Mustafa Greene's 52-yard touchdown run on Irmo's first offensive play of Friday's game against Richland Northeast was a running back's dream - and the opposing coach's nightmare.
Behind the jump-start from Greene less than two minutes in, the host Yellow Jackets rumbled to a 14-6 win at W.C. Hawkins Stadium to claim the Region 5-4A title.
"This is a team that hasn't given up all year, and I feel like our defense did a great job, holding that crowd to six points," Irmo coach Bob Hanna said.
Greene's game-breaking play was helped by the fact the Cavaliers (4-6 overall, 4-2 in 5-4A) had only 10 players on the field.
"Trying to stop Greene with 10 guys, we didn't have a chance," Richland Northeast coach Jay Frye said. "Of course, even if we had 11 it might not have made a difference. Once he gets going, it's hard to stop him."
Greene, who missed the previous four games with a high-ankle sprain rushed nine times for 115 yards in the first half, bumping his season total to 1,284.
But Greene's comeback was derailed midway through the second quarter. Six yards shy of his 20th touchdown of the season, Greene was tackled by his ankle and did not get up. His 9-yard rush set up Irmo (9-1, 6-0) with first-and-goal at the 6, but Greene had to be helped off the field and did not return.
"It was a big letdown, him getting hurt again, but he ran pretty good while he was in there," Hanna said. "He'll just have to start over and see what he can do."
Junior Dawan Scott stepped in and scored from 3 yards to put the Yellow Jackets up 14-6.
In the third quarter, the Cavaliers struggled but seemed to break through with just under four minutes remaining. On first-and-10 from the Irmo 35, Cavaliers back La'Derrick Cohens rumbled to the 13 before the ball popped loose. A gang of Yellow Jackets piled on it.
"We gave ourselves a chance and stayed with them all night; we just had some turnovers that really hurt us," Frye said.
Richland Northeast 0 6 0 0-6
Irmo 7 7 0 0-14
I - Mustafa Greene 52 run (Kyle Simpson kick); 9:20
R - Kersean Wilson 1 run (kick failed); 11:31
I - Dawan Scott 3 run (Simpson kick); 7:02
First downs 14 14
Rushes-yards 43-205 28-197
Passing 7-50 9-122
Comp-Att-Int 7-14-0 9-14-0
Punts-avg. 3-24 2-30.5
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 7-45 7-55
RUSHING - RNE, Darius Paulk 15-107; Kersean Wilson 16-33 1, La'Derrick Cohens 3-26. I, Mustafa Greene 10-129, Dawan Scott 14-66, David Olson 4-2.
PASSING - RNE, Kersean Wilson 7-14-0. David Olson 9-14-0.
RECEIVING - RNE, Jeremy Posey 4-24, La'Derrick Cohens 1-16, DeJuan Williams 2-10. I, Dawan Scott 1-35, Paris Richardson 4-56, David Frazier 1-9, Tequan Scott 2-19.