GREENBRIER — A tough Panther defense that forced four first-half fumbles helped lead Greenbrier to a 35-7 win over Harrison on Friday night at John Hawks Memorial Field in Don Jones Stadium.
The 4-0 Panthers logged their first victory over the Goblins (2-2) since 1997.
Greenbrier quarterback Neal Burcham completed 14 of 36 passes for 230 yards and two touchdowns on the night. Two-way standout Trent Virden added a score on six receptions and 162 yards. Running back Hunter Winston put up 142 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
Harrison quarterback Tate Stocks was 13-of-22 for 78 yards and a touchdown, while running back Jackson Dorman added 81 yards on 21 carries.
Greenbrier jumped out to a 7-0 lead with 5:24 left in the first quarter. Burchman connected with Virden for an 18-yard touchdown completion after the Panther defense forced a Goblin three-and-out.
Greenbrier added seven more less than a minute later when Reid Cone recovered a Harrison fumble and returned it 30 yards for the score. It was the second of four fumble recoveries for Greenbrier in the first half.
The Panthers moved ahead 21-0 with 7:51 left in the first half. Burcham capped off a 66-yard drive with a 17-yard completion to Jesse May. The seven-play drive included four pass completions from the junior quarterback.
Winston let loose in the second half, beginning with a 28-yard touchdown run with 6:45 left in the third quarter.
Harrison got on the board to end the third as Stokes found Brooks Rosson for an 11-yard touchdown pass.
Winston answered for the Panthers with a 54-yard run, giving Greenbrier the 35-7 lead just 43 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Neither team could find the endzone for the rest of the contest, as the Panthers improved to 1-0 in conference play.
Next week, Greenbrier will travel to Huntsville for a 7 p.m. matchup.