Greensboro Raiders Win The “Battle For Hale County”
On Thursday night, the Greensboro Raiders (4-4, 3-2) defeated the Hale County Wildcats (5-4, 2-4) in the game known as, "The Battle for Hale County."
A battle is a great way to describe this game as a whole. Greensboro focused on their running attack in this game, and Hale County seemingly had no answer. Greensboro rushed 31 times for a total of 126 yards. Running-back Anthony Quarles only finished with 62 yards rushing for the Raiders, but a majority of that was a 47-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter to put the game out of reach.
Greensboro head coach Jamel King was thrilled with how his team came out and played on Thursday night.
"I felt like our kids played with a lot of enthusiasm," King said. "They never quit. We have been working on changing tradition and culture here at Greensboro, and this game showed that we won't quit or go back to the old ways."
Defensively for Greensboro, the team made big plays at the perfect time. One of the biggest plays came in the 3rd quarter as Greensboro defensive end Aaron Wiggins sacked quarterback Matthew Swartz for Hale County and forced a fumble. Wiggins picked up the ball and ran it into the endzone for the score. This was one of three turnovers that Hale County would surrender in the game.
The star of the night for Hale County was Aziyah Wynn. Wynn made plays in several key positions including running back, wide receiver, kick and punt returner, and kicker. Wynn's biggest contributions happened defensively racking up two interceptions and one tackle for loss.
Quarterback Matthew Swartz for Hale County had a tough night. Swartz finished with 19 completions out of 33 attempts and had 174 yards and one touchdown. Hale County head coach Matt Hastings believes that while his quarterback didn't have his best game, it wasn't entirely his fault.
"He didn't have his best game," Hastings said. "He has been strong all year for us. We couldn't protect him the way we wanted to and it caused some mistakes that Greensboro took advantage of. All in all, he's played well all year and didn't play bad tonight, just had some tough luck."
Greensboro head coach Jamal King was very excited to talk playoffs, but this is something coach King expected to happen.
"This was the plan the whole time," King said. "After going 2-8 and so many losing seasons, I am so glad that the kids get this opportunity. We haven't been to the playoffs in years, so this is a great night for us and our program."
The Greensboro Raiders will play at home next week against PCA (Prattville) in a conference game. Hale County will also play at home in a non-conference game against the Northside Rams.