-0 advantage with 4:48 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers would knot the game at 8-8 shortly before the first quarter expired. Rose fielded a punt on his own 15 and sprinted nearly untouched for an 85-yard score. The Tigers added the 2-point conversion on a Rose throw to Imir Clark.
Greensville wasted little time answering. Kendel Blue took a handoff from White and outran the Tiger stop unit for a 42-yard score. Sykes added the 2-point conversion to put the Eagles in front 16-8 late in the first quarter.
The Tigers began moving the ball slowly down the field and reached the Greensville 35. Rose went to the well once to often, and his middle screen pass was intercepted by Keimon Harding, giving the Eagles the ball at the Sussex 34. Blue’s number was called three consecutive plays, the third ending up in a 20-yard touchdown run. The sophomore ran in the 2-point conversion to push the Eagles advantage to 24-8, with 4:42 left in the first half.
Just when it appeared Sussex would go into the halftime locker room trailing by 16, Rose came through with a 50-yard scoring toss to Clark with 4 seconds remaining in the first half. The Tigers trailed 24-14 at the break.
Neither team produced points on their first possession of the second half. On their second possession, the Eagles put a near game-clinching score on the scoreboard with an eight-play, 73-yard drive, capped by a 2-yard Sykes plunge into the end zone with 2:14 left in the third quarter. The junior ran in the 2-point conversion to make it a three-possession lead, 32-14.
Blue scored the final points of the contest with an 11-yard scoring run with 5:42 left in the game.
“The kids played well, and we’re getting better every week,” Greensville coach Doc Walton said. “I’m proud of them. They earned it against a tough Sussex team. Hopefully, we can keep it rolling.”
Greensville’s ground attack (34-309 yards) was the difference in the contest. Blue (16-137, 3 touchdowns) and Sykes (13-130, 2 touchdowns) both ran for more than 100 yards.
The Tigers had 54 yards rushing on 34 carries. Rose had 85 yards through the air with a touchdown.
Greensville finishes the regular season at 7 p.m. Thursday in Emporia against Brunswick. Sussex-Central will play at 7 p.m. Friday in Dendron against Surry County.