Those who know the rivalry between Grovetown and Greenbrier, however, knew that neither team would give in that easily.
In a game between teams connected by a short stretch of William Few Parkway, Grovetown amassed a huge lead, then held off a furious comeback attempt for a 42-26 victory over Greenbrier.
“It’s huge,” Warriors head coach Rodney Holder said of the win, noting the unique familiarity between players on opposing sidelines. “It’s one of those things where it’s always going to be a big rivalry game.”
For Jamal Cummings, a huge first quarter, both personally and for the team, meant even more given the opponent.
“It felt great,” said the senior, who finished with 100 rushing yards and 66 receiving yards. “We knew coming into the game that this was all of the seniors’ last game playing a Columbia County team. So we put in our mind that we were going to come out and play hard, physical and fast the whole game.”
Cummings used that mantra from the get-go.
He caught a quick pass from Juwan Biggers on the opening drive and sprinted 66 yards for a touchdown. Three minutes later, he scored on a run from 22 yards out.
Down two scores early, Greenbrier unsuccessfully attempted a fake punt. Two plays later, Devin Bryant scored from 40 yards out on a run around the right side.
A Brandon Scott interception then led to a 1-yard touchdown run for Biggers and a 28-0 lead after just one quarter for the Warriors (3-6, 3-3 Region 2-AAAAA). Grovetown had 202 offensive yards in the quarter.
A 27-yard interception return for touchdown capped a 35-0 half.
As bad as the first half was for the Wolfpack (1-8, 0-6 Region 2-AAAAA), they fought hard the rest of the way.
Senior Luke Otstot struggled under center early, and sophomore Adam Sasser got some snaps before halftime. In the second half, Sasser took over and showed promise.
He completed a 38-yard pass on the opening drive to set up a short Jamal Richard touchdown. Then, Sasser completed a 17-yard scoring strike to Matt Chiera late in the third quarter.
“We had a great third quarter,” Greenbrier head coach Kevin Hunt said. “I wish we played four quarters like that.”
After a lost fumble for Grovetown – one of four in the second half – Greenbrier began the fourth quarter with another score on a 4-yard run by Malcolm Thomas.
With the Wolfpack closing in at 35-20, Biggers came up big.
After a failed onside kick, the senior had runs of 18 and 17 yards before scoring on a 12-yard run that sewed up the victory. He had 125 rushing yards and added 82 passing yards.
Clint Hardy hauled in the game’s final score on a 27-yard pass from Sasser.