Greenwood coach William Howard likes to use some trickery in the kicking game, borrowing from a play he saw the Dallas Cowboys pull up – having the line stand up to perhaps draw the defense offsides.
That play proved to be a game changer in Friday’s 22-21 win over Logan County at Greenwood High School as an offsides penalty on the game-tying fourth-quarter extra point set up the decision to go for two, with Sebastian Conwell barreling it in for the game-winner.
With the win, the Gators improve to 2-0 while avenging a 43-6 loss to the Cougars last season.
“It paid off for us tonight because we were able to get in a situation where we could go for two,” Howard said. “Whenever you are on the one and a half yard and you have a fullback like Sebastian, you feel like your chances are pretty good.”
On a night when Greenwood’s defense ultimately came up big, both offenses got off to blazing starts.
Greenwood marched 68 yards on 11 plays on the opening drive. The Gators converted two fourth downs on the drive, the second a 20-yard pass from John Morrison to Ira Matheos that gave GHS a 7-0 lead.
Logan County (1-1) answered two plays later on a 65-yard touchdown run by Maurice Gordon, but the Cougars missed the extra point and trailed 7-6. After Anthony Woodard intercepted Morrison, the Cougars drove to the 8 when quarterback Braxton Baptiste suffered a broken leg on a third-down run. Baptiste was taken off the field in an ambulance, with Logan County taking the lead one play after the injury on Gordon’s second touchdown run of the night – converting a two-point conversion to make the score 14-7.
Greenwood came right back, with Morrison tossing a 10-yard touchdown pass to Lofton Howard to tie the score 14-all with less than a minute left in the quarter.
Logan County got the lead back with 4:33 left in the half when sophomore quarterback Corbin Rayno hit Woodard on a short pass and Woodard broke through the defense for a 34-yard score.
Woodard, who had 179 yards and three touchdown receptions in last year’s win, would be held in check the rest of the way.
“(Our defense) buckled down,” Howard said. “He still had his plays. He is a phenomenal athlete. Hat’s off to him and Logan County because they have a good ball team. It’s unfortunate what happened to their quarterback. I don’t want to see anybody get injured, especially a quality kid that he is. I got in the ambulance with him and told him to keep his head up.”
Logan County struggled to find consistency on offense, with Rayno picked off twice by Greenwood’s Andrew Hatcher – the second interception giving the Gators the ball at the Logan County 44 early in the fourth quarter.
“I think it was a game changer,” Hatcher said. “The ball went up and I saw it, so I went and got it.”
Five plays after the interception, Conwell scored on a 16-yard run to make the score 21-20 with 9:38 left. Greenwood lined up to kick the extra point but drew Logan County offsides to move the ball closer and set up Conwell’s game-winning, two-point run.
“They did that little stand up and sit down on (kicks) all night long,” Logan County coach Todd Adler said. “They did it on film. We watched it. We talked about it. It’s just being disciplined and that is what we have to work on.”
Logan County had a chance late, getting to midfield before turning it over on downs.
Greenwood outgained Logan County 289-267, but committed four turnovers.
Morrison threw for 91 yards, while David Odom ran for 121 yards and had 42 yards receiving.
Rayno was 5-for-14 for 54 yards in relief of Baptiste, while Woodard had two catches for 33 yards and eight carries for 71 yards.
“We couldn’t (get going on offense) and a lot of that is on me,” Adler said. “Sophomore quarterback coming in and we put a lot of pressure on him, but we were up at that time in the game and we had opportunities to score. We got in the red zone and made stupid penalties. We’ve got to be more disciplined. I am taking all the blame for that. I thought if we were disciplined and continued to do the things we needed to do that we could have come out victorious tonight.”
Greenwood will play at Barren County at 7 p.m. Friday. Logan County will host Hopkinsville at 7 p.m. Oct. 2.
LCHS 14 7 0 0 – 21
GHS 14 0 0 8 – 22
GHS – Ira Matheos 20 pass from John Morrison (Drew Smothers kick), 6:20
LC – Maurice Gordon 65 run (kick blocked), 5:56
LC – Gordon 8 run (Anthony Woodard run), 4:08
GHS – Lofton Howard 10 pass from Morrison (Smothers kick), 0:51
LC – Woodard 34 pass from Corbin Rayno (Lucas Arevalo kick), 4:33
GHS – Sebastian Conwell 16 run (Conwell run), 9:38