Football Friday

At Garner, era ends with loss to Britt

Posted November 21, 2012
Updated November 24, 2012

— The 2012 Eastern Regional Final came down to the final play on Friday night at Trojan Stadium, as Garner down by six had the ball at the Jack Britt 12-yard line with three seconds left, but it was not meant to be for the Trojans as Keon Young picked off his second pass of the game to seal a 14-8 victory for the Buccaneers.

Jack Britt (13-2) trailed 8-0 heading to the final quarter but were able pull to within two after a 35 yard touchdown run from Eric Carter to make it a 8-6 Trojan lead after the two point try was no good.  Jack Britt defeats Garner 14 to 8 Slideshow: Jack Britt v. Garner (Nov. 23, 2012)

But, Garner (14-1) still had the lead and a chance to expand the lead but once again, the Britt defense came up with another play as on third down and long the Bucs picked off a pass to set up a short field and two plays later, Mark McRae connected with Edmund Grand in the end zone the score and following a two-point try, Jack Britt had the 14-8 lead.

The Trojans though, still had a shot down by just six, Garner moved the ball down the field on a Britt defense that was playing soft with passes from Vince Jefferies to Armani Lanier, Brayden Sims, Nyheim Hines and others to set up a first down and 15 from the Britt 12 yard line before the ensuing pass was intercepted by Young to seal the deal.

Garner took a 6-0 lead into the halftime break as Tyler Hinton scored the only touchdown of the half, from one yard out after the Trojans set up the score with pass plays from Jefferies to Lanier for 36 yards and to Tim Thorb for 11 before the nail in the coffin by Hinton to make it 6-0 after the extra point was missed.

The Trojans made it an 8-0 lead early in the second half with McRae was sacked in the end zone by Jeremie Bolobiongo.

However, Britt came storming back and advanced to the State Championship next week for the fourth time in program history. Garner vs. Jack Britt (Nov. 23, 2012) Garner vs. Jack Britt (Nov. 23, 2012)

Friday's loss also marked the final game in the storied career of Trojan head coach Nelson Smith who finishes his Garner career with a record of 144-30 and 10 conference championships.


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  • VT1994Hokie Nov 28, 2012

    ^^^ I meant to write experiences.

  • VT1994Hokie Nov 28, 2012

    Good post by 82ndAAHeel. I wouldn't take anything for my high school playing days. I coached for 7 years in high school from where I graduated until I broke into administration. My coach became a high school principal and I was his assistant principal. I learned some great lesson of expereinces on the football field.

  • 82ndAAHeel Nov 24, 2012

    Hal Stewart and Nelson Smith gave me my first job in coaching football. Life happens and my path diverted from Garner, but I wanted Nelson to leave with a title before he hung up his hat. The great thing about Coach Smith coaching the Shrine Bowl team is he plans to win as opposed to playing politics. Only football coaches know how heavy their hearts were last night after the game taking up equipment. North Carolina high school football needs more coaches like Nelson Smith. The program's success can be summed up with one word, consistency. There will be a year or two when they might be down because the talent pool is shallow, but I expect Garner will recover. I salute Nelson Smith and his staff for two fine seasons. There are literally hundreds of young men that are better citizens because they played for him.