The Greenwood football program won’t be looking far to face quality competition this fall.
Five of the Gators’ seven nondistrict games will be played in Bowling Green, with trips to Allen County-Scottsville and Barren County mixed in, and all three of their Class 5A, District 2 regular-season contests will be in town.
“I think the great thing about our nondistrict schedule is the fact that we play some local, area schools and we have a great rivalry with those guys, fantastic crowds and it’s a great atmosphere for those kids to play in, is the main thing,” Greenwood coach William Howard said in a phone interview with the Daily News.
Greenwood got off to a hot start last season, posting a perfect record through four games for the first time since 2012. The Gators climbed into the top 10 of the Class 5A AP poll, before finishing 5-6.
The Gators graduate 11 seniors, including leading rusher and receiver Reed Slone, but return several key pieces, including quarterback John Morrison, as well as second- and third-leading rushers David Odom and Christian Hernandez from a run-heavy offense that was in several close games. Half of Greenwood’s regular-season games ended with single-digit point differentials.
Howard understands how tough the district is – South Warren and Bowling Green have each won a state title since 2016, and Christian County has made it to the championship game as recently as 2010 – but the Gators are hoping to play their best when that point of the season arrives.
“There’s no doubt it’s one of the most competitive districts in the state, top to bottom,” Howard said. “ ... From top to bottom, you’ve got to bring your A-game if you’re going to compete in that district.”
Here’s a look at the Greenwood’s 2020 football schedule:
Aug. 21, vs.
The Gators’ 28-14 win snapped a three-game Wildcats’ winning streak in the series, which Franklin-Simpson leads 13-6. The two have met each year since 2009 and the Gators have won five straight season openers.
Greenwood scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to pull out last year’s victory. Morrison had 138 yards and a touchdown on 8-of-17 passing and David Odom had nearly 100 yards rushing for the Gators, who finished with 197 as a team.
Sophomore Luke Richardson completed 3-of-14 passes for 31 yards and Franklin-Simpson rushed for 195 yards, but was held under 50 in the second half. The Wildcats graduate three of their top four rushers from last season, which ended at 7-6, and will be under the direction of first-year head coach Max Chaney.
Aug. 28, vs. Warren East at Houchens-Smith Stadium
The “Possum Bowl” returns to Western Kentucky in the German American Bank Bowl after Greenwood beat Warren East 22-13 last year at The Swamp. The Raiders hold a 12-10 series lead.
Greenwood had a 15-0 lead at the end of the third quarter and held on for the win. The Gators rushed for 370 yards, with 206 coming from Slone and 100 from Odom. Hernandez had 44 yards on six carries and Morrison completed 4-of-7 passes for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Nolan Ford had 83 yards on 7-of-13 passing with an interception and the Raiders rushed fro 146 yards, with 94 and a touchdown from K.J. Alexander. Both return, as does leading receiver DeSean Gilbert, from last year’s 4-7 team.
Sept. 4, at Allen County-Scottsville
The two have met every season since 2013. Greenwood’s 22-19 win over Allen County-Scottsville last year was its first in the series – which the Gators lead 10-7 – since 2016.
Greenwood’s ground game got going for 249 yards last year, with 130 from Slone and 84 from Odom, who both scored. Morrison had 35 yards on 3-of-9 passing and was picked off twice.
Junior Trace McIntyre had 76 yards on 9-of-19 passing and the Patriots rushed for 159 yards, led by 54 and a touchdown from junior Dillon Rookstool. Allen County-Scottsville also returns leading rusher Landon Witcher and leading receiver Jax Cooper, who picked up his first Division I offer from Morehead State earlier this year, after a 5-7 season last year.
Sept. 11, at Warren Central
Warren Central leads the series 19-8, but has dropped five straight meetings with the Gators, including a 59-42 decision in last year’s German American Bank Bowl.
It was a three-point game at halftime, but the Gators outscored Warren Central 22-0 in the third to pull away. Morrison threw for 140 yards on 5-of-15 passing, with a touchdown and interception, while the Gators rushed for 344 yards. Slone and Odom had 132 and 131 yards, respectively, with three touchdowns each, and Hernandez had 72 yards and a score.
Senior Dre Boyd had 406 yards on 28-of-44 passing, with five touchdowns and three interceptions for Warren Central. He also ran for a touchdown. Freshman Deangelo Patterson led the team with 93 yards rushing. The Dragons enter the season on a 45-game losing streak.
Sept. 18, vs. Logan County
Logan County’s game with Greenwood last season marked the first meeting between the programs since 2016. The Cougars won 43-6 to end a 10-game losing streak in the series. It was Logan County’s first win over Greenwood since 1998 and Greenwood’s first loss of the season.
