LEBANON – Greenville struggled to get any offense going on Friday night, which contributed to a 48-14 loss to Greater Western Ohio Conference South Division member Lebanon.
“We’ve got some work to do,” Greenville football coach Aaron Shaffer said. “We’re still a good football team, but you’ve got to come to games like this against a bigger school, against a good opponent and play. We didn’t come out ready.
“I’m not saying that we’re not a good football team or anything of that nature. We’ve just got to improve. We’ve got to take care of the little things – penalties and consistency. You’ve got to play consistent football to win games.”
Lebanon dominated the game as the Warriors had the ball for more than 33 minutes and Greenville had it for less than 15. The Warriors’ offense picked up 22 first downs and gained 485 yards while Greenville’s picked up just seven first downs and 181 yards. And Greenville didn’t help itself as the Wave committed six penalties.
“Offensively we can’t keep getting penalties,” Shaffer said. “Five-yard penalties, we talk to the kids all the time, they’re drive killers. You get a 5-yard penalty, it just makes it that much harder to get a first down. When you’re playing good football teams, 5-yard penalties will kill you. Three out of our first four drives had illegal procedures.”
Despite Greenville’s early miscues, the Green Wave hung with the Warriors early as neither team scored in the opening quarter.
But after coming up empty during its first two drives, Lebanon got things going during its third possession. With 10:42 left in the second quarter the Warriors scored on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Dakota Allen to Cody Brown to take a 7-0 lead.
Lebanon added to its lead six-and-a-half minutes later when Allen connected with Zach Barsala for a 9-yard touchdown pass to make it a 14-0 game.
Facing a double-digit deficit, Greenville got its offense started and picked up a first down for the first time on a 17-yard run by quarterback Clay Guillozet. But the Wave couldn’t sustain the momentum and had to punt for the fifth time.
Lebanon’s offense, meanwhile, kept clicking and the Warriors scored on an 11-yard pass from Allen to Kaleb Frankenburg with just 53.9 seconds left in the first half. The PAT failed, and the Green Wave deficit was 20-0.
Greenville started moving the ball down the field with a 14-yard reception by Aaron Rich. Then Guillozet moved the Wave into scoring position by evading a sack and running 41 yards down to the Lebanon 3-yard line with just 7.9 seconds left in the half. One player later Logan Eldridge caught a 3-yard touchdown pass, and the deficit was down to 20-7.
With some momentum on its side from the touchdown in the final seconds of the first half, Greenville received the ball to start the third quarter. The momentum quickly disappeared, though, when the Green Wave fumbled on the second play of the third quarter.
One play later Allen connected with Cody Brown for an 11-yard touchdown pass, and Lebanon led 27-7.
After another Greenville punt, the Lebanon offense kept going strong and scored on a 3-yard pass from Allen to Barsala to make it 34-7.
Greenville’s defense came up with a stop during Lebanon’s next offensive possession, but the Green Wave offense continued to struggle.
“Football is a team sport that has three phases: offense, defense and special teams,” Shaffer said. “Special teams and defense played as good you could expect for the first part of the game. The offense never gave it any help. Our defense was on the field too much. Offensively we’ve talked about it for two weeks, gaining consistency in our play. You don’t have to score on every drive, but you need to get a couple first downs, let the defense get rest.”
The tired Greenville defense gave up a 24-yard touchdown run to Lebanon’s Dawson Wolf in the first minute of the fourth quarter to make it a 41-7 game and start the running clock.
After Greenville turned the ball over on downs, Lebanon’s backups came in and Jordan Campbell ran 58 yards for a touchdown to make it 48-7 with 2:50 remaining in the game.
Greenville got one more chance to score late in the game, and Guillozet came through again with a 56-yard touchdown run to make it a 48-14 game.
“Clay’s going to make his plays,” Shaffer said. “He’s too good of an athlete to not. But again it is a team sport. It takes 11 guys, and Clay is just a really good one of those 11. We’ve got other guys that can do things. It’s important that we understand that we can’t be a one-man show because it just doesn’t work very well.”
For the night Greenville had 181 total yards with 64 passing yards and 117 rushing yards.
Guillozet was 9-for-22 passing for 64 yards and a touchdown. He also ran the ball 10 times for 105 yards.
Justin Brown and Bradley Mead both caught three passes, and Rich caught two. Eldridge caught one pass for a 3-yard touchdown.
Erick Madison made 11 tackles and had a sack on Friday. Jacob Bradfield also had a sack, and Karsyn Fender recovered a fumble.
Lebanon had 485 yards of offense, which included 269 passing yards and 216 rushing yards.
Allen completed 20-of-28 passes for 269 yards and five touchdowns. His top target was Cody Brown, who caught nine passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns. Barsala caught two passes for 12 yards and two touchdowns. Frankenburg had four catches for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Greenville fell to 2-2 with Friday’s loss while Lebanon improved to 2-2. After three consecutive road games, Greenville will return to Harmon Field on Friday for the first time since the season opener as it plays host to Fairmont, who is 1-3 but coming off its first win of the season in a 54-0 thrashing of West Carrollton.
“We finally get to go home,” Shaffer said. “This schedule is just a nightmare. You play one game at home and then you go on the road for three straight. It will be nice to be back home. We’ve got another good, big school coming in with Fairmont. I’m sure our kids will look forward to playing at home in front of their home fans and all that again. We’ve had two long bus rides the last couple weeks so it will definitely be nice to get back home and play at Harmon Field.”