MUNCIE — In a game of two evenly matched opponents, the Muncie Central-Greenfield-Central 4A Sectional 13 quarterfinal game Friday came down to which squad committed the fewest turnovers and registered the biggest plays.
For the first time in a month, Greenfield-Central made all the right moves on the way to a 21-14 victory. The Cougars (4-6), who entered on a three-game losing streak, were efficient and nearly error-free in weather conditions that offered plenty of excuses for coughing up the football.
Instead, it was Muncie Central (3-7) that wilted in the rain. Trailing 21-14 entering the fourth quarter, the Bearcats twice drove into G-C territory down the stretch, only to fumble on each drive.
With the Cougars close to running out the clock, the visitors made their only mistake of the night. G-C, which made 16 turnovers during its three-game skid, fumbled with one minute, 47 seconds remaining against Muncie Central.
But, the Cougars’ Mason Irbe choked out the Bearcats’ last gasp with an interception of Muncie Central quarterback Billy Walker at the MC 31-yard line with 1:30 left, and G-C finally sealed its win.
Delta (7-3) will host Greenfield-Central Friday in the semifinals.
“I saw the quarterback, watched his eyes, watched the throw,” explained Irbe of the key final play. “I just went over there to try to make the tackle if he would have caught it, but it bounced off his hands and went towards my direction.”
Muncie Central’s three fourth-quarter turnovers proved to be its ultimate downfall, but the Cougars didn’t need any help building a lead.