JAMESTOWN — Four straight wins and lots of smiles are putting Greeneview in a good mood.
The Rams defense led the way by almost pitching a shutout into the final minute, gaining a 21-7 victory over Springfield Catholic Central on Homecoming Night.
Catholic Central on four occasions moved the ball inside the Rams’ 10-yard line, but the defense held firm the first three times until the Irish eventually scored with under 30 seconds remaining.
“That’s a credit to their kids because they were playing hard,” Greeneview head coach Ryan Haines said. “They came out being really physical and we knew that they would and it’s a complement to our kids and their next play mentality. … We gave up a lot of yards but it was bend and don’t break for sure.”
Junior Rylan Hurst had nine tackles, eight of them solo, to lead the defense while 15 players in total made at least two tackles in the game.
After a 1-4 start to the season, the Rams were looking to see how much improvement the team has really gained during a three-game winning streak. Greeneview had outscored the opposition 105-10 during that stretch.
Catholic Central came in as a well-balanced team on offense, with only a 12-yard difference between its passing and rushing yardage this season and a 6-2 overall record.
Time of possession in the first half was all Catholic Central, as they produced two drives of just over eight minutes each. The Irish converted on fourth down on four different occasions in the half and were 6-for-11 in the game.
The Rams defense held though near the goal line both times, aided by a sack on the first and a personal foul call on the second that backed up the Irish 27 yards from the endzone.
Greeneview had marched down the field on its opening possesion for an early lead. A 28-yard quarterback keeper by junior Cole Dehaven saw him elude three defenders, sneaking just inside the pylon for a 7-0 lead. The Rams would take that advantage into the half.
Dehaven led the team with 149 rushing yards and touchdown.
Junior Carter Williams had 66 yards on the ground, including a touchdown in the third quarter. Senior Craig Finley scored with just under three minutes to go in the game as rain began to pour down to seal the win.
Haines has been preaching “tunnel vision” to the kids, both in a single play and game mentality and believes they have responded well.
“I think the kids have already bought into it when or lose,” Haines said. “They’ve done a great job coming out every week to practice and continuing to learn. We thought the learning curve for this team, especially with a few new coaches need to stay focused early on and they have stayed locked into that message and I’m proud of them.”
Greeneview, Catholic Central and Greenon entered the final three weeks of the season in a three-way tie for first-place with a round robin still to be played between the three of them.
With Greenon and Greeneview both defeating the Irish now, a final home game for the Rams hosting Greenon is all that is left to try and win the OHC South Division next week on Senior Night.
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.