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Greenbrier Outlasts Portland in hard-hitting contest

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Josh Fadley. RANDY DIXON/FILE

The Greenbrier Bobcats and Portland Panthers played in physical game Friday night, with Greenbrier coming out on the winning end, 21-7.

The Bobcats are 4-0 for the first time since 2004, while the Panthers failed to secure their second win of the year.

"It was a super-physical ball game," Bobcats head coach John Elmore said. "We knew watching film of them how physical it was going to be and it turned out that way."

Both teams traded punts on their first possessions of the night. Greenbrier's drive stalled near midfield, while Portland went three-and-out.

The Bobcats' second possession ended in a touchdown, as the offense moved 46 yards in seven plays. Andrew Cline found his running back Micah Escue on 28-yard pass, giving Greenbrier the 7-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

Later in the second, Portland finally succeeded in putting points on the board. The Panther offense methodically marched 52 yards on 11 plays. The drive ended after quarterback Caleb Mandrell punched the ball in on a 1-yard run, tying the game 7-7- with 8:02 left to go in the first half.

Greenbrier answered right back. After starting on its own 40, the team drove down 60 yards, punching the ball in on a 1-yard run from Brandon Chambers and Greenbirer led 14-7.

Portland's next drive ended in another three-and-out. However, the punt was blocked by Austin Stewart and Greenbrier set up shop on Portland's 31 yard-line. The ball reached the end zone just four plays into the drive, when Cline hit his target Payton Brown for the 7-yard touchdown. Greenbrier took a 21-7 lead at the half.

The second half was dominated by both defenses and penalty flags, as neither team scored again.

"It's always good...being 4-0 is great," Elmore said. "But the most important thing is to be 1-0 tonight."

"Coming in we knew Greenbrier was a good team offensively and defensively," Portland coach Greg Cavanah added. "Coming in, I thought we had a good scheme for them, but they were able to pound us on defense towards the end of the first half."

Cline completed 5-of-7 passes for two touchdowns. Escue finished with one touchdown reception, while Chambers had a rushing Touchdown. Escue and Chambers are tied with five touchdowns apiece on the season and have scored in all four games. Portland's Caleb Mandrell finished just 6-of-10 passing, finding the end zone on the ground.

Greenbrier (4-0) travels next week to face region-foe White House Heritage (0-4). Portland (1-3) travels to West Creek (3-1) to take on the Coyotes.

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