By JIM STEELE
Friday night was a long night for the Greenfield High School Yellow Jackets … literally.
West Carroll running back Jay Long ran for 338 yards and six touchdowns on the way to a 44-0 region win for the War Eagles. The loss eliminated Greenfield from postseason play, while the victory moved West Carroll closer to a playoff bid. The War Eagles are fourth in Region 7A and have Trenton-Peabody in the season finale as their remaining regional game.
While Long was a handful, Greenfield had opportunities, but couldn’t cash in. The Jackets ventured inside the West Carroll 20 twice and inside the 30 one other time, but they couldn’t generate offense to score.
The War Eagle defense was pretty salty, limiting Greenfield to 78 total yards for the game, minus 9 on the ground. Meanwhile, West Carroll compiled 413 total offensive yards. Once West Carroll got rolling, it gathered momentum and didn’t let up.
Long got it started for the War Eagles with his 21-yard TD run in with 7:45 to play in the first. He also ran in the two-pointer for the early 8-0 advantage. With 10:37 to play in the second period, Long rang the bell again, this time from 20 yards and Jose Martinez booted the PAT. West Carroll was able to drive deep into Greenfield territory late in the second for an attempted field goal, but the kick fell short. West Carroll led 15-0 at the break.
It appeared Greenfield was on a mission to start the second half with a big kickoff return, but a fumble gave the ball back to West Carroll. With 10:37 to play in the third, Long covered 20 yards for the score. Martinez added the kick and the War Eagles led 22-0.
Greenfield, thanks to a West Carroll penalty, set up shop at the Warrior 37 after a big kickoff return. Facing a fourth-down play on the 30, Greenfield fullback John Featherston bolted 10 yards to the 20, but the drive bogged down and the ball went over on downs. But the Jackets recovered another fumble at the West Carroll 32 and, despite a roughing-the-passer call, Greenfield couldn’t convert a first down.
With 1:58 remaining in the third, Long jetted 49 yards for a touchdown. Nate Wykoff added the two-pointer, and the War Eagles led 30-0, prompting a running clock the rest of the way.
It appeared Jaquan Adkins had really salted the game away for West Carroll when his 60-yard punt return was nullified by penalties, but with 8:22 to play in the game, Long darted 58 yards to the end zone. Martinez’s kick made it 37-0. With 2:28 left, Long answered the call again, this time from 26 yards out. Martinez finalized the scoring with his kick.
On a personal note, West Carroll entered Friday night’s game at Greenfield with a heavy heart as War Eagle head coach Clayton Morris’s mother unexpectedly passed away.
Morris had been away from the sidelines for a few weeks while taking care of family arrangements, but he returned at Harris Field. The War Eagles dedicated the winning effort to their coach.
Greenfield fell to 2-6 overall, 0-4 in Region 7A play. The Jackets visit Gibson County Friday.
West Carroll improved to 5-3, 2-2 in the region. The War Eagles visit Scotts Hill Friday.