By Todd Lamberth
Greeneville entered the class 4A state championship on a mission and left no doubt that they are the best team in the state in 4A.
The Greene Devils rolled through Springfield 54-13 on Friday at Tennessee Tech’s Tucker Stadium to claim their third state title.
The two teams swapped touchdowns in the first quarter, but it was all Greeneville after that.
Class 4A Mr. Football winner Cade Ballard opened the scoring with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Seth Crawford after Crawford intercepted a Springfield pass to set up the drive.
The Yellow Jackets answered on the ensuring drive as Kevontay White took a handoff around the left end and took it 38-yards to the house to bring it to 7-7.
Ballard and his Greene Devils took over after that, scoring the next 47 points in the game.
A few costly turnovers and some stiff defense doomed the Yellow Jackets as Greeneville took a 40-7 lead into the half.
Springfield’s players never quit in the game, however, recovering a Greeneville fumble at the Greene Devil one and punching it in one play later to bring the score to 54-13.
Ballard took home offensive MVP honors as he tied a state championship game record with seven total touchdowns. The son of Greeneville head coach Caine Ballard, the junior went 15-18 passing for 218 yards and three scores, while adding 80 more yards on the ground and four more touchdowns.
On the night, the Greene Devils racked up 396 yards of total offense on their way to the win.
Crawford took home the defensive MVP for his efforts as he made four tackles and two interceptions in the win. Crawford also added five receptions for 78 yards and two scores on offense.
White was the leader of the Yellow Jacket offense, rushing for 72 yards on just nine carries.
Greeneville capped off their second undefeated season since 2010 and their third state championship in that time.
For Springfield, this was their first trip to the championship since 1993, where they managed to win it all.
Despite the loss, Yellow Jacket head coach was proud of how far his team was able to make it and the impact they made on the program.
“Nineteen seniors, they wanted to do something special when they were eighth graders and freshman,” Wilson said. “Tonight didn’t end like we wanted it to, but it ended where we wanted to.”