GREENVILLE – The Green Wave Junior Varsity football team defeated the visiting Vandalia-Butler JV squad 20-12 in comeback fashion in a pouring rain to cap a successful 2019 season.
The JV victory gave Greenville a weekend sweep of Butler with Friday night’s 17-13 win over the Aviators to assure the varsity program its first winning season in the past 11 seasons.
“The kids did an awesome job – they literally got better every week,” said Greenville JV coach Nathan Stuchell. “When you have a lot of freshmen playing and young kids playing, that is what you are looking for.”
Butler marched down the field gobbling up huge chunks of turf to score just two minutes into the Saturday morning MVL contest with Myles Cantrell tossing a touchdown pass to Evan Able grabbing a 6-0 first quarter lead with 8:00 showing in on the clock.
“Football is all about adjustments so you figure out what they are trying to do that morning or that night,” Stuchell said of the Butler opening scoring drive. “You make little changes to stop that and see how they adjust and you adjust again.”
The Wave defense stepped up and stuffed an Aviators conversion attempt keeping the score at 6-0 with Greenville setting up offensive play at their own 35-yard line.
Greenville got on the board at 2:05 in the first quarter with Hayden Bush connecting with Alex Baumgardner for a Wave touchdown pass. The Wave’s 2-point conversion failed with the teams closing out first quarter play tied 6-6.
“Hayden Bush did a heck of a job – really gets us excited there,” Stuchell stated. “He led the team, and in this rain. We were still able to throw the ball and make some big plays – that was nice to see.”
Butler’s Eric Daniel scooped up a Greenville fumble and raced into the end zone giving the visitors a 12-6 advantage with 7:02 on the first half clock. Once again, the Wave JV defense stopped the Aviators’ 2-point conversion attempt.
The Green Wave took advantage of a Bush to Dominic Baker touchdown strike to even the score at 12-12 with 3:34 in second period play where the score would stand with the teams heading to the halftime break.
Greenville got its first lead of the day at 2:34 in the third period with Ryan Crampton scoring on a 2-yard yard touchdown run good for an 18-12 Wave lead. The Wave offensive line created an opening for Hayden Bush to score on quarterback keeper 2-point conversion giving the Greenville JV squad a 20-12 lead that would hold up for the final score of the game.
“We controlled the second half the whole time, defensively and offensively,” said Coach Stuchell. “That’s a great sign.”
“There are a lot of great things to look forward to see,” Coach Stuchell said of the many 2019 junior varsity players that will step up to varsity for the 2020 season. “We are excited to finish out this year right.”