Prep football: Greenbrier East roars past Nitro in second half
NITRO, W.Va. - Isaiah Kinder and Cole McClain made big plays in the second half Friday night to lead Greenbrier East (2-4) past Nitro (2-4), 35-18 at Underwood Field.
Nitro led the Spartans 6-0 at halftime, and the defensive battle in the first half was punctuated by two Alexander White field goals. Still, drives that stalled inside the red zone were unacceptable to Nitro Head Coach Derek Midkiff.
"We've got to learn to finish drives. We are kicking field goals and that's not good enough. We have to learn to finish," Midkiff said.
"We got wore down in the second half."
Greenbrier East Coach Ray Lee said he knew something had to give in the second half.
"I tell them at halftime to just play the way we know how to play. Let's go out and play mistake free football in the second half," he said.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Spartans, and ended a two-game win streak for the Wildcats.
The Spartans took their coach's words to heart. In the second half, East played mistake-free football that led to 35 points.
Kinder, the Spartans' junior quarterback, shifted the momentum halfway through the third quarter when he took what was supposed to be a quarter back sneak on second-and-inches 53 yards for a touchdown.
"I saw that in the moment and I knew I could score on that one," Kinder said. "That's one we needed to turn it around and that's when the momentum changed for us."
Kinder finished the game with 12 carries for 131 yards and two scores. He added six passing yards.
Kinder was not the only offensive weapon for East. McClain had 16 carries for 160 yards, adding a touchdown with 4:20 left in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.
Nitro showed a good deal of poise for what is still a tremendously young team. Late in the fourth quarter, quarterback Chris Moody hit a streaking Sam Voiles for 70 yards that would lead to a 6-yard touchdown pass to Steven Erelewine with 5:29 left in the game, bringing the Wildcats the closest they would come, trailing 21-18.
Midkiff remained positive after the loss.
"Our football team is learning how to play, learning how to play together, and learning how to play a whole game," he said.