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Garner falls to Greensboro Page 35-21 in 4AA state championship

Updated 8:27 p.m.

WINSTON-SALEM --  Garner coach Nelson Smith kept finding somebody to give a hand to. His Trojans had just lost their final game of the 2011 season, the toughest way of all, 35-21 to Greensboro Page in the 4AA state championship game, but the veteran Garner coach just wanted to show his appreciation for their weeks of hard work.

So he applauded them, again and again as they waited for the post-game award presentations to begin.

It was one thing the Trojan players, who lost for just the second time in their last 28 games, probably didn’t really feel like they deserved after falling behind by 21 points, then giving everything they had in a too-short comeback bid. But their veteran coach knew they deserved it.

Broughton-Garner live game updates

Game over: Garner 37, Broughton 13

Garner increased its lead on a three-yard run by running back Juwan Moye to start the fourth quarter.

The Caps did force another turnover, a second fumble recovery by linebacker Alex Mikels, but running back Chris Mangus fumbled the ball back to the Trojans deep in their territory. It wasn’t until the fifth turnover by Garner that allowed the Caps to score, this time on a 10-yard run by Mangus.

Garner ended the game with a 74-yard touchdown run by backup running back Samuel Stidwell.

Third Quarter: Garner 23, Broughton 6

The effort by Broughton’s defense might not be enough for the Caps. To start the second half, Broughton recovered a fumbled snap after allowing the Trojans to advance to its 12-yard line. Although the Caps have forced three turnovers, Broughton has yet to move the ball down the field on Garner.

Garner scored on its second drive of the quarter on a one-yard run by quarterback Vincent Jefferies. With a lead, the Trojans have elected to run the football with running backs Juwan Moye and Demetrius Fairley. Late in the quarter, you could tell Broughton’s defense, which has been on the field for most of the game, has started to get fatigued.

Wake Forest-Rolesville 40, Garner 21

WAKE FOREST - Marcus Jones did a lot for Wake Forest-Rolesville on Friday night. That was the easy observation in the Cougars’ 40-21 win in the third round of the 3-AA playoffs.

Jones, the Cougars’ most versatile player, led WF-R with four touchdowns runs. Yet Jones did much more to leave his imprint on the game.

He made shoestring tackles on A.J. Clanton, Garner’s best player. He deflected passes. He returned a punt 41 yards before scoring his second touchdown – a 5-yard run in which he stopped near the sideline before jogging into the end zone. He even recovered Garner’s onside kick attempt late in the fourth quarter

Garner 35, Middle Creek 20

GARNER -- Garner rallied from a 13-point deficit, its largest deficit of the season, to defeat rival Middle Creek 35-20 in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4-AA football playoffs.

The Trojans (11-2) will play at Wake Forest-Rolesville (12-1) Friday in the third round of the playoffs.

Garner 42, Harnett Central 0

GARNER — In the battle of the Trojans, Garner rolled over Harnett Central 42-0 to win the Greater Neuse River Conference title outright and head into next week’s state playoffs riding a nine-game winning streak.

Garner scored on each of its five first half possessions to build a 35-0 halftime advantage.

Senior tailback A.J. Clanton slashed the Harnett Central defense for 221 yards on the ground including a 96-yard second quarter touchdown run.

Garner 63, East Wake 6

WENDELL – Garner got a total team effort and won the championship of the Greater Neuse River 4-A conference with an exclamation point.

A.J. Clanton rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries while quarterback Lemond Johnson passed for one touchdown and ran for another in a 63-6 romp over East Wake on the Warriors’ Senior Night at Johnny Sasser Stadium.

Garner 21, Southeast Raleigh 10

Garner imposed its will on Southeast Raleigh in the second half Friday night, running for 350 yards and forcing three second-half turnovers in a 21-10 victory that gave the Trojans control of the Greater Neuse River 4-A Conference race.

Harnett Central 41, Smithfield-Selma 8

SMITHFIELD - Harnett Central took a step back in the right direction Friday night, snapping a two-game losing streak by blasting Smithfield-Selma, 41-8, in a Greater Neuse 4-A Conference matchup.

Garner 73, Smithfield-Selma 0

GARNER – Lemond Johnson completed passes to end two efficient scoring drives for Garner in the first half against Smithfield-Selma on Friday night.

But they weren’t really an omen of what was coming.

The Trojans scored just about every other way imaginable, getting touchdowns on an interception return, a punt return, a fumble recovery in the end zone and a 95-yard run from scrimmage in a 73-0 rout on homecoming night.

Garner 22, Knightdale 0

It was a slow, steady process for Garner Friday night against Knightdale, but the Trojans got the job done in a 22-0 shutout win over the Knights to advance to 3-0 in the Greater Neuse River conference.

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