Four turnovers in the second half negated a nearly flawless first half and stymied a late march deep into opponent territory as Greenwood fell 27-24 Friday night to Boiling Springs.
“We went toe-to-toe with a 5A heavyweight and we were as good as they were, and we turned it over four times in the second half,” Greenwood coach Chris Liner said. “Had we not done that, we maybe would have won, but we did.”
Greenwood fumbled once in the third quarter, allowing a 73-yard return touchdown, then a 34-yard touchdown pass on the next Boiling Springs drive, which was spurred by an interception by Boiling Springs safety Caden Sullivan.
The Eagles drove the ball to the Bulldogs’ 24-yard line in the final two minutes of the game, trailing 27-24. The second half’s fourth Greenwood turnover, a fumbled pitch on fourth-and-2, sealed the win for Boiling Springs.
Quarterback Jaylin Tolbert led the Eagles with 86 yards rushing on 14 carries. Jyrea Martin followed with 63 yards on five carries.
Greenwood’s defense excelled, which served only to underline the turnovers that spoiled the late-going. The Eagles sacked Boiling Springs quarterback Jalen Dodd nine times, and linebacker Ethan Richardson intercepted a pass.
Dodd struggled in the first half, but completed 4-of-5 second-half passes and finished the game passing for 195 yards.
Dodd threw a 20-yard pass to receiver Brent Fowler for his third touchdown pass of the game, putting the Bulldogs ahead 27-24.
Liner lamented the Eagles’ trouble securing the ball. This week’s struggles with ball security came two weeks after the Eagles dropped a region game to Greer in similar fashion, committing costly turnovers.
“We played fine, until times when you just can’t put the ball on the ground,” Liner said. “We did a bunch of ball security drills this week, but it didn’t work, apparently.”
Greenwood led 17-7 at halftime.
As this was Greenwood’s first non-region game of the season, some backup players entered in the first half. Boiling Springs’ first touchdown of the game, on a 38-yard pass from Dodd to Tedron Barber, came in a series in which Greenwood played backup players on defense. The starters, however, played all of the second half.
To add to the Eagles’ misfortune, Greer defeated Laurens 37-21 Friday night to take the top seed in Region 2-4A. Greer, Greenwood and Greenville still officially share the region title, but Greer and Greenwood will make the playoffs.
Boiling Springs 0 7 14 6 — 27
Greenwood 14 3 0 7 — 24
G — Jaylin Tolbert 13 run (Grant Reagin kick)
G — Spearman 14 run (Reagin kick)
BS — Tedron Barber 38 pass from Jalen Dodd (Kaillou Touch kick)
G — Reagin 38 FG
BS — Ethan Rennels 73 fumble return
BS — Barber 34 pass from Dodd (Touch kick)
G — Tolbert 9 run (Reagin kick)
BS — Brent Fowler 20 pass from Dodd (kick failed)
Rushing — BS: Charles McFadden 13-72, Jalen Dodd 13-(-12), Ke’Tron Adams 1-4. G: Jyrea Martin 5-63, Chris Simmons 11-27, KJ Scott 2-5, Ahmari Coats 1-6, Tamaje Aiken 1-9, Brett Spearman 4-20, Carlos Norman 5-42, KJ Makins 1-8.
Passing — BS: Jalen Dodd 8-13-1-195. G: Jaylin Tolbert 2-5-0-45, Isaiah Thomas 1-1-0-12, Daylan Rappley 0-1-0-0.
Receiving — BS: Brent Fowler 2-56, Tedron Barber 3-91, Quez Thompson 1-9, Jacob Hamrick 1-18. G: Jaylin Tolbert 1-12, Ahmari Coats 1-24, Carlos Norman 1-21.