Capital High School running back R.J. Symns didn’t waste any time setting the tone Thursday night against Greenbrier East.
On the third play from scrimmage, Symns busted lose for a 67-yard touchdown run.
Though not the prettiest win, the Cougars remained in control the rest of the way. In the end, Capital topped East, 42 – 26.
After Symns’ touchdown run, Capital scored again to make it 14 – 0.
Later in the first quarter, the Cougars had the ball inside East’s 10 yard line. The blowout appeared to be on.
But an errant snap led to a fumble. A defensive lineman recovered the ball for the Spartans.
Greenbrier East failed to do anything on its ensuing drive.
Capital again drove down inside the Spartans’ 10 yard line.
On fourth and goal from the four, Capital opted to go for a third touchdown. Instead, the Cougars were stopped inches short of the goal line.
Another opportunity missed.
Still, behind a swarming defense and potent ground attack, Capital built a 28 – 8 lead with just more than a minute to go in the half.
After a decent kickoff return and a 30-yard run, the Spartans were in the redzone with less than a minute to go.
Greenbrier punched the ball in to make it a 28 – 14 game at the half.
The game got even closer in the second half when East put another touchdown on the board.
At 28 – 20, it was anyone’s game.
But the crowd of about 1,000 at Laidley Field watched a poised Cougar team bounce back.
A touchdown pass put the Cougars up two scores. A 94-yard interception return for a touchdown by Kashaun Haley sealed an opening win for the Cougars.
Capital’s next game comes Friday, Sept. 2 at home against St. Albans.
Greenbrier East plays Woodrow Wilson High School next Friday in Beckley.