– Call it a barn burner, or just a lack of defense, but the Nation Ford and Greenvillescored 12 touchdowns between the two schools in the first half enroute to a 63-55 win for Nation Ford.
The first meeting between the two schools was originally scheduled for Friday, but the teams never made it onto the field at Nation Ford High because of lighting. When the game was played Saturday, the rains came at the half. Lighting delayed the start of the second half for 90 minutes. With the delay, the game lasted nearly five hours.
they two teams combined for 1,379 yards of total offense, with Nation Ford unofficially accounting for 658 yards.
Nation Ford’s junior quarterback Cole Martin threw for 439 yards and a school record seven touchdowns. Greenville’s quarterback Carson Spiers threw for 476 yards and six touchdowns, while running for another.
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Not everything went through the air. Nation Ford senior running back Keshaun McClure rushed for 187 yards on 22 carries and scored four touchdowns, two running and two receiving.
In the fourth quarter, the Falcons defense intercepted Spiers in the end zone killing a Greenville drive.
McClure then went 80 yards on the next play to extend the Falcons lead to two touchdowns.
Greenville rallied, getting within one touchdown. The game came down to the last play as the Falcons’ defense stopped a potential game tying touchdown drive.
“We had stops that were crucial for us to win,” Nation Ford head coach Michael Allen said “Getting our running game going helped us.”
Greenville forced Nation Ford to punt to start the third quarter and then regained the lead on a six-play drive which saw Spiers hit senior Jalen Wilkes for a touchdown, and a 48-42 lead. Wilkes scored four touchdowns and caught eight passes for 201 yards.
Martin and the Falcons regrouped, moving the ball better in the third quarter. On its second drive Nation Ford regained the lead with Martin throwing to Hank Tuipulotu for a touchdown, It was the the quarterback’s seventh touchdown of the game, a school record.
After two unsportsmanlike penalties on Greenville, Nation Ford got the ball at its Greenville 40 yard line. McClure did the majority of work as Nation Ford kept the ball on the ground. The senior scored from a yard out to put the Falcons up 56-48.
Early in the game, Greenville running back Cam Wakefield moved the ball well to end the first quarter. Spiers hit Wilkes on the first play of the second quarter to take the lead with a 13-yard touchdown.
Nation Ford used a seven-play drive, capped by a 20-yard touchdown reception by Tuipuloto, to tie the game at 28-28.
The Red Raiders responded with a one-minute drive as Spiers and Wilkes connected for their third touchdown of the half.
Nation Ford’s next scoring drive was aided by a 24-yard catch from junior Josh Shade and an unsportsmanlike penalty on Greenville that pushed the Falcons to the 28-yard line. Martin hit Helms for a touchdown on the next play.
The teams again traded touchdowns, but
Brady Hensley blocked the Greenville extra point.
Nation Ford took the lead on an 88-yard drive, ending with a 22-yard touchdown pass reception for McClure to make it 42-41 with 2:30 left in the first half.
The Falcons defense stopped Greenville for the first time all game with 1:47 left in the second quarter as Spiers completed his first 12 passes of the game for 223 yards.
Greenville didn’t hesitate to start the game as Spiers hit Wilkes on the opening play from scrimmage for a 73-yard touchdown pass down the right side of the field scoring 16 seconds into the game.
Nation Ford bounced right back on its first drive of the game as Martin would hit Tuipulotu for a first down getting them inside the 10-yard line. A facemask penalty against Greenville pushed the ball to the four-yard line for the Falcons.
It took them a while, but Martin and Tuipulotu finally connected again, this time in the end zone to put the Falcons on the board ending a nine-play drive.
Greenville controlled the Falcons defense as they went 60-yards, mostly on the ground with the help of Wakefield as he pounded the ball up the middle as the Red Raiders scored on a seven-play drive with a nine-yard run from Wakefield.
Nation Ford took their lumps and came right back as Martin hit Helms on a 62-yard touchdown pass, which saw him cover half the field untouched to once again tie the game.
Greenville again went right at Nation Ford as they came back and scored on a five-play drive which saw Spiers hit receiver RJ Brooks for a 16-yard touchdown, but not before the two connected on a 33-yard pass to cross midfield.
It took Nation Ford longer, but the results remained the same as they marched down the field to score and match Greenville as Martin hit McClure on a 10-yard touchdown pass to again tie the game at 21.
Nation Ford 63, Greenville 55
G – Carson Spiers 73-yard pass to Jalen Wilkes (Kevin Lorenzen kick)
NF – Cole Martin seven-yard pass to Hank Tuipulotu (Lexi Dressing kick)
G – Cam Wakefield nine-yard run (Lorenzen kick)
NF – Martin 62-yard pass to Jordan Helms (Dressing kick)
G – Spiers 16-yard pass to RJ Brooks (Lorenzen kick)
NF – Martin 10-yard pass to Keshaun McClure (Dressing kick)
G – Spiers to Wilkes 13-yard pass (Lorenzen kick)
NF – Martin 20-yard pass to Tuipulotu (Dressing kick)
G – Spiers 54-yard pass to Wilkes (Lorenzen kick)
NF – Martin 28-yard pass to Helms (Dressing kick)
G – Spiers 45-yard pass to Brooks (kick blocked)
NF – Martin 22-yard pass to McClure (Dressing kick)
G – Spiers 18-yard pass to Wilkes (Lorenzen kick)
NF – Martin 26-yard pass to Tuipulotu (Dressing kick)
NF – McClure one-yard run (Dressing kick)
G – Spiers one-yard run (Lorenzen kick)
First downs 32;30
Passing yards 476;439
RUSHING Greenville: Carson Spiers 14-49, Jackson Clark 2-15, Cam Wakefield 21-176, Jalen Wilkes 1-5. Nation Ford: Cole Martin 7-18, Keshaun McClure 22-187, Davelle Green 5-10, Ervin Lassiter 1-4.
PASSING Greenville: Carson Spiers 24-37-1 476. Nation Ford: Cole Martin 26-39-0 439.
RECEIVING Greenville: John Krall 4-51, RJ Brooks 7-126, Wilkes 8-201, Meleek Rogers 4-62, Kaelin Braswell 1-19, Wakefield 1-17. Nation Ford: Hank Tuipulotu 12-153, Jordan Helms 6-147, Josh Shade 2-30, Halen Burgess 1-3, Lassiter 2-67, McClure 3-39.
RECORDS Greenville 0-3; Nation Ford 2-2.