GREENE – Up 7-6 after a Nate Erickson four yard rush in the first quarter, the Greene Trojans football team led the third ranked Sidney Warriors for a brief moment in what could have been a big upset this past Friday.
A brief moment. However, despite only leading for a short time, Greene was in control of much of the game – however, couldnt avoid the costly mistakes, losing 28-22.
"It was a very well played game. They (Sidney) had a couple big plays, we (Greene) had a couple big plays. We moved the ball on them very well, and we (Greene coaches) are very pleased with the improvement we have shown offensively over the last couple of weeks. We have five new offensive lineman this year and they're starting to mesh together," said Greene head coach Dave Gorton. "We had the ball in the fourth quarter, first and 10 at the 20, and we got called for a penalty. We had the ball on the 15 yard line and fumbled. Final minute of the game we had the ball third and one and we had a five yard penalty for an illegal formation. We made some bad mistakes, some untimely mistakes, but the effort was outstanding. They're a ranked team in the state, they're a rival, and I thought we stepped up. We hit very well, we tackled very well, we just didn't win the game."
Gorton spoke of the impressive resilience of his Trojan squad, a team who is now only 1-2 overall – but miraculously had Sidney in their crosshairs during the weekend divisional showdown.
At the half, Sidney took a commanding 20-7 lead, a lead that no team likes to surrender to such a quality program such as the Warriors.
"Our team speed really helped get us some big plays and put us in some good positions. We had a great goal line stand, we were trailing by six points and stuffed them at the one yard line. Then we drove the ball from our one all the way down to the 15 and then fumbled," said coach Gorton. "We had a couple of turnovers, but I was very pleased with how well we did a lot of things. We have a lot of guys who are playing starting roles for the first time on varsity this year and they really have grown every week. It is exciting to see how they've grown. If we can get a couple more wins and make the playoffs, I think we could be a dangerous team in the playoffs."
Greene amassed a massive amount of yards on the ground, running behind their newly formed offensive line – as running back Justin Carmen ran for 143 yards on just seven carries, including a 63 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Coy Austin took off from the quarterback position for a big rushing yard mark – passing for 56 yards off of five completed passes in 15 attempts with one interception. Austin bested that mark with his speedy feat, rushing for 75 yards on 12 carries – while tacking on a third quarter 75 yard kick return for a score. Adding to the total of yards on the ground was Nate Erickson who finished with 13 carries for 73 yards, and Logan Kennedy who snagged nine yards off of five carries.
In the second half, Greene outscored the mighty Sidney Warriors 15-8.
"It is speed and blocking. We had times where we were literally driving people up the field 10 yards. We had some realy good surges. We had no negative rushing plays so that is a credit to the offensive line," said coach Gorton. "We determined that we had to try to change the rotation a little bit, to get some rest for defense, and because have several kids who have explosive speed. If we can get our kids to the second level, give them a good lane and good push, they can score at any point. It is pretty exciting to know what can happen."
Notably, the Trojans trailed at 28-22 with the ball on the Sidney 43 yard line when the offense stalled and turned the ball over on downs – ending any hope of an upset comeback.
Sidney (3-0 overall) took the win, and will play next week at home against the Hornets of Harpursville-Afton. Greene (1-2 overall), will be home against Moravia on Friday, September 22, at 7 p.m.
"Even though I am disappointed with a loss, I was really proud of the effort our kids put forth. I thought we grew up," said coach Gorton before adding the following with regard to Moravia. "They're predominantly a run heavy offense, it is a lot of I and Power I formation, they will try to grind you down. I am confident we will play well. If we take away some of the silly penalties then I think we can win it."
G: 7 0 7 8– 22
S: 6 14 8 0– 28
Rushing: Sidney – Jimenez 11-42, Smith 11-24, Tanner 2-4, Gannon 3-14, Evans 1-7. Greene – Coy Austin 12-75, Nate Erickson 13-73, Justin Carman 7-143, Logan Kennedy 5-9.
Passing: Sidney – Smith 17-34, 259 yards, int. Greene – Coy Austin 5-15, 56 yards, int.
Receiving: Sidney – Finch 9-120, Tanner 1-6, Evans 2-28, Matthews 5-105. Greene – Walters 1-20, Noah Kennedy 1-9, Isaac Hadac 3-27.