Cookeville, Tenn The Greeneville dynasty rolled on through Cookeville on Thursday as the Greene Devils defeated Haywood High School 56-21 for the Class 4A state championship.
The Greene Devils have won back-to-back state titles, and their fourth in the TSSAA era.
The opposing Tomcats (10-5), hailing the Greater Memphis area, gave the Greene Devils (15-0) a formidable challenge through the first half.
Early on, the game looked like it would be a shootout. Haywood's Taylor Shields returned the opening kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.
The Greeneville defense was also befuddled by Haywood quarterback Deyondrius Hines, who had a 49-yard rushing touchdown on a draw play that made it 14-7.
But the Greene Devils slung together a couple four-minute drives to tie the game up at 14, relying on fullback Ty Youngblood and Mr. Football Award winner Cade Ballard to tally two scores.
Javon Gillespie broke free for 51 yards for a touchdown of his own to give the Greene Devils a 28-21 lead, and they would never look back from there.
Logan Shipley then forced and recovered a fumble to give Greeneville possession, which would result in another Greeneville touchdown to make it 35-21.
Shipley would force another key fumble in the third quarter with the Greene Devils up 42-21.
Gillespie put the nail in the coffin. breaking loose for a 20-yard run with 5:04 left in regulation. That made the score 56-21, triggering the running clock.