Greenville turns turnovers into touchdowns in 12-6 win

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 19, 2005

GEORGIANA — Greenville couldn't muster much offense, but the Tigers did take advantage of two turnovers by turning them into touchdowns to hold off Georgiana 12-6 during the Battle of Butler County spring game at Harmon Field Saturday afternoon.

A Panther fumble early in the first quarter led to a 3-yard touchdown run by Greenville's Brandon Cheatham.

Then freshman defensive tackle Lamarkas Moorer intercepted a would-be screen pass from Kyle Nelson late in the fourth quarter and returned it 10 yards for the score.

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"That had to have been the longest 10 yards ever," Moorer said. "I saw (the screen) getting set up so I just waited there to see what would happen. Then I saw the ball come my way so I grabbed it and ran as fast as I could."

Georgiana managed to prevent the shutout by dipping into its playbook of tricks.

Halfback Steven Campbell found wideout Josh Burkett open for a 45-yard strike down the right sideline with 20 seconds left to play.

Aside from the two turnovers and the trick play, the teams played to a stalemate.

"We gave them two touchdowns and we still were in the game," said Georgiana coach Keith York. "I feel good about how our kids played. We wanted to get everyone in to see what they could do and we did that. Now I've got some idea where we can plug those holes in the fall."

But the biggest hole to fill at Georgiana this summer will be at head coach. York was named principal Monday night at Butler County Board of Education meeting. York now steps down as head coach and the search begins for his successor.

Division I-A prospects Zane Stackhouse, Isiah Mack and Josh Hawkins showed why they are certainly highly sought after by colleges across the southeast. Stackhouse easily rushed for more than 75 yards against a stingy Tiger defense Saturday.

Mack wasn't to be outdone by Stackhouse either. The 6-foot-2 tailback turned a busted play in the second quarter into a 72-yard touchdown run. But the score was nullified by a holding penalty.

Hawkins, however, did not see as much playing time. The 6-foot-8 offensive tackle went down early in the second half with what looked to be a pinched nerve in his neck.

"I was real scared when I went down," Hawkins said. "All I could see was my career was over before the season even started."

The race for the starting quarterback spot also looks to be unsolved on both ends.

Joel May drew the start to open the game for Georgiana, but quarterbacks Zebbie Mitchell and Nelson also saw time under center during the game.

Greenville quarterbacks Lynn Lewis and David Stephenson also split time. Lewis opened the first two offensive series for the Tigers but Stephenson also came in for two successive series. The two quarterbacks then alternated each offensive series.

Greenville coach Alvin Briggs said Saturday's game may have helped make some decisions as to where some holes will be filled in the fall.

"But there's still three more months until our first game," he said. "Things could change drastically between now and then. We've got a lot more hard work to do during that time."

In addition to finding the right combinations on both sides of the ball, Briggs said that work needs to be done at the receiver positions.

The Tigers struggled Saturday with dropped passes.

"That's expected this time of the year, and we'll work on it during these next three months," Briggs said.