JAMESTOWN — Greeneview had two losses from last season to use as motivation Friday night, and there was no doubting they were prepared for the challenge which awaited them.
The Rams produced its best performance of the season on defense to stop the state’s No. 2-ranked team in Division VII in a resounding 35-0 win over Mechanicsburg at Don Nock Field.
Greeneview held the Indians, which came in averaging more than 350 and 42 points per game, to 78 total yards of offense. Greeneview had been allowing just over 20 points per game this season before producing its first shutout of the year.
“It’s a tip my cap to all my defensive coaches coaches,” head coach Ryan Haines said. “They did an outstanding job getting the kids prepared and to get them ready to go. Man otherwise, that’s all about the kids flying around.”
Greeneview’s defense was more than up to the task in the first half in setting the tone for the game. Mechanicsburg twice went three-and-out and on the Indians’ only possession in the second, they were able to get across midfield before a holding penalty backed them up. Jayden Roland, one of the top dual threat quarterbacks in the area, was 2-for-8 passing in the half and struggled throughout the game to find room against the Rams’ defense.
Cole DeHaven followed up an early interception for Greeneview with the best of results. On the first play of their next drive, he faked a sweep handoff and bursted up the middle to go nearly untouched for a 69-yard touchdown run to put Greeneview ahead late in the opening quarter.
The Rams missed a field goal on its next drive before getting the ball back with 2:51 remaining in the half. Greeneview advanced from its own 24 to midfield with just over 15 seconds left and faced a decision to go for a first down and continue the drive or let the clock wind out. A 12-yard pickup by Carter Williams continued the drive, leading to the Rams having one second left on the clock.
Subbing in Alex Horney at quarterback, he rolled to his right and heaved a 35-yard throw which was caught on a diving grab by William Reichley in the back corner of the endzone to give the Rams a 14-0 lead at halftime.
Cooper Payton had another strong game to lead the Rams’ defense, which he said he looks forward to trying to lead the team in tackles each time out to challenge his older brother’s single season record. This time out he scored twice on offense from three and 55 yards out in the second half to help build the Greeneview advantage.
“The team came together a lot in the last week,” Payton said. “We haven’t liked what we’ve done against this team for awhile so decided to put it on them.”
Rylan Hurst also added a 15-yard touchdown to complete the scoring for Greeneview.
DeHaven ended the game with 10 carries for 102 yards, while Payton added 86 yards on nine attempts.
Greeneview is now 4-1 this season after handing Mechanicsburg its first loss and Haines said he feels one of the biggest lessons his team has taken from its week three loss in overtime to Northeastern is that it’s not invincible.
“We’ve got to continue to battle and work every single day, which is what we’ve done the last two weeks and we’ve gotten two running clock situations,” he said. “It’s the kids putting the loss in the rear view mirror.”
The win gave Haines the record with the most wins as head coach in Greeneview football history, breaking the previous mark held by Neal Kasner.
“There’s been no bigger influence in my life professionally than coach Kasner,” Haines said. “He was who I was tied with and passing the night when he didn’t want to get up from the kids and let them know that it’s me. And he’s taught me so much. It means so much to come back to my hometown and make an impact.”
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.