The Bulldogs won their second consecutive game Friday night, improving their record to 3-5 and also winning their first game on the home turf.
The Bulldogs won their second consecutive game on Friday night, improving their record to 3-5 and also winning for the first time on their new home turf. They defeated previously 5-2 Revere, 24-10.
“I’m just happy for the kids, especially the seniors,” commented Green Head Coach Tom Stacy on getting that first win on the new field under their belt. “We’ve had so many close games here this year, and to keep playing hard is a real testament to our seniors and captains’ will to not give up. They have really set a good example for the younger guys.”
Green played their best overall game, due to each unit playing to their best ability at one point or another.
First up was the defense.
Green’s frontlines wreaked havoc on the Minutemen, swarming to the ball without giving Revere any breathing room. Led by seniors Nate Majnaric and Mike “Smitty” Smith up front, and senior Adam Spray and junior Jovon Tait in the secondary, the Bulldogs allowed just one passing yard – and no points – in the first half.
“I think a big part of [our success] was that our kids played very physical,” commented Stacy. “We took away the run; and just like the last two games, we’ve bent on some drives but haven’t broken. And when you’re playing three sophomores on defense behind the seniors, that’s pretty encouraging for the future.”
Green even won the second quarter – a quarter that’s haunted them all season, 3-0 off of a 29 yard field goal by senior Garrett Cook.
Coming out of halftime, it was the special teams’ turn.
Senior wide receiver/kick returner Spray returned the kickoff for Green after halftime, sped through the first line of defense and then turned on the burners to blow by everyone else for an electrifying 89 yard touchdown to give Green a 10-0 lead.
“That was the key play of the game in my mind,” commented Stacy. “[Kicking Game Coordinator] Erich Muzi schemes up guys really nicely, and has done a great job all year with that.”
If that wasn’t a loud enough message that Green wasn’t going anywhere in this game, sophomore line backer Jon Dawson’s delivery of a vicious hit on the following kickoff was the exclamation point.
Green couldn’t hold onto their defensive grip for too long, and Revere quarter back Zach Weidrick connected with wide receiver Stephen Zarkovacki on several occasions, finally ending one drive with a six yard touchdown pass to bring the score to 10-7.
Just before the end of the third quarter, it was the offense’s turn to get in on the act.
The Bulldogs used a beautifully balanced drive by the four seniors that head the skill positions on offense – quarterback Jesse Mason, running back Justin James, and wide receivers Cook and Spray – finally punching it into the endzone from 15 yards out with James, who ran through tacklers for the extra yard all night, to give Green a 17-7 lead with 41 seconds to go in the third quarter.
A half-back pass from Minuteman junior Chris Gibbs led to a Revere field goal and a one score game with eight minutes remaining.
On the next play from scrimmage, Revere senior Joe Calvey picked off a pass at midfield, and just like that the momentum had swung completely in Revere’s favor.
It wouldn’t last long. On the very next play, Green forced its third fumble of the game. The ball was knocked away just inside Green territory, and Bulldog junior Kevin Dannemiller snagged it out of mid air.
Justin James ran the Bulldogs into scoring distance with one big swing. After a tackler couldn’t wrap him up behind the line of scrimmage, James followed his blockers, turned the corner and was brought down after 31 yards.
Mason delivered a high-arching pass to Cook, who found the ball, readjusted in the endzone, and caught the pass while fighting off his defender to give Green a 14 point lead and all but close the book on Green’s first home win.
“[Offensive Coordinator Jon] Wallace did a nice job of making adjustments at halftime with our offense and offensive line,” commented Stacy. “We played a lot better in the second half up front, and just wore them down in the fourth quarter.”
Mason finished with 127 total yards and a touchdown, James ran for 129 yards and a touchdown and Cook added two catches for 32 yards and a score.
Green will host Barberton next week in their Senior night – a game the Bulldogs coaching staff and players have circled on their calendars.
“These seniors need to go out on a win at home – we’ve talked about that. But we just have to take it one at a time,” said Stacy.
Green’s goal of finishing 5-5 is now half complete since starting out 1-5, with Barberton and then arch rival Tallmadge still on the schedule.