SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Class AAA No. 3 South Charleston entered Thursday’s season opening matchup against No. 10 George Washington without a win over the Patriots since 2009.
Among those losses was a 61-0 setback in 2011. On Thursday, however, it was South Charleston that played that aggressor role as the more experienced Black Eagles torched their rivals 56-14.
“We got the monkey off of our back, it’s been a while,” South Charleston coach Donnie Mays said. “It had been four long years and I even brought some guys in from the 2008 and 2009 state championship teams to talk to them about what it means to beat (George Washington). It means the world to beat them, but we can’t let one game be our whole season. We have a lot more football to go.”
South Charleston junior quarterback Kentre Grier and senior running back A.D. Cunningham combined for seven touchdowns in the win. Grier rushed for over 220 yards and threw for another 180, scoring three times on the ground and two more times through the air (both to receiver B.J. Moore). Cunningham finished with two scores and over 170 yards on the ground on 17 carries.
“Kentre broke off some long runs and had some nice passes,” Mays said. “He’s holding onto the football a little bit too long in our progression reads, but that will get worked out. He’s a good football player.”
South Charleston totaled over 630 yards of offense — a number that allowed the Black Eagles to overcome 21 penalties for 179 yards.
“We have a lot of improvement to do,” Mays said. “We had a lot of penalties and we’ll have the consequences for that on Monday – we’re going to get after it.”
George Washington, meanwhile, entered the game with a lot of new faces after losing most skill position players from last year’s quarterfinal playoff team.
“We made a lot of mistakes and good teams will force you to make mistakes like that,” said George Washington coach Steve Edwards, Jr. “I don’t think we’re a terrible team, but we didn’t play very good tonight – they had a lot to do with that. They got after us, they were hungry and they have some good athletes.
“Kentre killed us,” Edwards, Jr. continued. “He had a great night, he’s very athletic and he’ll do that to a lot of people. He was the difference maker this evening, we had no answer for him.”