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Sunbright struggles in region opener against Greenback

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By Goose Lindsay

The defending state champion Greenback Cherokees showed why they’re still the team to beat in Class A football Friday as they traveled to Morgan County and downed Sunbright, 49-0.

“What can you say? That’s the best team in the state in 1A football,” Sunbright head coach Joe Kent said after the contest.

Greenback looked ready for another postseason run as they scored six first half touchdown drives. Five of the scoring drives lasted 39 seconds or less.

Greenback’s first score came on its first offensive snap as QB Bryce Hanley hooked up with big play receiver Holden Willis from 57 yards out to give the Cherokees a quick 7-0 lead.

The quick score was one of four for the Cherokees in the first period of play. Trace Brown scored on a 2-yard run, Hanley tossed an 18-yard scoring pass to Blake Morton, and Matthew Brown scored on a 1-yard run as the Cherokees led 28-0 after 12 minutes of play.

Sunbright’s Augie Friels did pick off a pass in the first quarter.

Greenback added two touchdowns in the second period. The first was a 30-yard pass from Hanley to Willis followed by a 38-yard pass to Cole Riddle.

The Tigers did have one solid drive in the second quarter that lasted 11 plays before the Cherokee defense held.

Greenback scored its final touchdown on a Riddle 46-yard run in the third period.

Despite the loss, Coach Kent found some positives that will help the Tigers moving forward.

“We found some kids that want to play football and want to do what the coaches want them to do,” he said.

Simply getting on the field was a positive as the Tigers have played less than a quarter of football since an Aug. 4 scrimmage against Jackson County.

“We’ve had a three-and-a half week layoff that’s killed us,” Ken said. “Getting rained out then a bye week and no jamboree makes for a long time without football.”

Sunbright (0-1) hosts Coalfield (2-1) Friday night in a key Region 2-1A contest for both teams.

“Coalfield’s a good team and they’re well coached,” Kent said. “We’ll watch the film this weekend and see what they do.”

Sunbright Statistics

Rushing- Freels 15-36, J. Hammock 13-20, E. Hammock 4-3, Bryant 4-10.

Passing- Freels 2-10 for 8 yards with 1 INT.

Receiving- Bohanan 1-9, Durham 1-(-1).