After years of trying to put past mistakes and ongoing losing streaks aside, Green Hope's football can once again look forward. A 37-conference game losing streak was the last remnant from previous heartbreaks and hard-luck seasons. The streak ended with a 23-13 win over Holly Springs
HOLLY SPRINGS After years of trying to put past mistakes and ongoing losing streaks aside, Green Hope's football can once again look forward.
A 37-conference game losing streak was the last remnant from previous heartbreaks and hard-luck seasons. But that's gone now.
Green Hope defeated Tri-9 Conference foe Holly Springs 23-13 Friday night.
What's next? Playoff talk, finishing in the top half of the league – you know, the same things every other football program aim for.
"Now it's just football," said Green Hope coach Kwame Dixon.
Green Hope (3-2, 1-1) opened the game by recovering a muffed kickoff by Holly Springs (2-3, 1-2), but the Falcons were held to a 21-yard field goal by Zach Doernberg.
On a broken play in the first quarter, a scrambling Chris Tutwiler found a wide-open John Nassif for a 52-yard touchdown pass.
Green Hope took a 17-0 lead with 10:47 left in the second quarter on another Tutwiler touchdown pass, this time to Mitchell Chalker from 10 yards out.
"Our kids didn't stop fighting," Dixon said. "The kids had to be.. in that situation and learn how to win."
After halftime, Holly Springs was first on the board with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Brett Hudspeth to Jordon Kornegay. Another Hudspeth-to-Kornegay touchdown, this time from 14 yards out, cut Green Hope's lead to 20-13 in the fourth quarter. Kornegay had 12 catches for 136 yards. Only two of Hudspeth's completions went to other receivers.
Holly Springs had a few chances to even the score, but the Green Hope defense stood tall with an interception, a forced punt and a fourth-down stop in the game's final six minutes.
After an 81-yard run by Nadir Alexander put Green Hope at the 1-yard line with just more than a minute left, the Falcons ran three times to set up a game-clinching 26-yard field goal by Doernberg, who was 2-of-4 on the night.
"It had to come some time," said Tutwiler of the conference win. "We really came together there at the end. There wasn't one kid who played better than anyone else, we all came together."
Blake: 919-460-2606 or twitter.com/JMBpreps