GREER – Things weren’t looking good for Greer midway through the fourth quarter of its Class 4A playoff opener Friday night at Dooley Field. Indian Land freshman Sequel Patterson scored a pair of touchdowns in a three-minute stretch to give the Warriors a 28-20 lead before the Yellow Jackets fumbled away the kickoff after his second one
But Greer never stopped believing. After allowing 171 yards on those two scoring drives, the Yellow Jackets defense allowed virtually nothing the rest of the way and their offense took advantage. Greer cut the lead to 28-26 with 4:44 left. With 14 seconds left, sophomore Wills Ryan drilled a 22-yard field goal to lift the Yellow Jackets to a 29-28 victory.
“Survive and advance is what it’s all about,” Greer coach Will Young said. “I’m so proud of our kids for finding a way.”
With it’s first home playoff win since reaching the state finals in 2018, Greer (6-5) advances to host rival Greenville in next Friday’s second round.
After the the lost fumble on the kickoff return, Greer’s defense forced a punt that was downed at the Yellow Jackets’ eight-yard line. Following a first down incompletion, it took Greer three plays to cover those 92 yards to the end zone. Chris Hall threw a 13-yard pass to LaDainnian Martin and then found Chase Byrd for a gain of 37. Martin then raced 42 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 28-26.
The Yellow Jackets missed the two-point conversion and the onside kick, but their defense again forced a punt. This one gave Greer the ball at its own 29 with 2:46 left and no timeouts.
Hall picked up where he left off the last drive, completing each of his first five passes. The last of those went for 17 to Martin and 20 to Byrd. Byrd’s catch got the ball to the 16. Byrd said the play wasn’t originally intended for him, but Hall found him over the middle and he was focused on getting the first down to stop the clock with no timeouts.
“They guys trust me to make a big play and I’m not going to let them down in a big-time moment,” Byrd said. “I knew what I had to do.”
Hall ran for 10 yards to the six-yard line before Martin rushed to the four. Hall spiked the ball on second down to stop the clock. Greer decided to go ahead and try the field goal on third down just in case there was a fumbled snap or other snafu that could give them a second chance on fourth down.
Then the waiting game began. Indian Land called timeout to try to ice Ryan. Play stopped after the first snap when Indian Land was flagged for offsides. Greer returned the favor with an illegal motion penalty. The Yellow Jackets finally got a kick off, but it bounced off the left upright no good and Greer players fell to the ground in heartbreak. Along with Yellow Jackets there was also a yellow flag on the field and the Warriors were called for roughing the kicker. With a second chance, Wills boomed the kick in front of the right upright as Greer erupted in celebration.
“Coach told us coming in it was going to be the one who wants it the most. We knew it was going to be a dogfight, but we came out victorious,” Byrd said.
Martin ran for 195 yards and the one touchdown, while Byrd had 140 yards on eight receptions with two touchdowns.
Patterson carried 14 times for 157 yards for Indian Land (6-5).