GREENVILLE — Points were hard to come by Friday night as the Greenville Green Wave fell to the 2-3 Fairmont Firebirds, 24-6, at home.
Early in the first quarter, it appeared the ball would bounce Greenville’s way during the contest as Aaron Rich recovered a Firebird fumble deep in Fairmont territory.
The Green Wave offense pushed the ball to the Fairmont 3-yard line. Opting to go for it on fourth and goal, the team did not convert and turned the ball over on downs.
Stuck near its own goal line, Fairmont was forced to punt. Greenville started with good field position at its own 49-yard line and drove the ball to the Fairmont 12. However, a Green Wave fumble was turned into an 85-yard return for a Firebird touchdown. With the extra point, Fairmont led 7-0.
A lengthy kickoff return by Devin Hendrix to midfield seemed to put the Wave back into business as the second quarter commenced.
Despite promising field position, the offense stalled and Greenville was forced to punt. The Firebirds soon kicked a field goal, taking a 10-0 lead.
Another Green Wave drive stalled at midfield. Following the punt, the Firebird offense moved from its own 16-yard line to the Greenville 5, punching through the line for a touchdown. With the extra point kick, the Firebirds took a 17-0 lead into the half.
The second half saw much of the same.
With 1:05 left in the third quarter, a Fairmont touchdown run and successful extra point put the Firebirds in the lead 24-0.
The Green Wave caught a break in the fourth quarter following a Firebird interception of a Clay Guillozet pass. On the very next play, Fairmont fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Greenville.
Greenville’s only points of the game, however, were the direct result of a blocked field goal attempt, as Logan Eldridge returned the blocked kick to the Fairmont 9-yard line with 3:15 left in the game. Two plays later, Guillozet ran up the middle for six points. A 2-point conversion attempt failed, making the final score 24-6.
Though the Wave lost a tough one, head coach Aaron Shaffer was unperturbed by the scoreboard.
“We will rally ourselves,” he said. “These kids are resilient. They’re a hard-working group of kids.”
Shaffer said he did not second-guess the call to go for the touchdown on fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line in the first quarter.
“I’m comfortable with that call,” he said. “In that situation we’ve got to get it.”
The Green Wave (2-3) head to Miami County to take on the Troy Trojans Friday.
Erik Martin may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 937-569-4314.
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