Grid Forecast: Battle of unbeatens

Someone has to stop Sidney’s 15-game winning streak, and Greene’s Tim Paske hopes his team is the one to do it in a matchup up unbeaten Section IV Division IV opponents tonight at Sidney.

The Warriors rolled to a Class C state title a year ago with a nearly unstoppable offensive attack. The wins have continued this year, although they needed to rally in the second half to beat Walton last week, and the week before needed a 40-yard field goal from Andy Foote in the fourth quarter to prevail over Delhi.

“Sidney is the big dog on the block, and if you look at their games this season, they have learned from last year,” Paske said. “To come from behind the last two weeks like they have, it shows a lot of character.”

Quarterback Parker Umbra leads an extremely balanced offense with 424 yards passing so far this season to go with 159 yards rushing. And the rushing yards are meted out judiciously, with four backs totaling rushing yards ranging between 137 and 224 yards. The leader, Jarred Mertz, has three rushing TDs, while fullback Mike Burpoe (189 yards), has a team-high four rushing scores.

The Trojans are off to their best start in Tim Paske’s four-year tenure, and its the best beginning to the season for any Greene team since the inception of the Section IV Football Conference almost 15 years ago. “The kids that were coming back saw the success we had last year (6-3 record) and the work kids put into the weight room during the offseason,” Paske said. “We talked about building a foundation for this program and taking it to the next level. We’re a stronger team and it goes all the way down through the lower levels.”

A win for Greene would ensure a winning season, clinch at least a tie for the division title, and almost lock up the Trojans’ third postseason berth in the program’s history. Incidentally, it would also even Paske’s career log as head coach at 16-16. “Sidney is an opportunistic team that takes advantage of its opponents’ mistakes,” Paske said. “This is uncharted water for us going into this type of a big game. Last week we showed how to keep our composure after we fell behind, we made adjustments, and the kids responded. Sidney will try to come out and punch us in the mouth; we just need to be consistent for 48 minutes.”

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