Cougars wear down late

For The Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD — Following a last-second win a week ago, Greenfield-Central looked poised to force another tight finish Friday night against Delta.

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Cougars and Eagles were tied at 14-14 following three even quarters of play. However, Delta would score on the first play of the quarter from the 1-yard line and add insurance scores to ensure victory 33-14.

“That last quarter was kind of a blur,” Greenfield-Central coach Roger Dodson stated afterwards. “But I thought our kids played with a lot of effort tonight.”

Delta returned the opening kickoff of the game to the Cougars’ 20-yard line, and senior running back Zach Mills scored three plays later with only one minute taken off the clock.

Despite the quick start, junior KJ Mills returned the ensuing kickoff to the Eagles’ 26-yard line. The Cougars would not score on that opening possession, but the tone was set.

For the next three Eagles possessions, the Cougar defense held firm, including a goal-line stand near the end of the first quarter.

Greenfield-Central would tie the game at 7-7 with two minutes remaining in the half on a 2-yard run by senior quarterback Jeremiah Fields. To set up his run, Fields tossed a perfect back shoulder fade to wide receiver John Davis for 33 yards.

“We threw the ball a bit more tonight and tried to present a more balanced attack,” Dodson said afterwards. “At the end of the game though, we couldn’t be balanced on offense and had some difficulty.”

The first half began the same as the first for the Cougars, as Delta scored on its first possession on a 4-yard run by Mills. However, Greenfield-Central again answered on a 41-yard touchdown run by Andy Kim after it appeared as if he had been tackled for a short gain.

“Andy is our lead blocker, a great defender, and is a tough runner. He played a really nice game tonight,” Dodson proclaimed.

Although the score was 14-14 going into the fourth quarter, Delta would go on to score 19 points in the quarter behind a balanced running attack that appeared to wear down the Cougars defense.

“I liked the effort we played with tonight, but we play the games to come out with victories,” Dodson said. “We are going to start preparing for New Castle tomorrow morning and focus on getting one more win before the tournament starts.”