Cason Workman had one day to practice with his Greenback team before opening his season Friday night at Sunbright.
The sophomore was coming off a quadricep injury that had limited him to the bare minimum in physical activities for over a month.
But the lack of practice had no effect on the Cherokee running back’s performance against the Tigers.
Workman rushed for three of Greenback’s eight touchdowns as the Cherokees blew out Sunbright to claim a 57-0 Region 1-2A victory.
“It felt really good to come back out after not playing in about a month-and-a-half,” Workman said.
The Cherokees (1-2, 1-0 Region 1-2A) set the tone on their first possession, taking advantage of a Tiger three-and-out and a short field to march 30 yards and a score on quarterback Caden Lawson’s 7-yard run.
What few passes the Cherokees attempted in the first quarter were knocked down by Sunbright’s defensive backs, so Greenback head coach Ethan Edmiston pivoted to the ground attack, giving ample opportunities to Workman and other backs.
“We try to be balanced,” Edmiston said. “They kind of seemed to key in on our passing game a little bit, so we just kept running the ball, seeing if they would adjust to it.”
Sunbright didn’t adjust.
Greenback amassed 192 yards on the ground and five touchdowns in the first win of the season. Workman totaled 42 yards, but made the carries count. Teammate Folsom Silver added two more touchdowns, forming a dynamic 1-2 punch that the Tigers did nothing about.
Workman did not find the end zone until late in the first quarter, but once he did, he didn’t slow down. Workman’s first score came after the Cherokees picked off Sunbright quarterback Finn Rodgers and returned it to the 2-yard line. Workman capitalized on the short field, punching it in on the first play. He added an 8-yard and a 10-yard rushing touchdown to his total before the half ended.
Offensive line starters Isiah Flowers, Braden Matoy, Cash Hearon, Luke Morris and Cade Brown did not allow the Tigers to put pressure on Lawson.
“Very good blocking,” Workman said on what the offensive line was able to do. “Just super good blocking by the line. Hitting the holes. Getting good blocks for our running backs.”
Edmiston was satisfied with the progress running backs made from the previous two games.
“We’ve had a lot of holes in the first two games that the running backs were too slow attacking,” he said. “So we worked on that. And they did a good job. All the running backs that got in, they ran hard. It was good to see the running game clicking today.”
An added benefit of the blowout and Greenback’s success on the ground was that Edmiston barely dipped into the playbook. The Cherokees attempted only seven passing plays to 32 rushing attempts, giving Greenback an extra advantage heading into far more challenging matchup Friday with Webb School.
“Once you get into region play, if you can be successful at something, you don’t have to show a lot of your playbook on film,” Edmiston said. “That’s something we were thinking about. We were just keeping it kind of basic and trying to win the line of scrimmage battle.”