CARY — Green Hope upset the team that beat Garner.
For the record, that means the No. 13-ranked Falcons defeated No. 9 Cleveland 49-28 Friday night.
But identifying Cleveland (2-2) as the team that defeated Triangle powerhouse Garner raises more eyebrows around Green Hope (3-1) than any other description. The team enjoyed its biggest win under coach Kwame Dixon, who is in his third year of rebuilding a program that had lost 38 straight games.
“This gives us a lot of confidence going into conference,” Dixon said of Southwest Wake 4A play. “Our kids rose to the occasion, especially in the second half. It’s a great win for the program. Congratulations to the players, the students, the parents and the coaches.”
Both teams entered bouncing back from a season-opening loss with two straight wins. But Cleveland caught everyone’s attention with a 45-44 upset of Garner.
Green Hope took a 35-28 lead on a 15-yard touchdown pass from Luke Massei to Elijah Murrance with 5:07 to play.
On the ensuing kickoff, Green Hope linebacker Troy Maslowski stripped the ball and ran 55 yards the other way untouched to the end zone for a sudden 42-28 lead.
Just last week Maslowski returned an interception for a touchdown in the Falcons’ 48-6 win at Jordan.
“They were both amazing, but the strip was the best one,” Maslowski said.
Massei led the Falcons with six touchdowns – five passing and one rushing. He was 22 of 31 for 288 yards with no interceptions.
Bryce Dixon caught seven balls for 125 yards and one touchdown and Daniel Gretsch caught five passes for 76 yards and two touchdowns.
Cleveland’s Isaac Martin, who ran for 2,186 yards and 28 touchdowns a year ago, finished with 31 carries for 181 yards and four touchdowns.