For The Daily Reporter
GREENFIELD — In a season of close calls for the Greenfield-Central Cougars, it seemed appropriate that their opening round sectional matchup against Delta would feature more of the same.
Despite trailing 14-0 at halftime, a Cougar second half rally fell short, and they ultimately fell 14-12.
“The kids gave an unbelievable effort tonight,” Greenfield-Central coach Roger Dodson said afterwards. “We didn’t really have to change much from our first matchup because our guys gave such great effort all week.”
After losing to the Eagles two weeks prior to Friday’s matchup, the Cougars may have felt that history was repeating itself as senior running back Zach Mills ran in a 47-yard touchdown 1:31 seconds into the game to give his team a 7-0 early lead.
The Cougar defense stiffened however, only allowing Delta to score one more time in the game, on a 50-yard run by junior fullback Logan Clawson to give the Eagles their 14-0 halftime advantage.
To start the second half, Greenfield showed signs of life on its opening drive.
On a six-play drive, the Cougars got on the scoreboard on a 3-yard touchdown run by senior running back Andy Kim, to make the score 14-6.
Delta proceeded to march down the field after the touchdown and earned a first and goal from the 6-yard line. They would not score however, as Greenfield stopped Delta on three plays from the 1-yard line on second, third and fourth down. Not only did the defense make the goal line stand, they forced fumbles the next two times the Eagles would get the ball.
After recovering the second fumble, the Cougars began their attempt to tie the game. On a key third-and-15, senior quarterback Jeremiah Fields found Kim for a gain of 15 yards, followed by a Fields sneak for the first down.
Four plays later, Kim would score his second 3-yard touchdown of the night to make the score 14-12 with 2:57 remaining.
Unfortunately for the Cougars, the two-point conversion attempt glanced off the receiver’s hands, despite what appeared to be early contact from a Delta defender. Delta recovered the ensuing onside kick and was able to run out the clock.
The Cougars finish the season at 4-6, but Dodson believes the future is bright for upcoming seasons.
“We’ve got nine starters on both sides of the ball returning, but I feel for these seniors tonight,” Dodson said as he walked off the field.