JAMESTOWN — Greeneview came out with much more motivation than normal to get a win at home.
It was senior night for the Rams after all, but it was also an opportunity to get another win in the Battle of 72 and a rivalry matchup with Cedarville.
It all led to a wave of emotion which lifted Greeneview early and often to an overwhelming 41-7 victory.
The win makes it nine in a row for Greeneview against Cedarville. The rivals were the final two remaining unbeatens in the OHC South Division which now sees the Rams take a stronghold in the race for first place.
“I talked to the guys to begin the week about just you know, embracing moments in life opportunities,” Greeneview head coach Ryan Haines said. “The chance to play in your rival who started undefeated in the conference on senior night for late season control of the OHC. That’s what it’s all about. And our kids responded extremely well.”
The Rams drove 67 yards on seven plays to open the game, with Alex Horney connecting with Carter Williams near the sideline for a 25-yard touchdown.
Ashtan Hendricks followed the score with an interception of Cedarville’s Jackson Pyles, which led to the first of two Sean Leonard field goals in the opening half.
Cooper Payton in the second quarter finished off one touchdown drive with a one-yard plunge after going 48 yards down the sideline earlier. Following a Williams’ interception in the final minutes of the half, William Reichley went over the top of the Cedarville defender with a leaping grab to create an exclamation point on the first half from 26 yards out to put Greeneview up 27-0 at the break.
After a fairly even first quarter in total yardage the Rams outgained the Indians 174-29 in the second quarter to take firm control of the game, and went on to finish with a 374-219 advantage in the game.
Rylan Hurst had 102 yards on 10 carries, and along with fellow senior Jarrod Mays scored in the second half for the Rams. Reichley had three catches, all in the first half, for 45 yards. Horney was stellar in his third straight start at quarterback, completing six of his eight throws for 95 yards and two touchdowns.
Pyles was 19 of 29 passing for 189 yards for Cedarville, while Josh Flora caught seven balls for 105 yards.
“They got really talented receivers, they really do,” Haines said of Cedarville. “They’re getting the ball to them well in space, and we just wanted to make that more hard for them. I think we did that.”
Cedarville used almost the entirety of the fourth quarter clock to prevent a shutout with three seconds left as Pyles found Jackson Miller for an 11-yard touchdown pass.
“I’m just glad they fought to the end,” Cedarville head coach Brian Bogenschutz said. “Obviously they want a better result, but they fought and that’s all you can ask for.”
Greeneview has now won five straight games to improve to 7-1 this season, while Cedarville drops to 4-4. In addition to the league race, both teams remain in the hunt for a playoff spot and potential chances at a home game.
“Postseason is still up there,” Bogenschutz said of the Indians’ goals. “We’re sitting in ninth before tonight and need to go win obviously. Go for conference and then hope for the postseason and do the best we can.”
“My message to the guys is to embrace what winning takes and to have a championship mindset while taking things one week at a time,” Haines said. “We cant control the playoffs, all we can do is beat the teams currently on our schedule.”