Greenbrier West football has long been known for its proficient rushing attack.
In a season when the Cavaliers vowed to put the ball in the air more behind current head coach Toby Harris, running back Noah Brown proved Friday night that West has no intentions just yet of abandoning the ground game.
Facing a strong Summers County team in an important Class A battle, Brown set single-game school records for touchdowns and points scored to help lead his team to a 54-25 triumph over the Bobcats.
When the final horn sounded Friday night, the hard-running junior had scored six touchdowns and a two-point conversion for a 38-point night.
As a result of his record-setting performance, Brown was voted Register-Herald Prep Football Player of the Week. Brown was one of five finalists for the award, joined by Atticus Goodson from Independence, Luke LeRose from Nicholas County, the Liberty defense, which pitched a shutout on Van, and last week’s winner, Colton Yoder from Midland Trail.
Brown also won the fan vote at register-herald.com, taking home over 42 percent of the votes.
“I just wanted to stay focused, run the ball and get things done for us,” Brown said of his record-breaking night. “I never thought I would ever break a school record, to be honest. I just figured that would stay with the old legends. Growing up, I always heard about the players in the past that were so good. For me to break a school record and have people talk about me down the road, that is a crazy feeling.”
Coming into the season, Harris felt his junior tailback might shine in his new offense, but Friday night the only thing on the coach’s mind was winning a crucial football game.
“It was a good night, but we didn’t realize it at the time until somebody told us after the game was over that he broke those records,” Harris explained. “It never entered our minds that he was in the running for them. We were just doing the things that we thought we had to do to win the game.”
Last season, under head coach David Witt, Brown operated out of the single-wing offense and played his first year as a high school tailback. In nine games, Brown totaled 908 yards on 161 carries, breaking the 100-yard mark three times and scoring four touchdowns.
Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 220 pounds, Brown liked running the single-wing, but admitted he is better suited for the stack-I and spread offense under Harris.
“Honestly, I like running the ball and running people over. That is my thing,” Brown said. “This style of offense is more what I like to run.”
While it may come as a surprise due to Brown’s young age, it makes perfect sense that the running back he idolizes most is a bruising runner from back in the day, Earl Campbell.
“Earl Campbell, who was the running back for the Houston Oilers, that is who I look up to,” Brown explained. “He ran out of the stack when he was with Houston. He was a monster.”
Brown’s love for football goes back to his kindergarten days playing flag football. He also played on a national championship team in 2014 with fellow juniors Kaiden Pack and Levi Weikle at The Battle in Rocky Top in Nashville, Tenn.
“I played a lot of travel team games and I just fell in love with the game,” Brown said prior to the season.
Two wins in the first two games of the season is a nice start and may not seem like a big deal to some, especially for a program like Greenbrier West that has known success in the past. However, for a team that has won just two games in each of the last two years, it has created renewed excitement in Charmco.
“There is a lot of excitement here,” Brown said. “The community is very involved, nothing like I have ever seen before. Everybody is so pumped up. We have volunteers out helping. It is really great.”
Greenbrier West (2-0) plays it third straight road game Friday when it travels to Lindside for a battle with Class AA James Monroe.
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