If there was anyone that knew how to slow down the single wing, coach Greg Mance was the guy. The Spartans had been rolling of late though, and were primed for the first-ever playoff meeting between Richlands and Giles.
Giles honored its 1993 state championship team tonight. And the fans were fired up about that.
The Spartans started with the ball. On their first play from scrimmage, Brett Whitlow took the direct snap to his right, and went untouched for a 69-yard TD just 15 seconds into the game for a 7-0 lead.
Following a quick three-and-out, Giles had the ball back. This time Brian Mann got the direct snap. He went up the middle and got sprung by a key block, taking it 75 yards into the endzone. Giles' offense scored 14 points its first three plays of the game.
Richlands gets something cooking here though. Quarterback River Michaels hits Ben Brown with the quick pass. Brown dodges the tackle and takes it 64 yards to put the Blue Tornado on the board. Giles still leads 14-7 in the first quarter.
But Giles is back at it again. On 3rd-and-15 from the 45, Whitlow got the ball, bulldozes through the line and will not be caught. Spartans led it 21-7.
Giles got it done on defense too. Michaels throws it deep, but John Teats is all over the receiver and picks off the throw. Teats picks up a few yards on a nice return before being brought down near midfield.
That led to Mann getting a handoff, shooting through the line, and bolting 25 yards for the score. The Spartans roll 48-14. Giles moves on to the state semifinals.
"It's just opportunity. That's what the message is,” Giles coach Jeff Williams said. “The game tonight gives us another opportunity to play next week here at home in the state semifinals and that's the only thing we're talking about. It's another opportunity next week with one game in front.”
Giles running back Brett Whitlow said: "You know, just the same thing as every week. We come out. Practice. Bust your butt every week. Gets you far.”