Just about every day this summer running back Lamarckus Kinney, the Planters Bank Player of the Week, contacted Greenville High School head football coach Quintarus McCray and asked if there was any news on whether the Hornets would have a season.
“He never stopped because he wanted to play so bad,” Coach McCray said. “He was really upset when we first heard that we would not start our season on time, but he stayed with us. Some of his teammates went to a private school, but he stayed loyal to us because he wanted to be a Hornet.”
Kinney’s loyalty to both Coach McCray and Greenville High paid off in a big way last Thursday night in the Hornets’ 20-14 home victory over Humphreys Academy. Thursday’s game was the season opener for Greenville, and the second half turned into one-man highlight show for Kinney as his head coach fed him the ball time after time Kinney kept delivering.
“He was our horse, and he carried us,” Coach McCray said.
Kinney, a junior, finished the game with 189 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He also had 55 receiving yards.
“I came to play, and so did all of my teammates,” Kinney said. “We only had 13 practices before the game, but we came together enough to get the victory.”
The Hornet victory wasn’t assured until the final play of the game when Cowboy quarterback Ashton Allen raced to the left pylon for an apparent game-tying touchdown. But, after a conference by the officials, it was determined that Greenville defender JJ Kennedy had pushed Allen out of bounds before reaching the endzone to, thus, end the game.
Kinney scored all three of the Hornet touchdowns. Kinney’s final touchdown of the game came with 5:47 left in the game to put Greenville on top for good.
After Kinney’s game-winning score, Greenville sophomore Trey McCray intercepted an Allen pass to stop a Humphreys County drive inside of Greenville territory.
The Greenville defense kept the Cowboys scoreless for the first three quarters. Hornets Deverious Barnett and Livell Dunlap each recovered fumbles in the first half to stop Humphreys County drives that had advanced deep into Greenville territory.