North Greene stole the lead early in the second half on Friday night, but a strong run from Cosby late secured a 41-26 Region 1-1A win for the Eagles on their home territory.
“I felt like we actually went out there and competed tonight,” Tilson stated. “Great effort tonight. We just didn’t make the plays we’re supposed to and we gave up some big plays there. I’m upset and I’m pleased at the same time. We competed hard and our opponents played really well. They did a great job.”
The Eagles received the opening kickoff and immediately went to work on the ground running four-straight plays between the tackles.
Their first passing play was a shot toward the end zone that was knocked loose by Nicholas Mitchell. The athletic cornerback read the receiver’s eyes perfectly and poked the ball out to save a touchdown from going up on the board.
Cosby would reach their goal by the end of the drive with Slate Shropshire going untouched up the middle for an Eagle touchdown. Shropshire would tack on another six points with his second touchdown of the night coming on the very next drive.
Two drives in and Cosby held a 14-0 lead over North Greene.
The bad breaks continued for the Huskies with an onside kick being recovered by Cosby. Fortunately, the tides started to shift for North Greene as Jake Duffy intercepted Tyler Turner’s pass to flip possession.
Yeshua Vaught carried the load offensively and brought North Greene into the red zone. Quarterback Grayson Collins snuck across the goal line on a for North Greene’s first touchdown of the night. The two-point play would find greener grass with Collins pitching a ball over the top to a wide open Corbin Hayes.
North Greene started the second quarter with another scoring drive to even things at 14-14. Collins paired up with Duffy over the middle and nobody was able to catch the speedy receiver on his way to a house call.
“You’d think people would stop giving loose coverage to Jake because if we just throw a slant he’ll take it to the house in a second,” Tilson said. “That was at a point when we needed it too. Especially in a situation where we have to score pretty quickly.”
The Huskies kept shutting Cosby down on defense and forced another turnover-on-downs with Thomas Darnell swatting away a pass on fourth down.
Slate Shropshire showed his skills on defense by breaking up a North Greene passing attempt on 3rd & 12. The Huskies would do a great job pinning the Eagles within their own five yard line with a booming punt from Collins.
Once back on offense, Shropshire gained his third touchdown of the contest by running around the left side and out running every Husky defender until he reached the end zone.
Cosby would pull back ahead 21-14.
Colton Robbins set North Greene up for another scoring opportunity with a catch at the 15-yard line. A block in the back penalty on the next play pushed North Greene back further.
In the end, it never even mattered. Grayson Collins threw a lob up to Thomas Darnell near the goal line. Both players got a hand on the ball, but Darnell safely landed with the ball in his hands and walked into the end zone for six.
“He scored his first high school touchdown tonight. He’s been playing well all year,” Coach Tilson said. “It was kind of a crazy little deal because he actually had the thing caught and they knocked it out and then it popped right back to him. It was a good job staying focused on that play.”
North Greene’s late surge put them at a 21-20 deficit entering halftime.
The Huskies received the second half kickoff and Colton Robbins took the ball all the way down to the 27-yard line to put North Greene in a great position to score.
It took all four plays, but on 4th down Collins took a read option keep into the end zone for a touchdown.
“When people key on Yeshua, we’ve got the backside counter and he does a great job with it. He’s a speedy guy to where if he makes a cut he’s gone which is kind of what we saw here,” Tilson mentioned.
The Huskies would assume their first lead of the game with a 26-21 advantage.
Cosby’s versatility on offense started to show with Tyler Turner running out of the pocket and picking up yardage on his feet. Turner hooked up with Devonte Wigfall on a passing play to gain a first down.
Shropshire took a pitch play around the end for six points and shot Cosby back into the lead 27-26.
Yeshua Vaught’s motor kept running on offense with another first down. The standout running back never found himself in the end zone, but proved to be North Greene’s biggest weapon with huge offensive production all night.
“Yeshua had one of his better games as a running back. He was the one that really ran our offense. They were keying so hard to his side that the big plays that happened were because they were so focused on him,” Coach Tilson explained. “So even though he’s not in the stat book, he’s a big part on why we scored on those plays.”
The red zone would become North Greene’s biggest enemy in the later stages of the second half. Nate Joyce wrapped up Grayson Collins in the backfield for a sack.
Collins would send a pass floating over Colton Robbin’s hands and out of the back of the end zone on fourth down.
Cosby would set up their next scoring play very similar to the last. Tyler Turner gained another huge chunk of yards on his feet. He then found Wigfall streaking down the middle of the field and paired up with the receiver for a touchdown.
Wigfall’s route eluded the secondary and put Cosby ahead by a two possession advantage at 35-26.
North Greene would move back into the red zone with Grayson Collins moving the sticks on his feet as the big play of the drive.
The Huskies would fall victim to a turnover in the end zone though with Hayden Green flying in front of a pass for an interception.
“We made some mistakes but a lot of the mistakes we made were because we were trying to go out and make a play,” Coach Tilson said. “It’s a part of the learning process when you’re going through it. You’re going to fail sometimes when you’re trying to go out and make plays. And some of those situations we’re fine with.”
Green made himself useful on offense too with a 40-yard catch to move them out of their own side of the field.
Shropshire took the ball the rest of the way from there with a huge run down to the 23-yard line after breaking several tackles. His fifth touchdown of the night would seal the deal and put Cosby ahead 41-26 with seven minutes left on the clock.
Cosby currently sits tied with Unaka for second place in R1-1A with 2-1 records. North Greene sits in solo fourth place after the loss.
Slate Shropshire rushed for 340 yards and added five touchdowns.
Grayson Collins completed 5-of-13 passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns. He’d also add 142 yards in the rushing category. Yeshua Vaught led the Huskies in rushing with 168 yards.
The Huskies will welcome in the South Greene Rebels to The Tundra next Friday night. 7:30 P.M. will be the scheduled start time.