The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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September 8, 2012

Spartans defeat Tigers

FAIRLEA — Shady Spring arrived in Fairlea Friday night with a simple plan — move the ball aggressively, put up points and leave town with their first victory as a AAA school. For a quarter-and-a-half, that plan worked to perfection, but a determined Greenbrier East squad would not be denied. The Spartans piled up over 500 yards of offense and gave Ray Lee his first victory as the Spartans’ head coach with a 56-35 win.

The scoring started fast and furious, with each team reaching the end zone on its first two possessions. Just 38 seconds into the game, Shady Spring running back Houstin Syvertson took a handoff straight up the middle and ran 46 yards for a score. A 2-point conversion run failed, and the Tigers led 6-0.

On the ensuing drive, Greenbrier East quarterback Isaiah Kinder connected with Kamen Reynolds for a 40-yard gain deep into Tiger territory. Two plays later, Kinder sprinted toward the pylon from 4 yards out. The extra point gave East a brief 7-6 advantage.

Shady came right back with a seven play, 47-yard drive of its own. Aided by a crucial pass interference call on third down, quarterback Adams Weeks hit Jordan Palchesko on a 19-yard strike. Weeks then connected with Zack Wayne on the 2-point conversion to give the Tigers a 14-7 lead.  

That’s when the Spartans returned to their bread and butter — giving the ball to Tre Moore. The senior fullback carried the ball five times on a 12-play, 74-yard scoring drive, including a 4-yard barreling touchdown rumble.

Following a Tiger punt, the Spartans went three-and-out. Ethan Level’s punt was block and recoverd at the East 23.  Four plays later, Syvertson scored a run from 8 yards out. The extra point by Marshall Meadows made it 21-14 in favor the visitors.

As was the case all night, the Spartans had an answer with their backs against the wall. Level took the ensuing kickoff and raced 79 yards down to the Shady 7-yard line. Moore then scored to even the score up at 21-all.

Nathan Gillian hauled in a 54-yard pass from Weeks, and Palchesko ran six yards for a touchdown to give his team, a 28-21 lead with 8:13 to go in the second quarter.

Needing to get back in the game, the Spartans gambled, and it paid off. On a fourth-and-five at his own 40-yard line, Kinder called his own number and rattled off a 40-yard run. Three plays later, Moore barreled his way over the goal line.

From there, Greenbrier East rattled off four unanswered touchdowns. Kinder hit Level for a 66-yard scoring strike before halftime. Then, the Spartans scored on each of their first three possessions after the break.  

Touchdown runs by Kinder and Dalton Cline, combined with a 16-yard scoring pass to Reynolds gave the home team a commanding 56-28 lead at the end of the third period.  

Weeks added a 2-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth, but it was too little, too late. Punishing runs by Moore helped East melt the clock and keep the ball out of enemy hands.

 “Shady Spring is a great team, and this was a dog fight, but we made some key adjustments to get us back in the game,” Lee said after the game.

When asked what it felt like to reach the win column for the first time, he replied with a simple, “Good,” as he grinned from ear to ear. “I don’t even know how to describe it. We don’t get into this business to lose.”

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