Green Hope continues to prove that a loss is only bad if you don’t learn from it.
The Falcons won their second straight game on Friday, taking a 20-17 victory against Southwest Wake Athletic Conference foe Holly Springs.
Green Hope has rebounded nicely from a 44-7 shellacking by Middle Creek on Oct 3.
Takeaways were key for the Falcons (7-2, 4-1), turning Holly Springs (5-4, 2-3) over five times – four fumbles and a muffed punt with less than 4 minutes to go.
“We took one on the chin, kind of regrouped, and if anything we really just wanted to make sure we learned a lesson in resiliency. You’re going to get kicked but you can’t stay down. I try to teach life lessons and that’s one lesson that will never go bad,” Green Hope coach Kwame Dixon said.
The Green Hope offense has put up bigger numbers in previous games, but the team’s two scoring drives couldn’t have been more timely.
After falling behind 17-7 after Holly Springs’ Tray Staten broke free into the secondary for a 55-yard touchdown in the third quarter with 7:01 left in the period, Green Hope answered on back-to-back drives.
Quarterback Luke Massei found receiver Bryce Dixon from 18 yards out to bring the Falcons to within four, 17-13. On the next drive, Massei found Matt Duckworth, who also had a fumble recovery, on a 5-yard fade to take a 20-17 lead.
Massei was 18-of-33 for 248 yards and no interceptions.
“We’ve always been the underdog in most of our games so we’ve just learned how to bounce back. After a slow start, we’re not worried at all,” said Dixon, the Green Hope receiver. “I felt (the TD catch) was a picker-upper. We were still down. Me scoring a touchdown was a momentum booster. There were a lot of good players making good plays.”
Holly Springs lost despite rushing for 347 yards.
Green Hope’s Will McClain scooped up a fumble and ran it in from 15 yards out on the game’s first drive, his third defensive touchdown of the year.
“We didn’t blow anybody away with our offense or defense, but when we needed it, kids made plays,” coach Dixon said.
Staten answered later in the first quarter with a 48-yard run. He finished with 21 carries for 179 yards and two scores while teammate Nehemiah Harris had 20 for 143.
“We kept getting called back or we were fumbling. There ain’t much you can do. It’s hard when you go into halftime up 10-7 and there’s no adjustments to make other than holding onto the football and don’t hold,” Holly Springs coach Wayne Bragg said. “Sometimes you get what you deserve, and we got what we deserved.”
Holly Springs will play Thursday at Panther Creek, one of a handful of games in the area that have been moved up from Friday.