JAMESTOWN — Outside of two plays, Greeneview (2-1) largely held East Clinton (2-1) in check, rumbling to a 28-13 win on rainy Friday night. The Rams victory came in large part thanks to the team’s methodical running attack and the efforts of quarterback Collin Matt and running back Logan Test.
The duo would finish the night with two rushing touchdowns apiece, with Matt and Test churning to 165 yards and 116 yards on the ground, respectively.
“I thought we played really well up front,” Greeneview coach Neal Kasner said. “I thought our backs, and Collin being the quarterback … he ran really hard. It’s one of those things, we kinda got a lead and we just kept exploiting the same things, try to shorten the game down and play to our strengths.”
Having lost starting running back Anthony Osburn to a season-ending knee injury in last week’s game, the visiting Astros struggled to run the ball on the night, finishing with 24 yards on the ground.
“That just kills our running game,” East Clinton coach Jeremy Yankey said of losing Osburn. “We’re trying to create some running game and obviously tonight we didn’t do a good job of that.”
East Clinton would finish the night with 121 yards through the air.
The Rams were able to run the ball with relative ease in the first half and punched the ball in on Test runs of 15 yards and 10 yards, in the first and second quarters.
The Astros had difficulty moving the ball in response throughout the first half and went into the locker room facing a 14-0 deficit, having gained just 23 total yards. Despite their struggles, the Astros weren’t out of things for long once play resumed.
After the Rams shanked a punt in a sudden, steady rain, the visitors benefited from great field position and scored off a 26-yard, fourth-down touchdown pass from quarterback Erik Moore to receiver Brian Barnes. Game on.
Or perhaps not.
On the ensuing kickoff, Rams lineman Tommy Smith snagged a short boot out of the sky and rumbled ahead to set up his team with a first down on the Astros 40. Eleven straight running plays and about six minutes off the clock later, Matt scrambled into the end zone to restore the two-score lead.
Neither team could get much going again offensively until midway through the fourth quarter when Matt and Test sparked the Rams to another scoring drive. Matt ended up in the end zone on a 5-yard run to stretch the lead to 28-7.
East Clinton threatened to make things interesting late in the fourth quarter on a 70-yard catch-and-run by receiver J.T. McCarren, but that was as far as the Astros would make it in their comeback efforts on the evening.
“The game came down to physical toughness and heart and off the line of scrimmage,” Yankey said. “They had a heck of a lot more of it, especially their offense against our defense. … Give the credit to their players and their coach.”
The Rams travel to North Lewisburg to play Triad next week. East Clinton will also go on the road to play Chillicothe.
Score By Quarters:
Greeneview 7 7 7 7 – 28
East Clinton 0 0 7 6 – 13
G – Logan Test 15 run, Bryce Wilson kick
G – Test 10 run, Wilson kick
E – Brian Barnes 26 pass from Erik Moore, Cameron Conner kick
G – Collin Matt 6 run, Wilson kick
G – Matt 5 run, Wilson kick
E – J.T. McCarren 70 pass from Moore, Conner kick failed
Reach Nathan Pilling at 937-502-4498 or on Twitter @XDGNatePilling.