GREENVILLE — While Friday’s scrimmage against Coldwater left the Greenville football team with some areas that need improvement, coach Aaron Shaffer was pleased with the Green Wave’s performance.
In Greenville’s second scrimmage of the season, the Green Wave hosted the defending Division V state champion Coldwater Cavaliers. Led by 2013 Division V Offensive Player of the Year Brody Hoying, Coldwater hit several big plays on offense. But looking at the big picture, Shaffer saw some encouraging signs.
“I was pleased today,” the Green Wave coach said. “We’re talking about a Coldwater team coming in here as a defending state champ, got the Division V Offensive Player of the Year returning in Brody Hoying. Obviously that kids’ special, but to be able to come out and compete … there were a lot of bright spots today even though there were things in the scrimmage that you expect that you’re going to have to get cleaned up, and that’s certainly the case.”
Greenville saw an encouraging sign on its first 10-play drive of the day as the Green Wave marched 80 yards on eight plays, culminating in a touchdown pass from Clay Guillozet to Allen Tabler.
“Those two are going to be a tandem to look out at, that we can kind of rely on on a nightly or daily basis,” Shaffer said. “Those two have something between them.”
While the touchdown came through the air, most of the yards on that drive came from the Green Wave running game.
“Offensively we weren’t breaking long runs, but we were consistently 4, 5, 6 yards,” Shaffer said. “We were able to run the ball better than maybe we had in the past. That first set of 10 we just marched right down the field on them and stuck one in.”
When Coldwater got its first offensive possession, the Cavaliers broke open big plays. The Cavaliers went 70 yards in four plays for their first touchdown. They followed that up with a 70-yard touchdown run and two plays later added a 70-yard touchdown pass. Then on the ninth play of the possession, Coldwater scored its fourth touchdown of the series on a 55-yard touchdown pass.
“We’ve got to stop big plays on defense,” Shaffer said. “We were big played today. We gave up too many long yardage plays. On the flip side of that, there were a couple of them we were able to get them pulled down and keep them out of the end zone and things like that.”
The format of the scrimmage did make it hard on the defenses, Shaffer said, although the Wave defense still should have prevented the big plays.
“In a scrimmage setting it’s a little different,” he said. “You’re going sets of 10; you’re not really worried about down and distance; you can call basically whatever you want without any repercussions. So sometimes it’s hard on a defense to know or to have an idea of what they’re getting ready to see simply because of the format. That doesn’t excuse it. They’ve got to be able to make plays.”
After neither team scored on its next possession, Greenville turned to its second team players. The Wave’s second team offense didn’t score, but the defense held Coldwater scoreless and Brad Mead intercepted a pass.
The teams then went back to their starters for five-play goal-line formations starting at their opponent’s 10-yard line.
Greenville scored on its second play of the goal-line format as Guillozet corralled shotgun snap that rolled back to him and fired a 10-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Rich.
In its first goal-line possession, Coldwater scored twice with a 10-yard pass on its first play and a 3-yard pass on its fourth play.
In Greenville’s second-goal line series, Logan Eldridge scored on a 1-yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the Wave’s series.
Then in Coldwater’s next goal-line possession the Green Wave held the Cavaliers scoreless thanks in part to an interception by Tabler on the fourth play.
The teams then went to a traditional down-and-distance format. Both offenses started at their own 30-yard line and could earn first downs by gaining 10 yards like in a regulation game.
Greenville’s first drive was going well as the Wave advanced into the Cavs’ red zone, but the possession stalled, and Greenville turned the ball over on downs.
Coldwater then marched all the way down to the Greenville 3-yard line, but its drive also stalled without a score.
Greenville’s next possession ended with Coldwater intercepting a pass.
The Coldwater offense then connected on a 70-yard touchdown pass on its next possession.
On the Cavaliers’ next drive, it took three plays for them to traverse 70 yards with runs of 50 yards and 13 yards setting up a 7-yard touchdown pass.
On Greenville’s final varsity drive of the day, the Green Wave moved the ball inside Coldwater’s 10-yard line but couldn’t score.
“They don’t hide anything in scrimmages,” Shaffer said of Coldwater. “They blitzed us. They changed their coverages up. They changed fronts on us.”
After the varsity teams had finished their portion of the scrimmage, neither junior varsity squad scored on its possession of 10 plays.
Then the freshmen took the field with Greenville failing to score on its first 10-play drive.
Coldwater’s freshmen scored on a 2-yard run to cap off a 70-yard drive. After resetting the ball at the Greenville 10-yard line for the final play of the possession, Coldwater’s freshmen converted on a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Both freshman squads then got five more offensive plays with Greenville failing to score and Coldwater scoring on a 70-yard touchdown pass.
Greenville has one more scrimmage set for 7 p.m. Aug. 22 at Fairborn before opening the regular season on Aug. 29 at Eaton.