BERRYVILLE – Greenland tailback Jett Dennis lived up to his name Friday night, racking up 287 yards on 26 carries to pace the Pirates to a 50-28 victory over Berryville.
“He’s a stud,” Greenland coach Lee Larkin said. “He’s as good as there is. The offensive line does a great job, but he just makes people miss. He’s faster and he’s just tough as nails.”
The first quarter started out like a track meet, as both teams quickly put the ball in the end zone. Berryville’s Jaeden Tanksley capped the Bobcats’ six-play opening drive with a 6-yard run. Greenland (2-1) responded with a four-play drive of 66 yards, the final 32 on a sweep by Dennis down the left sideline. Berryville (0-2) led 7-6 less than four minutes into the game.
Greenland’s next drive was just two plays, scoring on a 69-yard screen pass to Dennis. On the ensuing drive, the Pirates defense did the damage. Ethan Gilbert scooped up a Bobcat fumble and rambled 61 yards to put Greenland up 20-7 with 2 minutes, 17 seconds to play in the first quarter.
The Pirates orchestrated a 12-play drive early in the second quarter to go ahead 28-7 on a 4-yard plunge by Max Meredith.
Berryville seemed to shift the momentum late in the first half with a pair of scores. Quarterback J.D. Smith kept the ball for a 6-yard scoring run, then Dominic Henry finished off a seven-play drive with a nifty spin move on a 13-yard run to cut the lead to 28-20 at the intermission.
“Defensively, we just didn’t do a very good job,” Larkin said. “Offensively, you could really see the improvement we made in practice this week. And Berryville really got after us tonight.”
Greenland opened the second half with a scoring drive, with Gabe Wilson taking the ball in from a yard out. Berryville again responded with an eight-play drive. Henry took it in from the 2 to cut the lead to 36-28 midway through the third.
“We talk about how important it is to come from behind in life, so I’m very proud to see how our kids kept fighting tonight,” Bobcat coach Doug Shott said. “Coach Larkin and his team did the things that they need to win, but I’m just so proud of how our kids kept fighting. Our seniors are keeping us together and showing some good leadership.”
Dennis added a 33-yard score, and Wilson capped the scoring with a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter to pull away.
• Henry ran 14 times for 102 yards.
• The Pirates outgained the Bobcats in total offense, 453-332.
• Greenland defensive end J.J. Hollinsworth is an Arkansas Razorbacks commit. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound junior committed to the Razorbacks on July 24 and was their first commit in the 2022 class. He is also the first Pirate to receive a Division I football offer.
• Next week, Greenland will host Charleston in their 3A-1 conference opener, while Berryville travels to face Shiloh Christian in Spring-dale.