Greensboro grabs defensive win

Published 2:08 am Saturday, September 12, 2009

PLANTERSVILLE – When two teams like Dallas County and Greensboro are so evenly matched, deciding a game by one play doesn’t always seem fair.

After 48 minutes of football and seven plays in overtime, Greensboro’s Raiders completed a fourth-and-goal pass from the 5 to beat the Dallas County Hornets 6-0 in overtime Friday night.

Greensboro freshman quarterback Quante Brown hit senior receiver Michael Hale on a fade route in the right corner of the end zone for the victory.

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The game marked the home debut for first-year coach Darryl Burns, whose team fell to 0-3 with the loss.

“We are both very even teams,” Burns said. “They were as good as we were and we were as good as they were. … They just made the one play that counted.”

“You hate for either team to lose,” said Greensboro’s Jake Hazelrig. “We played a good defensive game, and they did too.”

For a game that lacked scoring, neither team was able to capitalize on mistakes and grab momentum.

Dallas County junior defensive end Keymiya Harrell blocked a Raiders punt in the second quarter, and Hornets senior linebacker Cortland Henry recovered the ball at the Greensboro 12-yard line. But after two quickly penalties (substitution infraction and illegal procedure), Dallas County’s offense stalled at the 7-yard line.

Burns heaped praise on his squad’s defensive effort, especially after losses of 42-18 (West Blocton) and 66-6 (Bibb County).

“We had a great defensive game,” Burns said. “We did different things on defense, and we made some changes at halftime. I couldn’t be more pleased with the defense.

“Greensboro had us against a wall tonight and our kids fought,” he said. “And they haven’t been doing that. They fought their hearts out. I think it gives us hope going into the rest of the season.”

On the Greensboro possessions that went over on downs, Dallas County was able to stop the Raiders at the 25, 32 and 3 yard lines in Hornets territory.

Likewise, the Raiders stopped Dallas County drives at the 7-, 26- and 12-yard lines.

Greensboro’s Hazelrig said he expected a difficult time in Plantersville.

“Somebody said in a Tuscaloosa newspaper told us we would be able to score 55 points against them,” he said. “We knew it was going to be tough.

“We made mistakes,” Hazelrig said. “I’m proud of our kids, especially considering we have a freshman quarterback.”

Greensboro had the edge in total offense, 195 yards to Dallas County’s 172. The Hornets dominated the ground game with 152 yards, led by Brandon Jackson (11 carries for 74 yards) and Anthony Finney (5-for-31).

Defensive standouts for Dallas County were Nathaniel Bell with six tackles and two assists; Henry with two tackles, three assists, one sack and the blocked punt return; Brandon Harvell with six tackles and three assists; and linebacker McArthur Jemison with six tackles and an assist.

Dallas County travels to Holt next Friday. Southside defeated Holt 28-8 Friday.