GREENBRIER — The Greenbrier offense was never able to find a rhythm Friday night as Morrilton coasted to a 35-7 win behind a three-touchdown performance from senior quarterback Toney Hawkins at John Hawks Memorial Field at Don Jones Stadium.
The Panthers finished with 188 yards of total offense while Hawkins had 251 yards — 102 passing, 149 rushing — on his own.
"He's a great athlete, and we knew coming in, he'd get some yards," coach Randy Tribble said. "He's a big, tall guy, and he can fly."
The Devil Dogs (4-2, 2-1 5A West) more than doubled Greenbrier's offensive output, finishing with 433 yards.
"We didn't executie well, maybe that was because of (Morrilton)," Tribble said. "My hat goes off to them. They kicked us on both sides of the ball."
Greenbrier (3-3, 2-1 5A West) had only 46 yards on five offensive drives in the first half. Two of those drives were three-and-outs, and another ended with a Will Drewry interception.
Despite the offensive struggles, the Panthers' defense was able to corral the Devil Dogs in the first half with two interceptions near the goal line, and a fourth-and-goal stand at the Greenbrier 2.
A 15-yard touchdown pass from Hawkins to senior receiver Rayshod Criswell, and a 3-yard touchdown run by senior tailback Sharaz Rhodes helped Morrilton to a 14-0 halftime lead.
Senior receiver Dustin Tims gave the Greenbrier offense strong field position to begin the second half with a kick return to the Morrilton 48, and his 8-yard reception — one of his three catches on the drive — put the Panthers into the red zone for the first time. However, an 11-yard sack on Drewry on the next play put Greenbrier on its heels.
A fourth-and-11 pass, caught out of bounds in the end zone by senior tailback Gerrell Williamson, ended the drive, and ultimately, the Panthers' chances on Friday night.
"We got down there and got bogged down," Tribble said. "We haven't done that kind of stuff over the last three or four years. It wasn't a good feeling."
Tribble attributed some of the offense's problems to its inability to block the Devil Dogs' front four.
"We knew they had some defensive linemen that were really, really good," he said. "They were more athletic than a lot of the teams we've played."
Morrilton — powered by two rushing touchdowns from Hawkins and another from junior tailback Terrence Minor — scored the next 21 points to extend its lead to 35-0, which enforced the mercy rule.
Panthers backup quarterback, sophomore Harold Ross, scored the only Greenbrier touchdown on a 5-yard run with less than two minutes remaining.
Ross played the final two possessions for the Panthers, and finished five of 10 for 52 yards, and added 19 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
Tribble called the 6-foot-1, 205-pound sophomore a "big, strong kid" with a strong arm.
"(Ross is) going to be a really good player," Tribble said. "He hasn't played in a varsity game where the game was on the line, but we felt like it was at a point where we felt like we should go ahead and put him in there, and let him get some experience."
Greenbrier travels to Clarksville to face the Panthers (2-4, 1-2 5A West) on Oct. 18.
"We're going to get better, and we're going to learn from (the Morrilton loss)," Tribble said. "We're going to see what we get done. We've got to battle.
"We want to be in the playoffs, and we sure would like a home playoff game. Tonight made that a whole lot harder."