High-powered offense leads Rampants to win over Laney

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Greenville-Rose scored touchdowns on four of five possessions over the final 24 minutes of action to rally past Laney 56-44 to spoil the Bucs’ home opener on Friday night.

Asa Alexander completed 24-of-29 pass attempts for 368 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions as the senior quarterback hit eight different receivers in the ballgame. Clemson University commit Cornell Powell found the end zone three times, including an 87-yard kickoff return, and finished with six catches for 111 yards receiving.

Cornell Powell, left had a big night for Rose on Friday. Photo by Joe Catenacci.
Cornell Powell, left had a big night for Rose on Friday. Photo by Joe Catenacci.

“We’re very explosive when we play inside of our system,” said Greenville-Rose Coach David Wojtecki. “I think we were trying to do a little much early and trying to go for too many home run balls instead of trying to work the ball down the field. We settled down at the half, made a few adjustments and our kids are very intelligent within our offense.”

Laney carried a 28-21 edge at halftime thanks to a Jamius Beckett 35-yard interception return and two blocked punts by Sherod Sidbury, who fell on one of the kicks for a touchdown to tie the game at seven after Alexander put the Rampants on the board following a six play, 62-yard drive on their first possession of the season.

“They did a great job executing the pass game and we made some mistakes defensively,” said Laney Coach Aashad Yeoman. “I’m the defensive backs coach and I need to do a better job coaching them up. Powell has great hands, great speed and the best thing you could do is try to keep him in front of you.”

Greenville-Rose outscored the Bucs 35-16 after the break, using a balanced offensive attack as Dontavies Harris carried the ball 15 times for 80 yards to go along with four catches and two touchdowns.

Imeek Watkins. Photo courtesy- John Crouch
Imeek Watkins. Photo courtesy- John Crouch

Through seven possessions in the first half, the Rampants had two turnovers, two blocked punts and one botched snap on a fourth-down play that gave the Bucs life heading into the third quarter.

“It’s a team effort and I thought our defense and special teams made plays early in the game until the offense was able to get things moving,” Yeoman added. “There’s three phases of the game and I thought we did a pretty good job, but there’s still work to be done.”

A four-yard score by Harris to open the second half tied the game 28-28 as Laney was never able to regain their composure with two punts to open the third quarter. The Bucs took a one-point lead 36-35 on the final play of the frame when Trevon Greene connected with Ryan Williams on a 62-yard strike and two-point conversion by Imeek Watkins, but the Rampants’ high-power offense was too much to handle as Powell made a key fourth down conversion on the ensuing drive to set up a four-yard score by Jacques Suggs.

Two more touchdown passes in the fourth quarter from Alexander to Harris and Lquaan Atkinson sealed the victory as Greenville-Rose improved to 1-0 on the year.

Williams finished the night with two catches and two touchdowns for Laney, while Watkins made 19 carries for 49 yards and one score.  Justin Billingslea also made four receptions for 73 yards and one touchdown.

The Bucs fell to 0-2 in non-conference play and return to the gridiron at Lee County on Friday, September 4.

Box score

Rose     7-14-14-21=56

Laney   14-14-8-8=44


Scoring summary

First quarter

Rose- Asa Alexander 23-yard pass to Cornell Powell, (PAT, Alexander) 8:31

Laney- Sherod Sidbury blocked punt recovery, (PAT, Hayden Watkins) 1:39

Laney- Jamius Beckett 35-yard interception return, (PAT, Watkins), :08

Second quarter

Rose- Asa Alexander 52-yard pass to Cornell Powell, (PAT, Alexander) 10:02

Laney- Imeek Watkins, 1-yard run, (PAT, Watkins) 7:12

Laney- Trevon Greene 16-yard pass to Ryan Williams, (PAT, Watkins) 2:59

Rose- Cornell Powell 87-yard kickoff return, (PAT, Alexander) 2:47

Third quarter

Rose- Dontavies Harris, 4-yard run, (PAT, Alexander) 8:42

Rose- Asa Alexander 16-yard pass to Andrew Phillips, (PAT, Alexander) :57

Laney- Trevon Greene 62-yard pass to Ryan Williams, (2-point conversion) :00

Fourth quarter

Rose- Jacques Suggs, 4-yard run, (2-point conversion) 9:13

Rose- Asa Alexander 14-yard pass to Lquaan Atkinson, 7:26

Rose- Asa Alexander 39-yard pass to Dontavies Harris, (PAT, Alexander) 5:13

Laney- Trevon Greene 6-yard pass to Justin Billingslea, (2-point conversion) 1:57