RED SPRINGS — Blake Greene left the Red Springs community with a fitting performance in his final home game.
They responded with a token of their appreciation too.
Moments before Greene engineered a five-touchdown outing in the Red Devils’ 35-13 rain-soaked win over West Columbus, the highly-decorated senior quarterback was presented with a banner recognizing his career contributions in the north end zone.
An honor normally reserved for Red Devil basketball greats with jersey numbers hanging inside the gym, Greene became the first member of the school’s “Ring of Honor” on the gridiron and pushed his touchdown total to 145 as his way of saying thank you.
“I had the players, coaches and a loving family behind me through all of it,” Greene said. “I had a lot of support and couldn’t have done this without my teammates, coach (George) Coltharp and God.”
Red Springs (2-8, 2-4) scored on its first four possessions with the first half’s most impressive highlight coming on Dewayne Fairley’s 52-yard touchdown reception on Greene’s seventh throw. Greene hooked up with CJ McGeachy two times for 56 yards on the next drive, setting up his own 2-yard keeper to put the Red Devils ahead 21-0.
Against the Vikings, Greene recorded his first 100-yard rushing effort of the season and his three touchdown passes brought him to within two of the century. His final opportunity to reach the milestone comes next week against St. Pauls.
“I’ve had the opportunity to be around a lot of great players over my time as a coach and he’s a once in a generation kind of guy,” Coltharp said. “He’s our leader and a guy you build programs around.”
Red Springs’ two-time all-county linebacker Markeiss Blue tallied 13 tackles, recovered a fumble and nearly returned a fumble 91 yards for a touchdown but the play was called back on a chop block near the goal line.
Blue headlines a crop of seniors that own a conference championship and two trips to the third round of the state playoffs.
“Like Coltharp has always preached, this senior class wanted to change the culture around here,” Blue said. “People didn’t care about football when the Class of 2014 got here, then they started buying in and stuff changed. People started coming to the games and we started winning.”
Swett hosts Hoke today
PEMBROKE — Rain in Pembroke forced Purnell Swett athletic director Jerome Hunt to move Friday’s game against Hoke to this afternoon at 3. The Bucks and Rams have split their previous four meetings and each team must win out to have a shot at the playoffs.
“We know we’re up against UNCP’s home game for attendance, but we just couldn’t play today,” Hunt said Friday.
Tornadoes struggle at South Columbus
TABOR CITY — Fairmont suffered its second consecutive disappointing loss Friday night in Tabor City and was eliminated from Three Rivers Conference championship contention after a 56-24 setback to South Columbus.
The Stallions (7-2, 5-1) scored 28 unanswered points and held the Golden Tornadoes (7-3, 3-3) scoreless in the second half to rebound from last week’s homecoming loss to St. Pauls. South Columbus can share the league title with Whiteville if the Stallions can beat the Wolfpack on the road in next week’s finale.
Whiteville, a 42-8 winner over South Robeson on Thursday, has locked up the Three Rivers’ top 1A playoff seed and won nine straight games since dropping its season opener.
Fairmont’s now 0-8 all-time against South Columbus and regardless of what happens next week against South Robeson, will be on the road in the first round of the 2A playoffs.
St. Pauls misses opportunity
LAKE WACCAMAW — In need of a victory to stay in the Three Rivers Conference race with Whiteville and South Columbus, the St. Pauls Bulldogs squandered an opportunity Friday at East Columbus and fell to the Gators, 28-20.
The upset win snapped East Columbus’ six-game losing skid and was the Gators’ first conference victory of the season.
With a home playoff game now in jeopardy, St. Pauls (7-3, 4-2) will try and regroup before hosting Red Springs in the regular season finale. East Columbus kept the Bulldogs’ rushing attack in check and forced three turnovers including Malik Livingston’s 12th interception of the season.
Livingston’s two touchdown passes and 166 yards of total offense wasn’t enough as the Bulldogs saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.
Reach staff writer Brad Crawford at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @MrPalmettoSDS.
Red Springs 35, West Columbus 13
West Columbus 0 7 0 6 — 13
Red Springs 14 21 0 0 — 35
RS — Jameson Baker 20 pass from Blake Greene (Hayden Bannick kick)
RS — Dewayne Fairley 52 pass from Greene (Bannick kick)
RS — Greene 2 run (Bannick kick)
RS — Eric Graham 19 pass from Greene (Bannick kick)
WC — Fred Evans 28 interception return (Tanner Daniels kick)
RS — Greene 10 run (Bannick kick)
WC — Adrian Buie 31 run (kick failed)
PASSING: RS — Greene 16-29-2-221, Baker 1-1-0-8.
RUSHING: RS — Greene 11-101. WC — Buie 11-61, Dundy 10-26, Eady 5-11.
RECEIVING: RS — McGeachy 4-63, Fairley 1-52, Foster 4-29, Greene 1-8, Baker 1-20, Graham 1-19.
RECORDS — W. Columbus 2-8, 0-6; Red Springs 2-8, 2-5.
East Columbus 28, St. Pauls 20
St. Pauls 8 6 0 6 — 20
East Columbus 6 8 0 14 — 28
STP — Daymien McMillan 7 run (McMillan run)
EC — Greg Melvin 18 run (Run failed)
EC — Elijah Graham 9 pass from Ryan Howard (McClure run)
STP — Luke Hunt 16 pass from Malik Livingston (Kick failed)
EC — Nick McClure 15 run (McClure run)
STP — Tim Billinger 40 pass from Livingston (Run failed)
EC — McClure 6 run (pass failed) 3:45
PASSING — STP: Livingston 5-10-1-79.
RUSHING — STP: Livingston 13-87, McMillan 8-25, Walters 2-9, Inman 10-62.
RECEIVING — STP: Walters 2-14, Hunt 1-16, Billinger 1-40 McCallum 1-9.
RECORDS — St. Pauls 7-3, 4-2; East Columbus 3-7, 1-5.