|For Greenback football, third time is the charm in
Class 1A BlueCross Bowl victory
knoxnews.com-COOKEVILLE — Bryce Hanley saw a timely motivational tweet on Wednesday. He said it was “something about failure brings out the best in you."
“I was thinking, ‘It does, but I’ve had my failure,’ the Greenback quarterback said. “Those two years are gone and I’m ready for some sweet victory.”
The Cherokees lost the 1A BlueCross Bowl the past two years. They came into Thursday’s game saying this was their year.
And it was. Greenback rode big second and third quarters to their first state title in 30 years with a 42-21 win over Cornersville on Thursday.
Hanley was named offensive MVP for his 257 all-purpose yards and two passing touchdowns, but Josh Edwards was the unsung hero. Cornersville (13-2) focused on star running back Breeden Gilbert, which created an opening for Edwards.
Edwards more than doubled his average output on the season with 109 yards and three touchdowns for the Cherokees (13-1).
“He’s underrated because we have Breeden and how could you not think that guy is outstanding,” Hanley said. “But they’re a great duo in the backfield.”
because the game footage they had from Cornersville didn’t show them against any similar offenses. When the Bulldogs stacked the box, Gilbert shifted into a fullback role and Edwards rolled right off the blocks.
“It’s huge when they key on one back and that gives another back an opportunity,” Gilbert said. “Then they key on that back and that gives the quarterback an opportunity and then they just don’t know who to key on.”
The Cherokees rushed for 308 yards, led by Hanley with 116, then Edwards with 109 and Gilbert with 88. Having been to the title game before taught them to adjust without getting rattled. So maybe that motivational tweet was right.
Even so, Hanley spoke for all of Greenback. “It’s about time,” he said with a big smile and deep nods, walking away from the postgame huddle.