Greene football loses to Washington-Wilkes

Greene County senior linebacker Josh Miller pops a Washington-Wilkes running back in the backfield for a loss.

PHOTO: Justin Hubbard

By Justin Hubbard

justin@lakeoconeenews.us

 

The Greene County football team fell to 3-3 last Friday after losing to longtime rival Washington-Wilkes, 40-27, in Greensboro.

Washington-Wilkes jumped out to a 19-0 lead with a little more than 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter and took control of a game that wasn’t as close as the final score might indicate. The visiting Tigers controlled the ball all night, running 77 plays and holding the ball for nearly 35 minutes.

Greene allowed 477 total yards, including 337 on the ground. Washington-Wilkes tailback Malik Hall ran for 200 yards and two touchdowns to lead his team to a decisive win.

“I'm disappointed,” said Greene head coach Robert Edwards. “We didn't play very well on defense. We've got to figure some things out. If we don't, teams are gonna continue to run down our throats all night. I think [Washington-Wilkes] ran one or two plays the whole first half and they ate up a lot of clock. I think our defense was on the field too long, fighting, and we have a lot of those guys that play both ways.”

The Tigers’ defense hadn’t been gashed in that fashion all season. In fact, Greene’s front seven was considered by most as the defense’s strongest feature.

Washington-Wilkes found a way to consistently attack it, though, resulting in its dominant performance. Edwards said the clues were there that Greene could be punished up the gut and Washington-Wilkes was able to do it.

“The first week, second week, third week, we were getting eaten up in the middle and I think they got those films and saw where we were weak at and attacked it,” Edwards said. “These last two weeks, those teams were more outside zone-type teams and they really didn't attack our middle. It's something we've got to get better at.”

Last Friday wasn’t all bad for Greene. The Tigers’ offense was mostly efficient, led by a solid night from junior quarterback C’Darius Kelley.

Kelley went 11-of-22 for 188 yards passing and two touchdowns. He recorded a rushing touchdown as well. Ant Elder, the Tigers’ sophomore running back, led the team in rushing with 44 yards on eight carries. Elder scored once.

“I thought the offense did pretty good when we got opportunities to touch the ball,” Edwards said. “I think we only punted once or twice but we were able to score most of the times we touched it and we didn't hurt ourselves.”

 

Noticeably quiet during the game was senior tailback Milkell Adams. Entering last Friday’s game, Adams was among the state leaders in rushing with more than 900 yards to his credit.

Adams carried the ball only once for 1 yard against Washington-Wilkes.

“We had a different game plan this week,” Edwards said. “We featured Ant more [Friday]. Milkell was going to play more the receiving role and the blocking role. I thought Ant had a good night.”

Although Greene fell behind early, its offense played well afterward. The Tigers put 21 points on the board in the second half, including on a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.

Edwards said he was happy seeing his team fight until the end, even if it was in a losing effort.

“It's character-building,” he said. “I appreciate them not quitting. That's what we try to teach them, to continue to fight all the way to the end, and they showed that [Friday]. Just came up a little bit short.”

Aquinas is the next team on Greene’s schedule. The Fightin’ Irish enter on a three-game winning streak and have home field advantage.

Quarterback John Paul has 1,060 yards passing and 10 passing touchdowns. He, and the Fightin’ Irish’s receivers, will pose the biggest passing threat Greene’s faced since the opener against Morgan County.

Last season, Aquinas rode its rushing attack to a 27-17 win in Greensboro. Joseph Douglas, younger brother of former Georgia tailback Brendan Douglas, ran 24 times for 154 yards to lead Aquinas past Greene.

Edwards said he anticipates a similar plan of attack from Aquinas this week.

“I know they've got the Douglas kid that's gonna be featured,” he said. “We're gonna have a heavy dosage of him, so we've got to figure out how we can stop him.”

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