Big time players make the necessary plays when called upon. 

Fortunately for Greenbrier East, Marion Lawson was ready to answer. 

On the road, against a playoff team in Riverside, Lawson rushed 27 times for 175 yards, scoring three second-half touchdowns as the Spartans clinched home field in a 25-6 win.

For his efforts, Lawson has been named the Register-Herald Player of the Week by the R-H sports writers.

Lawson was also the fan vote winner, tallying a whopping 63.6 percent of the vote.

"Marion is a guy that everyone wants to follow," Greenbrier East head coach Ray Lee said. "As long as he's working hard, everyone else kind of rallies behind him. At halftime of the Riverside game there were just a few adjustments we needed and we talked to him about running downhill. When we got back out there, he soaked those things up and really helped us win."

Marion isn't the first Lawson though to highlight a Spartan rushing attack. His brother Zayvion, a Kennedy Award finalist in 2015, rushed for over 2,000 yards his senior year, helping East to a playoff berth.

Marion has stepped in to pick up that mantle after splitting carries last year with Jaylon Battaile.

"The thing we like to do is get a good running game going and Marion worked hard in the offseason to help us," Lee said. "He was there everyday in the weight room and set goals for himself. He wanted to be that guy that replaced Jaylon.

"When Jaylon had his big performances last year, Marion wanted to step in and help the team that same way, and he's done that this year. On top of that he had a competition with his brother."

Now, after a successful week that secured the program's first home playoff game since 1998, Lee believes Lawson and the rest of the seniors can parlay that into a strong playoff run.

"Again, that was one of the goals with the seniors," Lee said. "We had a great group along with Marion. It's something they wanted to do; they wanted to host a playoff game and they knew what was at stake. They talked amongst themselves and made a note to finish it.

"Anytime you win a game of that magnitude, it makes the week of practice a lot easier and we're a lot more mentally focused. The kids see a performance like that and it makes them want to follow up strong. We had a good week of practice and guys were excited about making a home playoff game. Now we've just told them to enjoy the moment and play football and the rest will take care of itself."

Email: tjackson@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @TjackRH

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