CAMDEN – Quarterback Clay Guillozet ran for two long touchdowns and the Greenville defense had two stops in the red zone to launch the Green Wave to a 2-1 record after the team defeated Preble Shawnee 42-22 on Friday at Preble Shawnee.
Guillozet finished with touchdown runs of 81 yards and 47 yards as the team used a dominating second half rushing performance to close the game out.
“With it being as wet as it was tonight, I don’t want to say we were afraid to throw the ball, but there is no sense in it,” Greenville head coach Aaron Shaffer said about his team’s ability to close the game out on the ground. “Woody Hayes used to say only three things can happen when you throw the ball, and two of them are bad.”
Shaffer also was quick to credit his leading rushers and offensive line.
“Clay (Guillozet) had a good night,” he said. “Codi Byrd had a pretty good night. Logan Eldridge had a couple nice runs. We were able to grind it out, and when you get into a game like this, at the end of the game if you can get the lead and run the clock out that’s huge.”
With steady rain coming down the teams traded punts on the first four offensive possessions of the game. It was Preble Shawnee’s second punt of the game from deep in its own territory that gave the Green Wave the ball on the Arrows’ 30-yard line to set up the game’s first score.
Guillozet found Bradley Mead for a reception after a quick swing pass to set the Green Wave up for first and goal before Byrd ran the ball in from a few yards out to capitalize on the good field position.
The PAT was missed, but Greenville led 6 to 0 with 3:29 left in the first quarter.
The Arrows answered on their next drive after quarterback Joby Williams pumped faked the defense and found receiver Trey Smith from 33 yards out for his first of two touchdown catches on the game.
Early in the second, Preble Shawnee led 7-6.
The Green Wave, however, would quickly gain momentum back after a long sustained drive on their next possession resulted in Byrd finding the end zone for the second time, this time it was from 3 yards out. After a two-point conversation from Guillozet to Eldridge, Greenville regained the lead 14-7.
Shawnee used a few scrambles from Williams to get into the red zone, but it was the Green Wave’s defense that had the advantage over the Arrows in the red zone all night.
The Wave would hold the Arrows offense to a fourth down when the Arrows went for it, preventing the first down.
The defensive stand from in the red zone set up Guillozet, who broke off an 81-yard run a few plays later to give the team a 21-7 lead with 4:14 left in the half.
The Arrows, however, had their own answer before half when Williams threw a jump ball to Smith, who won the battle and hauled in a 43-yard touchdown catch to give the Arrows momentum going into halftime despite trailing 21-14.
The rain continued at the start of the second half, which saw Shawnee drive back into the Green Wave’s defensive red zone. This time the Arrows would give the ball back after a turnover on downs at Greenville’s 14-yard line.
Greenville punted and Shawnee began to drive again before stalling out and facing fourth down again just outside the red zone. Once again the Wave’s defense stepped up and forced its third turnover on downs on the night.
This time Guillozet would put the game away for good after a 47-yard scamper late in the third quarter and doubled the lead to 14.
“That’s huge, to get in those third and fourth situations and be able to come up with a play at an opportune time,” Shaffer said. “That’s good defense. Obviously you don’t them getting down inside the red zone that much, but they are a team that is dangerous so it was really nice to see our defense make a stand. In all honesty early in the third really won the game for us.”
Greenville added on to the lead after the defensive forced a three and out and Eldridge would run it in from 12 yards out, giving the Green Wave a 35-14 lead with 10 seconds left in the third.
The teams traded touchdowns in the fourth, but Shawnee never really threatened to get back into the game.
The final score, Greenville 42, Preble Shawnee 22.
Greenville (2-1) travels to Lebanon (1-2) on Friday to open the Greater Western Conference season with a cross matchup with a team from the Southern division of the conference.
Preble Shawnee (2-1) will travel to Madison (1-2) for its first Southwestern Buckeye League game of the season.