By Mark Robinson
By a score of 39-8, the Greenbrier East Spartan football team defeated the Princeton Tigers Friday night, Oct. 30. Behind a punishing ground game led by Zayvion Lawson, the Spartans dominated from the first quarter. Lawson ran the ball 29 times for 193 yards, scoring two touchdowns. Logan Freeman added 29 yards on six runs. Quarterback Jonathan Carr completed three passes, two of them for long touchdowns to Josh McClung, one 65 yards and the other 45 yards. Carr’s third completion was caught over the middle by Nathaniel Byers.
Wide receiver Shy Atkinson recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score, and quarterback Carr ran for a touchdown. Zac Yates added three points after touchdowns.
After the game, head coach Rick Lee said he was pleased with the whole team’s effort, but especially praised the defense.
“We played great defense. Controlled the football at the times that we needed to. Give all credit to our defense – they’ve been playing real good these last four football games … it was just a great team effort, and I’m proud of our guys.”
The four games referred to by coach Lee were against University (Morgantown), Logan, Parkersburg South, and Princeton. Greenbrier East won all four games, by scores of 34-8, 56-0, 21-3 and 39-8. Two of the points in this game were due to a safety scored by the Tigers defense against the Greenbrier East offense. That means the Greenbrier East defense gave up only 17 points over four games, for an average of 4.25 points per game.
Billy Honaker and Jared Morgan both had interceptions for the Greenbrier East defense. Morgan returned his interception for 53 yards down the far sideline, eluding numerous tacklers on the way. Honaker’s interception was of a deep throw by Tiger quarterback Christian Shafer. Honaker positioned himself in front of the receiver, and leaped high to come down with the ball, wrestling with the receiver as he hit the ground. Colby Johnson and Joey Powell each recovered a fumble.
In the third quarter, Greenbrier East’s defensive end Jarrod Wiley tackled Princeton quarterback Christian Shafer as Shafer rolled out to his right. Wiley wrapped up Shafer and rolled him into the end zone on what was intended to be a pass play. The ball was ruled down on the one yard line, and Princeton punted a few plays later.
Elwood Brown, the grandfather of Zayvion Lawson, attended the game, and was pleased with his grandson’s running. Brown said that Lawson has great appreciation for his offensive line, and said Lawson knows he couldn’t gain these yards without the work of the linemen in front of him.
Greenbrier East’s next game is against Oak Hill, Friday evening, Nov. 6, at 7:30.
Statistics provided by WRON.