GARNER — Three drives and one quarter into its contest Friday night, Garner’s offense had to leave the I-formation almost entirely against Cary.
That wasn’t bad news, considering the Trojans’ other formation is the Wildcat, which moves star junior running back Nyheim Hines to take snaps out of the shotgun.
The results were immediate and then kept coming throughout the night as Hines ran 19 times for 269 yards and four touchdowns in Garner’s 42-28 win against Cary.
The switch to use Hines receiving the snaps was almost a necessity, given Cary’s strength in the trenches. Garner averaged 2.3 yards per play, counting penalties, in the first three drives.
“We wanted space,” Hines said. “They put me and the other players into one-on-one opportunities every week. Every week we have Wildcat in. When they called it, we executed it.
“(Cary was) huge and they were fast. Their secondary was fast and took good angles. Even their lineman and linebackers were fast so we had to make sure we reached the corner.”
On the fourth Garner drive, and in his first three snaps from the Wildcat, Hines ran for 20 yards, then 51, then 9 to set up a 1-yard touchdown plunge by fullback Tyreece Taylor to tie the game at 7 in the second quarter.
Cary (2-2) had scored first on a 3-yard run from Julio Lopez.
The next Garner (3-1) drive ended with a 20-yard touchdown run from Hines.
On Cary’s first play following the kickoff, the snap was fumbled and Garner’s Markus Mosley picked it up and returned it 11 yards for a score.
Cary scored on its first possession of the second half, capping off an 11-play drive with a 5-yard run by Rashaad Sidbury.
Hines carried the ball three times in the Trojans’ subsequent four-play march, including a 16-yard dash for another score.
Cary responded with a nine-play drive that ended in a 6-yard run by Trevion Hackney, who finished the game with 97 yards on 16 carries.
Garner padded its lead with Hines touchdown runs of 16 and 6 yards.
“He looked unstoppable tonight against us,” said Cary’s first-year coach Kurt Glendenning.
Cary’s final score came on a 20-yard run from Isaiah Gibbons, who had 26 carries for 163 yards.
“I was really proud of them for not giving up. We had a lot of warriors on the team,” Glendenning said. “I challenged our backups – we’ve got to get better. We’re a thin team and we had a lot of injuries tonight.”
Once heated rivals, it was the first meeting between the schools in nine years.
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter @JMBpreps