The Cougars allowed just 88 yards of offense and Greenwood scored its lone touchdown on a kickoff return from Odom, who had 52 yards rushing.
Tyler Ezell had 347 yards and five touchdowns on 21-of-31 passing and Gary Hardy led a rushing attack that finished with 184 yards with 91 and a touchdown on 17 attempts. Both graduate, but the Cougars return an over-20 member senior class that includes Anthony Woodard, who had eight receptions for 179 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s meeting. Logan County finished 8-3 and was the ninth-ranked team in the final Class 4A AP poll.
Sept. 25, at Barren County
The two former district foes have met each season since 2011, with the Gators leading the series 7-2 during that stretch, but Barren County won last year’s game 19-16 at The Swamp after rallying from a 10-point halftime deficit.
The Trojans were outgained 398-216, but forced four turnovers – three of which led to touchdowns. The Gators got 127 yards rushing and a touchdown from Slone, 108 yards rushing from Odom and 78 from Hernandez. Morrison threw for 70 yards on 5-of-13 passing with a touchdown and interception.
Barren County rushed for 178 yards, but 106 came from senior Dayvion Holloway. Jameson Buie had 38 yards on 6-of-13 passing. Buie returns for the Trojans, as does leading receiver Jamarcus Miley. Barren County won just one game after last year’s meeting and finished 6-5 – its first winning season since 2000.
Oct. 2, vs. Christian County
Christian County enters the season on a 15-game losing streak. The Gators won last year’s meeting at Stadium of Champions 20-14, snapping a five-game skid in the series since 1998. It was the first meeting since the first round of the 2012 Class 5A playoffs.
Greenwood held Christian County to 57 yards rushing in last year’s win. Donta Abren had 134 yards and a touchdown on 11-of-17 passing and ran in the Colonels’ other score. Abren and leading rusher LRay Coleman were both juniors.
The Gators rushed for 153 yards. Slone rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown, Hernandez had 31 yards rushing and Odom had 30 and a touchdown. Morrison threw for 37 yards on 2-of-5 passing.
Oct. 16, at South Warren
South Warren held the Gators to just 62 yards rushing in a 36-18 regular-season victory at The Swamp, and allowed just 16 in a first-round 33-11 playoff victory.
Morrison threw for 196 yards and a touchdown in the first meeting, but was picked off three times. In the second, he was held to 93 yards and was intercepted once.
Greenwood led at the break in the first meeting, but the Spartans scored 21-third-quarter points to pull away. Kobe Martin had 109 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries in the game, and Mason Willingham had 121 yards passing and two scores. Martin added 145 yards and three touchdowns on 22 attempts in the playoff game, while Willingham had 107 yards on 11-of-16 passing. Both return as part of a strong sophomore class that also includes Caden Veltkamp, the team’s starting quarterback before he was injured in Week 5 last season. Jantzen Dunn, one of the top rated defensive backs in the state who recently committed to Ohio State, will be a senior.
The Spartans have won four straight meetings and lead the series 7-1. Greenwood’s only win came in 2016. South Warren went 10-2 last season and ranked fifth in the final AP poll.
Oct. 23, at Bowling Green
Bowling Green is 29-0 against the Gators, staying unbeaten in the series with a 39-0 win at The Swamp last season.
Junior Conner Cooper had 287 yards and three touchdowns on 14-of-20 passing, with Jordan Dingle accounting for 92 yards and a touchdown on three receptions. Javeius Bunton hit the century mark running the ball, going for 100 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. The Purples had 208 yards rushing. All three are back for a Bowling Green team returning plenty of talent from last year’s regional championship season.
The Purples limited Greenwood to just 110 yards rushing. Morrison threw for 113 yards on 13-of-30 passing, getting picked off once by junior Dylan Echols, who received his first Division I offer from Morehead State earlier this year. Odom had seven receptions for 51 yards.
Oct. 30, vs. John Hardin
The Bulldogs won 14-6 last year in the first meeting between the two programs. John Hardin will be under the direction of former Franklin-Simpson coach Doug Preston this fall.
Sophomore Keyandre Strand had 93 yards and a touchdown on 17 attempts in last year’s meeting, and junior Kadon Wilson had 78 yards and a touchdown on 3-of-7 passing. John Hardin finished 5-7.
Greenwood had 175 yards rushing, with Hernandez leading the way with 96 and Odom following with 54. Morrison had 92 yards on 9-of-23 passing, with a touchdown and two interceptions.