Jones County player Marcus Pace finds himself surrounded by Greenbrier teammates Reggie Rice (from left), Charles Middleton and Charlie Kupar in the first quarter during Friday night's game in Evans. The Wolfpack won 17-14.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
All Mickey Derrick could ask for is a shot.
The Greenbrier coach will get his chance Friday night to make the state playoffs if the team wins.
"I like being able to control what will happen on the field," he said. "I don't like leaving it up to other teams to help us out."
However, the Wolfpack's win will have to come against the top-ranked and undefeated Statesboro Blue Devils.
"We have playmakers," Greenbrier wide receiver Eugene Rogers said. "We are not going to be intimidated. We have worked to get to the playoffs and now we just have to seize the opportunity."
Greenbrier (3-6, 3-3) got to this point after beating Jones County 17-14 on Friday night at the Brierpatch.
The Wolfpack went into Friday's game knowing they must win their final two games and had to get some help from other teams to make the playoffs.
Statesboro eliminated Effingham County 27-7 on Friday, paving the way for the Wolfpack to make it into the playoffs with a win over the Blue Devils. Statesboro beat Greenbrier in 2003, 48-18.
The possibility of the playoffs looked grim after the Wolfpack lost consecutive region games after starting the region slate 2-1.
A heartbreaking 18-17 loss this past week to Effingham County might hurt more now, as Greenbrier would be in the playoffs if it had beaten the Rebels.
Jones County's Pace catches a long pass on the 10-yard line in the second quarter in spite of the efforts of Greenbrier defender Kupar to set up a touchdown on the next play. The teams went to the half with the score tied 7-7 at the Brierpatch. This week, the Wolfpack have to win in order to get into the playoffs. The team plays the top-ranked, undefeated Statesboro Blue Devils on Friday night.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"We'd be in (the playoffs) if we'd have won last week," Derrick said immediately after Friday's game ended. "But we can't dwell on that now. We just have to seize the opportunity now."
The team regrouped after the loss to the Rebels and controlled most of the game against Jones County.
Greenbrier forced four turnovers and controlled the clock, but still struggled offensively, especially with their running game.
The Wolfpack ran for 19 yards on 19 carries in the first half.
"We said that we just have to get the running game going," offensive lineman Tanner Hayden said. "The run game is the key to our offense."
The Wolfpack did run for 95 yards in the second half, but failed to convert on good field positions throughout the game.
Greenbrier got only three points off four turnovers, including three turnovers recovered in Jones County territory.
"We won, but we are going to have to play better to stand a chance against the Blue Devils," Derrick said. "We can't not convert on turnovers next week."
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