WEST MILTON — The Greeneview Rams held off West Milton Milton-Union 35-34 in a Division V first-round playoff game, Friday at Milton-Union Memorial Stadium.
The Bulldogs (6-5), who allowed just 18 points per game in the regular season gave up 28 points in the first half alone.
After a three-and-out on its opening drive, Milton-Union fumbled the snap on the punt. Greeneview started with the ball on its own 16-yard line and quickly scored two plays later when Jacob Green ran the ball in from the 9-yard line.
After holding the Bulldogs to another three-and-out, the Rams (8-3) moved down the field to go up 14-0 on a 13-yard Collin Matt touchdown run.
Milton-Union responded with a kickoff return to the Greeneview 34-yard line. Kaleb Rue ran the ball into the end zone five plays later.
The Rams continued to move the ball by spreading it around. Matt had 75 yards passing, 61 rushing and three touchdowns in the first half alone. Logan Test added 76 yards on the ground.
With 3:25 left in the second quarter, Zach Shields ran the ball 65 yards on a fourth down play. He had 82 yards in the first half.
Test got things going for the Rams early in the second half, running the ball 46 yards for a touchdown just a minute into the third quarter.
But the Bulldogs started to gain back the momentum throughout the remainder of the quarter. Rue and Shields scored 21- and 19-yard touchdowns respectively to pull within one entering the fourth quarter.
“Give them a lot of credit. They could have rolled over but they just kept battling,” said Greeneview coach Neal Kasner after the game.
Kasner said that his players might have felt some fatigue towards the end of the game.
“We came out with a lot of emotion early, that burns a lot energy. The momentum goes against us too, and that sucks some energy too. We battled to the end and made some plays when we had to.”
The Bulldogs looked to complete the comeback with three minutes remaining. Blake Smith found Keaton Lucous on a 13-yard touchdown pass. But the extra point to tie the game at 35 was blocked by Evan Bradds, who was playing his first game after battling an injury for six weeks.
The Rams couldn’t run the time out on their next offensive possession, but Test’s punt pinned the Bulldogs back on their own four. Milton-Union was moving the ball down the field when Harrison Gallagher intercepted the ball.
“I felt at halftime, the great prognosticator that I am, if we score two touchdowns in the second half then we win,” said Kasner. “Well, we didn’t get two, we got one, and that was enough. But boy two would have extended my life probably by a year or two.”
Test finished with game with 171 yards rushing. Matt had 76 yards passing and 72 on the ground.
Shields unofficially had 151 yards rushing in the game. Smith had 68 yards passing and 72 rushing. Rue ran for 79 yards.
Greeneview’s Austin Roberts was injured on a kickoff return. He was brought off the field on a stretcher after taking a hit to the head. He gave a thumbs up to the crowd while being taken off.
Greeneview will face Southwestern Buckeye League, Southwestern Division champion Brookville in the next round. That game is set for Friday at a yet-to-be-determined neutral site.
Score by Quarters
Greeneview 14 14 7 0 —35
Milton-Union 7 7 14 6 —34
G — Jacob Green 9 run. Bryce Wilson kick.
G — Collin Matt 13 run. Wilson kick.
M — Kaleb Rue 4 run. Rue kick.
G — Matt 1 run. Wilson kick.
M — Zach Shields 65 run. Rue kick.
G — Matt 24 run. Wilson kick.
G — Logan Test 46 run. Wilson kick.
M — Rue 21 run. Rue kick.
M — Shields 19 run. Rue kick.
M — Keaton Lucous 13 pass from Blake Smith. Kick blocked.
Zach Gregory can be reached at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2124.