Garner took advantage of great field position and the Trojans used a punishing ground game to pull away for a 44-13 win over visiting Cary Friday night at Trojan Stadium.
The Garner defense pinned Cary on the the Imps’ side of the field for much of the first half and built a 24-6 halftime lead thanks to winning the battle of field position and converting the short fields into points.
In his first ever varsity start on the offensive side of the ball, Collin Eaddy paced Garner’s rushing attack with 125 yards on 23 attempts and found pay dirt twice to cap off two of those short-field aided drives.
Cary’s Keeyon Hicks threw for 158 yards and two scores, finding Chris Murray from 29 yards out in the second quarter and then Kameron Gillespie for a 70-yard bomb in the third quarter.
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Dalton Counts’ 40-yard punt return late in the first quarter set Garner up at the Cary 5 yard line and the Trojans took a two-touchdown lead one play later after the Cary defense had held Garner out of the end zone for much of the opening quarter.
They said it
“I’m very proud of our effort in all phases of the game,” Garner coach Thurman Leach said. “We’re a young football team and at times it showed. We’ve just got to grow together as a team.”
Three who mattered
Eaddy: The junior did well in his debut as the Trojans’ leading tailback. The 5-foot-11, 193-pound back carried the load for Garner and eclipsed the century mark in his first career start.
The Garner defensive line: The front four dominated the line of scrimmage when the game was in the balance in the first half and nullified the Cary passing attack for much of the game in pressuring Imps quarterback Hicks.
Hicks: The Cary signal caller did manage to throw for 158 yards on the night and was responsible for the Imps’ two scoring plays, just six less than Cary’s offense put on the board for the entire season last year.
By the numbers
4: Number of Garner scoring drives that started past midfield. For the Trojans first four scoring drives of the game, their average starting field position was the Cary 29-yard line.
12: Tackles for loss recorded by the Trojan defense.
17: Number of yards gained by Cary in the first quarter.