GREENFIELD — For the first time since 2011, Greenfield-Central defeated Mt. Vernon on the football field. And based on the smile across Cougars’ coach Adam Sherman’s and his players’ faces, you could tell this one meant a lot.
“For me, it’s a sign that all we’ve been working towards since I got here is coming to fruition,” Sherman said after the 27-0 win.
Greenfield-Central opened up a 13-0 first quarter lead mainly through its passing attack.
For its first score, Cougars receiver Mike Hoskins broke free over the middle for a wide-open 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Leslie. Hoskins would add another touchdown in the second quarter. Hoskins finished the game with seven catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
“He’s pretty good, isn’t he,” Sherman joked. “We’ve got to keep finding ways to get him the ball.”
On the next Cougars’ drive, Leslie found senior receiver Orlando Mojica for back-to-back catches for 71 total yards, and Leslie took the ball in himself from the 2-yard line to increase the Cougar lead.
Mt. Vernon drove into Cougars territory in the second quarter, but a 35-yard field goal attempt by Trevor Bond sailed left in a brisk wind, and the Cougars went into the half with a 20-0 lead.
The Cougars’ offense put up 27 points, but it was the defense that forced five turnovers, one interception and four fumble recoveries, that made this game seem lopsided.
The most crucial of these fumble recoveries came early in the third quarter after Marauders’ quarterback Tyson Harley led his team to the Cougars’ 1-yard line. But a mishandled snap on an apparent quarterback sneak fell into the Cougars hands, and Mt. Vernon’s best chance at scoring was squandered.
“We’ve got to get better at executing on Friday nights,” Marauders coach Neil Kazmierczak said as his team was heading to the locker room. “I’m still happy with how our young guys are battling; freshmen were coming in and making interceptions and some other big plays for us, so we’ve just to keep improving.”
The Cougars burnt up the clock during the second half behind senior running back Braden Brown. With 17 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Brown sprinted in from 31 yards out for the Cougars’ last touchdown. Brown would finish with 13 carries for 133 yards and one touchdown.
“We had a tough game last week,” Sherman said. “But I was really happy with how our guys responded during practice this week and now they get to enjoy a win like this.”
The win for the Cougars improve their record to 2-1 and 1-0 in the Hoosier Heritage Conference. Mt. Vernon falls to 1-2 and 0-1 in the HHC.
Both schools will continue their conference schedule next week, as Greenfield-Central travels to Pendleton Heights and Mt. Vernon travels to its other Hancock County rival, New Palestine. Both games kick off at 7:30 p.m.