On the playground they call it a game of hot potato. On Friday, Green Hope’s Blake Watson made it a game of grab the loose ball and run for the end zone.
The junior scored two of his three touchdowns that way to lead Green Hope to a 34-21win over Jordan Friday night in a non-conference game.
Green Hope was clinging to a 21-14 lead midway through the fourth quarter when it tried a reverse. But the pitch from quarterback Willie Taylor to Watson was botched. With the ball loose on the ground, Watson scooped it and ran to daylight. He shed a tackler to turn the corner and cut inside to past the only defender for a 43-yard TD run.
“I was thinking it was a close game and I had to put some points on the board,” Watson said of not falling on the loose ball.
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Later in the fourth quarter with the Green Hope leading 27-21, Jordan quarterback Ben Miller’s pass was tipped in the air. Watson grabbed the ball and sprint 35 yards for a touchdown to put away the game with 1:14 to play.
Watson, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound junior wide receiver and defensive back, also scored a conventional touchdown. His 30-yard pass from Taylor finished a five-play, 64-yard drive for a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
Green Hope (1-1) bounced back from a 51-6 loss to Heritage in the opener. Jordan (0-2) improved from a 38-0 loss to Leesville Road.
Green Hope jumped out to a 14-0 lead on its first two possessions and was driving for a third score late in the first quarter before Jordan’s Tashaun Taylor stemmed the momentum. He jumped in front of a pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown to halve the first-period deficit.
THREE TO KNOW
Jack Hunt, Green Hope: The senior wide receiver caught a 69-yard touchdown pass from Taylor for a 7-0 lead on the Falcons’ opening possession. He finished the game with three catches for 101 yards and one score.
Willie Taylor, Green Hope: The sophomore QB was 16 of 29 for 233 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Ben Miller, Jordan: The sophomore quarterback scored one touchdown on a 1-yard run and completed a 38-yard TD pass to Craig Croom. The TD pass answered Watson’s 43-yard TD score and trimmed Green Hope’s lead to 27-21.
BY THE NUMBERS
1: Hydration timeout called by the game officials with 8:02 left in the second quarter on a hot evening. Green Hope had scored on six straight plays out of a no-huddle series with no clock stoppage.
2: Twin towers starting offensive linemen for Green Hope. Josh McVeigh is a senior 6-8, 240-pound right guard and Bo Ressler is a 6-7, 275-pound left tackle. McVeigh also plays on Green Hope’s basketball team.
7: N.C. High School Athletic Association commissioner Que Tucker was on hand to present to Wells Fargo Cup to Green Hope principal Karen Summers. Green Hope won the 4A state title for overall boys and girls sports for the seventh straight year. Green Hope’s past six Cups were on display before the halftime presentation.
THEY SAID IT
“Once we got that first touchdown we knew we could do something. (Taylor) looked more comfortable and confident this week.” – Jack Hunt on the team’s improvement.