The Highlanders left no doubt they had recovered from last week’s loss.
Cloudland used a solid defensive effort to take a 40-6 victory over Mountain East Conference foe South Greene on Friday night at Orr Field.
After the teams traded possessions to open the game, the Rebels hit a 50-yard field goal. However, Colby Birchfield broke free for a 62-yard touchdown run to put the ‘Landers ahead 6-3.
In the second quarter, a Birchfield 43-yard run set up a 1-yard touchdown by Austin Whitehead, and then Whitehead added a 29-yard touchdown run to propel Cloudland to a 20-3 halftime lead.
After Cloudland jumped on a South Greene fumble to open the second half, Whitehead scored his third touchdown of the night as he broke free for a 29-yard touchdown. While the Cloudland defense continued to keep pushing South Greene backwards, the offense kept rolling as Colby Birchfield scored on the first play of the fourth quarter with a four-yard touchdown run.
Cameron Stevens picked up a South Greene fumble on the ensuing drive and that set up Whitehead’s 15-yard touchdown pass to Noah Arnett to cap off the Cloudland scoring.
Birchfield ended the night with 179 yards on 17 carries, while Whitehead ended with 113 yards on 15 carries while going 5-for-12 for 59 yards through the air. Defensively, the ‘Landers limited South Greene to 70 total offensive yards.
Cloudland returns to action next week as they travel to Hancock County.
“Our goal was to be really aggressive on the quarterback, man them up and just get after them. We felt like if we could do that it would affect his play a little bit and it did.
“They put us in a hard spot when they came out in something we were ready for. They tried to man us up, and I decided to do what we do. We were able to hit some big plays and that forced them to get out of it. Then we were able to run.”
“Football is a game where you can never get satisfied and can’t judge people on their record. I am just proud of the kids because they responded the way we wanted them to and even better really. I am happy for them. We got our mojo back”
-Cloudland Head Coach Brock Pittman
“We had some miscues, and then we have three quarterbacks on the team and all three went out with injury and that is just tough. You expect one, maybe two of the three you have on the team, and it was just downhill from there. We knew it was going to be tough with Cloudland coming off a big loss last week that was a big deal. We were afraid they would regroup and do what they did. We started off fine and forced a punt then they made some adjustments and it was just tough from there. We are going to keep going and chugging along. We have two more games and just keep going.
“They got to sending two people off the edge, and we didn’t have enough people to block them. Every play they got to playing man on the outside and sending extra guys off the edge and we just didn’t have enough guys to block them. Of course, Casteel was making some adjustments and some throws and when he went down it was just downhill from there.”
-South Greene Head Coach Shawn Jones