Originally created 10/30/04

Wolfpack miss their chance at playoffs



The Greenbrier Wolfpack went into Friday night's game with one shot at extending their season.

There was one problem, though.

The Wolfpack had to get through Statesboro - the No. 2-ranked team in Class-AAAA - to seal up their region's fourth and final playoff spot.

Statesboro had no visions of ruining its perfect record going into the playoffs and proved that with a 42-0 win against Greenbrier at the Brierpatch.

"I think they showed tonight why they're the No. 1 team in the state," Greenbrier coach Mickey Derrick said.

The Blue Devils (10-0, 7-0) gained 351 yards - 242 on the ground - compared to the Wolfpack's 106 yards. Seniors Tyler Dent and Eugene Rogers led the way for the Wolfpack (3-7, 3-4), combining for 83 of Greenbrier's yards.

The Blue Devils amassed nearly that many yards on their first drive of the game. Statesboro slowly marched 70 yards on its opening drive, with only two of their 14 plays accounting for more than 10 yards. Junior running back Charles Rock gave Statesboro the only score it would need on a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:10 left in the first quarter.

Things just didn't work out on our side of the ball," Dent said. "It's just a big loss."

The Blue Devils nearly made it 14-0 four minutes later, but Nick Wedlow fumbled at the 1 and the Wolfpack recovered it in the endzone for a touchback.

But the Wolfpack handed the ball right back to the Blue Devils. After a 3-yard run by Charles Rogers, quarterback Sean Gray threw an interception to Leroy Ethridge at the Wolfpack 23.

Wedlow made up for the fumble three plays later with an 11-yard run to give the Blue Devils a 14-0 lead.

Derrick said he wanted a balanced offensive attack, but the Wolfpack were never able to get their passing game going.

"They had way too much speed for us," he said.

Gray threw six passes, two were completed to his receivers, two to Blue Devils' defensive backs. The Wolfpack also lost one fumble and had a punt blocked deep in their own territory.

Greenbrier ran the ball 29 times, but nine of those were for negative yardage. The Blue Devils, meanwhile, had their way with the Wolfpack defense in the first half. Statesboro scored on four of their first five possessions and took a 28-0 lead into the locker room.

"We tried too hard," Dent said.

Reach Kristy Shonka at (706) 823-3216 or kristy.shonka@augustachronicle.com.