XENIA – The Xenia Buccaneers were clearly the better team on Friday night. But Greenville had some opportunities that could have kept the score closer that they tossed away with mental mistakes. The final score was 35-0. But the Wave had three trips to the red zone and came away with nothing to show for their efforts each time.
Xenia mainly used a double wing offensive set and they featured the triple option. With a bigger offensive line, they were able to control the line of scrimmage and keep the Wave defense on their heels. They did mix in the occasional pass, but the offense was definitely run oriented. Greenville used its spread offense and was able to both run and pass. But they had a tough time running a consistent drive. Either penalties or turnovers or a tough Bucc defense turned them away.
But Greenville had its first chance to score on a misfire by Xenia just before halftime. On a snap for a punt, the ball sailed over the punters head. The ball ended up at the 9-yard line of Xenia where the Greenville offense took over. But they were unable to push the ball into the end zone. On fourth and 7 Coach Aaron Shaffer could have elected for a field goal, but they received the ball in the second half so a touchdown now and a scoring drive to start the third quarter and suddenly it could have been a 14-20 game. Keep that momentum going and anything can happen so it was a gamble worth taking. As it was, the team threw a pass that was batted in the air on fourth down and bounced out of the hands of a receiver.
Greenville’s next chance came at the start of the second half. The team put together a nice drive. They utilized Landon Eldridge with the run and mixed in the pass to steadily move the ball down the field. It was a clock eating drive that used up a good part of the third quarter. But after planting the ball on the 2-yard line, the team went steadily backwards. Penalties pushed them back and in no time it was fourth and 12. They failed to convert and the Buccs made another TD on their next drive.
One last time Greenville moved the ball inside the 20 late in the third quarter. Di’Maurye Ewing caught a pass from Tyler Beyke and got the ball to the 12 of Xenia. He got leg cramps and had to come out of the game. But on the next play Greenville got penalized again and moved back 15 yards and soon they were facing fourth and long. So yes the Buccs were better, but Greenville could have made the score a bit closer by eliminating mental mistakes inside the red zone.
“We were sluggish out of the gate,” Shaffer said. “That’s my responsibility to get these kids to come out and be ready to play. It’s a long, hot bus ride – but that’s no excuse. We have to come out of the locker room ready to play. We do have some great kids – they have passion and energy. We have to battle through the tough moments in a game. We can’t let little things get at us – we have to continue to work and grow. We have to continue to get better, that is the name of the game here.”
After being on the road the past two games, Greenville (2-2) will host West Carrollton next Friday.