Grizzlies face the Devils

GREENEVILLE – Facing the powerful Greeneville High School Greene Devils is always a challenge in and of itself for the Grainger High School Grizzlies. Facing them without their head coach on the sidelines made that challenge even tougher. 

Grizzlies head coach Mike Manis was not at the game Friday, August 27. He tested positive for the coronavirus and was in quarantine while the Grizzlies and Greene Devils clashed. 

The host team showed why they will be a favorite to win the 4-A state title again this year as they cruised to an easy 78-6 win. 

Grainger fell behind by 35 points in the first quarter and never recovered. The Grizzlies’ lone score came when quarterback Bryson Bennett hit Jacob Hill for a short touchdown in the fourth quarter. The two-point conversion failed. 

“Bennett does a good job of throwing the football and we are really proud of him,” assistant coach David Sands said of the Grizzles’ quarterback. “I was glad the guys competed to the end. Jacob Hill was in there fighting for the ball and these guys just kept competing to the end.”

Dawson Fowler may be only a freshman but he sure has not played like one in the first two games. He led the Grizzlies on defense against Greeneville, recording 4.5 tackles. Ty Overbay chewed up huge chunks of yardage on kickoff returns and he had a total of 97 yards. Logan Thomas added 61 yards for the Grizzlies. 

Sands said the Grizzlies showed a great deal of grit and preparation in practice, even without their head coach, who is expected to return from quarantine this week. 

“Our guys did a great job all week in practice. They were there when it was 95 degrees and we only had three coaches at practice, but those guys just fought through so much adversity this week and I am really proud of them,” Sands said.

The Grizzlies remain on the road and in conference play as they take on Sullivan East High School Friday, September 3.