NEW PALESTINE — When New Palestine senior wide receiver Logan Greene lines up against opposing defensive backs, he sees nothing but anger — an annoying defender willing to do whatever it takes to stop him from making a play.
On Friday night against Zionsville, however, Greene saw something different staring back across the line of scrimmage. It was his cousin, who, during the game, did everything but act like it.
Senior Nolan Elsbury is a cornerback for the Eagles and first cousin to Greene. He entered Friday’s battle with 65 tackles, fourth best on the team, and two interceptions in a tough Hoosier Crossroads Conference.
Greene got the upper hand Friday, though, and will have bragging rights during the holiday season as the 5A No. 1 Dragons (12-0) used 28 first-half points to top the visiting Eagles (5-7) 49-21 at Kelso Stadium.
Greene has had an impressive season of his own, catching 32 balls for 596 yards and seven scores prior to Friday’s family match-up. In just the first three weeks of the season, he had 251 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
He said playing against his cousin, who stands three inches taller (5-foot-11), was just like old times. Elsbury and Greene’s mothers, Lori and Lisa, are twin sisters and graduated from New Palestine in 1988, allowing the pair to grow up together.
“They were more excited than us,” Greene joked. “It was kind of weird facing him. It was fun at the beginning; we were just teasing each other.”
The senior wideout finished with 34 yards and three catches Friday as his team moves on to semistate action next week.
His grandparents, Jim and Joyce Robinson, sat on the Eagles side in the first half and the Dragons side in the second. The family even made shirts before the big game split down the middle with red and green. In the middle it read “House Divided”.
“It was a lot different,” Elsbury said, who finished with 5.5 tackles Friday. “It was unreal getting to play against him. Every time I get to play (football) with him it’s fun. It was a tough game, but I loved every second of it.
“We’re like brothers.”
Elsbury spent part of his time in the opening half lining up opposite of Greene, but the two only met in live action a few times. Three minutes before halftime, Elsbury lost his footing, allowing Greene to snap a 12-yard catch into Zionsville territory helping the Dragons roll to a 28-14 halftime lead.
Even on plays not involving the pair, one could spot the cousins chatting it up after hearing the whistle — all friendly of course. When Elsbury wasn’t defending Greene, he was locked on New Palestine’s leading receiver, senior Duke Blackwell, who scored twice in the first half.
The second half saw the two on the same side more often but with a substantial lead, New Palestine elected to run the ball and waste clock. Greene did add a 13-yard catch for a first down with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter on a long Dragons drive.
Nonetheless, despite the outcome, the two will always remain close. Greene said he would even give Elsbury time to heal before throwing salt in the wound.
“When it comes to Thanksgiving, I may give him a little (trash talk),” he said.