YORKTOWN — The Greenfield-Central Cougars and Yorktown Tigers played lights out in the final quarter of their Hoosier Heritage Conference matchup Friday night in Yorktown.
At one point, there were three touchdowns in three plays and four in nine plays. After a defense-centered first half, Greenfield-Central (3-4, 2-3 HHC) won 34-26 against Yorktown (2-5, 0-5 HHC).
The win came after three losses in a row for the Cougars.
“The last three weeks have been hard — we had some heartbreak against Pendleton Heights, and then we didn’t come out against Shelbyville. Then we had New Pal, and New Pal is always a tough week,” Greenfield-Central head coach Adam Sherman said. “They responded.”
The momentum flew back and forth as the Cougars scored off the bat in the fourth quarter. Mike Hoskins had a 73-yard run to set up a Braden Brown touchdown.
This gave the Cougars a nine-point lead, 21-12, as the Tigers failed both two-point conversions in the first half. The rest of the game was a shootout as one team would score and the other would respond in like kind.
The first of the three big plays in the eighth minute was a pick-six by Yorktown’s Austin Hill. Greenfield-Central started at the 4-yard line for their drive after a good bounce for Yorktown and a penalty against the Cougars.
The second-down Andrew Leslie pass was intercepted and returned. One play later, Brown broke through the Tiger defense for a 62-yard touchdown.
“We were actually trying to run the clock out,” Sherman said of the one-play drive. “He broke one and scored in about six seconds. We knew we were going to get in a situation where we would have to pound the ball a little bit.”
After Yorktown scored off of a 63-yard run by Brandt Applegate – who took over at quarterback for the Tigers in the first half after Reid Neal was injured – Greenfield-Central set up for their final drive at their 46-yard line.
After noticing a Yorktown change in their outside backs, the Cougars started running fake runs and short throws.
After two fourth-down conversions, one third-down conversions and some key plays from Chase Ratliff, Brown and Leslie, the Cougars sealed the deal on their way to their third victory of the season.
Ratliff and Hoskins – who each had a receiving touchdown in the first half, one on a two-play drive and one on yet another single-play drive – each had 94 and 164 receiving yards, respectively.
Leslie went had 290 yards with 15 completions on 29 attempts. On the ground, Brown ended with 95 yards off of 18 carries.
The defense held their ground in the first half and Jaden Brown came up with his second interception of the season.
“First half was lights out,” Sherman said. “Their quarterback was really good, and then (Applegate) is a great athlete. We didn’t adjust as well as we should have, however our kids kept playing and they made plays when they had to.”
Greenfield-Central will face Delta at home on Oct. 6.
“I’ll tell you what, Yorktown is not a 2-5 team and they’ve shown that,” Sherman said. “They’ve been in every game they’ve played. We finally got over the hump.”