Springfield shuts out Greenbrier for fourth consecutive season
The Pitt-Carroll trophy traveled the 8.4 miles down to Greenbrier from its residence at Springfield for the past eight years.
The visiting Yellow Jackets were determined that it would make the trip back for a ninth.
Springfield relied on quarterback Devon Crenshaw and a dominating performance by its defensive line to defeat the Greenbrier Bobcats 35-0 on Friday.
The trophy, named for William Pitt and Dwight Carroll, two Marines killed in action in Vietnam, is presented to the winner of the annual cross-county rivalry, one dominated by Springfield for most of the past decade. In fact, the Yellow Jacket seniors have outscored Greenbrier 133-0 during their high school tenure.
Crenshaw said that keeping the record pristine was the goal focus all week.
“We came into this week all fired up,” Crenshaw said. “We just wanted to put points on the board and keep them from scoring. It was four years in a row for us Greenbrier had zero points on the board.”
The game started out evenly, with both teams testing the defense without much success before Springfield got the first break of the night when the Bobcats shanked a punt.
“They came out in a different front,” recalled Springfield head coach Dustin Wilson. “It takes your offense a little while (to adjust). Good job by (Greenbrier head coach John) Elmore and them. Young kids will panic, so a lot of patience from some experienced kids paid off for us.”
Elmore explained the early success, adding, “we had put in an even front we hadn’t shown before, and we just played pretty well in the first quarter, first half (of the quarter) especially. For the first quarter and a half, we were on our side of the field, and that puts a lot of pressure on your defense.
“A fumble, two short punts, with a team as good as Springfield you can’t do that. They will make you pay.”
Crenshaw opened the scoring when he bulled in from the 5-yard line less than a minute into the second quarter. Forcing another quick out, Springfield took over at the Greenbrier 44-yard line.
On the very next play, Crenshaw found Clarence Cobbins running all alone down the right seam for a 14-0 lead.
Crenshaw completed 5-of-13 passes for 116 yards and two scores, adding two scores on the ground and 101 yards on seven carries.
Wilson praised his senior leader and offensive line.
“Crenshaw’s done a great job,” Wilson said. “He makes everybody look good when you snap it to him. And the line up front, it’s got four seniors on it. Hey, he might be 220-something, but he can still scoot.”
As Greenbrier was forced to the air, Dya’Ron Grundy and Mac Gregory led a smothering defense that only allowed a net 23 yards rushing. The pressure from the Yellow Jacket rush kept Greenbrier quarterback Nolan Carson moving around.
Things looked up when Carson found Dalton Wilbur on a wheel route that he caught at midfield and took to the Yellow Jacket 25, but the drive ended in an interception by Keimarian Flair, one of four turnovers Springfield forced.
After a Travyion Binford interception, Crenshaw took off around the left end for a 71-yard rumble that sent Springfield to the half with a 21-0 lead.
“The long run towards the end of the first half, that was a momentum changer for me,” Elmore said. “Giving up that long run was, I thought, a pivotal moment in the game.”
Greenbrier stiffened on defense in the second half as Nathan Robinson kept Lamarious Daniels in check most of the night. The Yellow Jackets with 314 yards of total offense.
Crenshaw spotted Flair behind the defense for a 56-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Lamarious Daniels added the final score on a 1-yard plunge late in the fourth.