GREENVILLE – The Green Wave defeated the visiting Eaton Eagles 13-6 to open the 2019 OHSAA football season in front of a large home crowd.
“I’m happy for our boys on this football team because they deserve it,” said Greenville first year head coach Bart Schmitz. “They’re the ones that put in all the hard work and I am just happy that they got to come out here and get rewarded for all their hard work.”
Eaton won the opening toss and elected to have Greenville receive the opening kickoff only to have the decision go in the Wave’s favor with Marcus Wood making an over the shoulder catch at the Greenville 11 and returning the kick to the Eagles 13-yard line setting up the game’s first score.
Facing a third and 14, Greenville senior quarterback Tyler Beyke scrambled for a 10-yard carry setting up a fourth and four for the Wave.
Beyke hit Wave senior John Butsch with a seven yard strike at 10:41 in the opening period good for touchdown followed with Ethan Flanery spitting the uprights out of the hold of Beyke to give the hone team an early 7-0 lead.
The Eagles moved the ball 50-yards in five plays to the Wave’s 3-yard line on their second possession of the night. Looking at a first and goal from the three, DJ Zimmer and Tony Sells teamed up to throw the Eagles Dawson Blaylock for a 2-yard loss on a quarterback keeper. Bradly Winn next broke up a pass from Blaylock to Trevor Long setting up a third and goal from the five.
With Blaylock back to throw, Tony Sells and Haydn Sharp sacked the Eagles quarterback for a 3-yard loss setting up a failed Eaton Eagles field goal attempt keeping the Wave’s 7-0 lead intact where the score would stand after one period of play.
An Eaton roughing the kicker penalty at the Greenville 32 gave the home team a new set of second quarter downs. A visitor’s face mask penalty moved the ball to the Eaton 41-yard marker. Facing a fourth and six at the 7-yard line, Coach Schmidt called on his senior place kicker with Flanery drilling the 24-yard field goal moving the Wave out to a 10-0 advantage on a 73-yard 18-play drive.
Eaton battle back on an 80-yard 10-play drive using up 4:09 on the clock with Jarod Lee carrying 14-yards for a touchdown to make it a 10-6 game. With the Eagle’s PAT kick missing the mark, the teams would head to the halftime locker s with the Green Wave holding a slim 10-6 advantage.
“Give Eaton all the credit in the world,” Schmitz said. “They will hit you and they will keep hitting you. I give their coaching staff and their kids a lot of credit. They’re a nice ball club and they’re going to win some games this year.”
Second half play was a defensive battle between the schools with Greenville getting the lone score of the second half, a third period 30-yard Flanery field goal at 2:03 giving Greenville a 13-6 lead.
The Greenville team played sound disciplined football the entire game while saving their finest defensive stand of the night for Eaton’s final set of downs.
“Discipline, accountability, doing things the right way,” Schmitz stated. “We didn’t beat ourselves and those little things – everybody laughs at you and everybody doesn’t believe you, but those little things won us a ballgame tonight.”
Eaton took one final possession of the night beginning at their own 34-yard line only to have Terry Miller sack Blaylock for a 17-yard loss on a first down play, an incomplete pass setting up a third down 9-yard sack by the Wave’s Colton McCartney and Sharp making a fourth and 36 to bring a timeout from the Eagles’ bench.
A fourth down Eagle’s desperation passed missed the mark giving the Wave a win but not before Green Wave QB, Tyler Beyke would take two ‘kneel downs’ to run out the clock.
“This is as big a team win as I’ve seen in a while,” Coach Schmitz said following the game. “Our kids fought through it and they continued to play. The kids didn’t complain, they did exactly what they were told to do and our coaching staff did a great job of getting them ready to play. The kids executed and that’s all that matters.”
The win gives Coach Bart Schmitz his first win as an OHSAA football coach, and making it extra special…his father, Dave Schmitz a long time assistant coach under the legendary Al Hetrick filling a role as a 2019 assistant Green Wave football coach.
“What an exciting game,” Coach Schmitz concluded, “that’s all you can say.”
On paper, the game was played very even with the exception of time of possession. Greenville owned the football for 45:46 while Eaton was limited to 21:59 on the offensive end of the field.
Greenville rushed for 86-yards on 37-carries to Eaton’s 59-yards rushing on 26-carries.
Through the air, Beyke completed 12 of 19 passes for 91 yards and no interceptions. Eaton passing was good on 12 of 25 tosses for 95-yards and an 1interception.
Greenville led in kickoff returns with 2 for 80-yards with the big gain coming on the opening kickoff with a Marcus Wood 76-yard return.
Tony Sells led the Wave with 77-yards on 20-carries, Connor Mills 8-yards on 2-carries, Tyler Beyke 9-carries for 6-yards and John Butsch 1-carry for 3-yards.
Marcus Wood had 5-receptions for 46-yards, Alec Fletcher 2-catches for 20-yards, Sharp 2-recepions for 14-yards, Mills 2-catches for 4-yards and Butsch a 7-yard catch.
Greenville’s Mills had the lone interception of the night.
Greenville sacks included: Terry Miller one for 17-yards, Sharp two for 8-yards, McCartney one for 5-yards, Flanery two for 4-yards and Sells two for a total of 3-yards.
On the defensive side, Wood had 6-unassisted tackles, Sells 4-unassisted and 4-assists, Mills with 2-unassisted and 2-assists, Flanery 2-unassisted and 1-assists, Bradley Wynn 2-unassisted, Brennen Siefring with 2-unassisted, Miller 2-unassisted, Fletcher with 2-unassisted, Butsch 1-unassited and 2-assits, DJ Zimmer 1-unassisted and 1-assist, McCartney 1-unassisted and 1-assist, and Sharp with 4-assisted tackles.
Flanery had 5-punts for 177 yards, good for a 35.4-yard average.
Greenville takes its 1-0 record on the road next Friday, September 7 with a 7 p.m. start time against the much imporved Stebbins Indians; 19-0 Friday night winners over Greenview.
Contact Sports Editor Gaylen Blosser at email@example.com or (937) 853-6390-Ext. 1751. Read more news, features and sports a DarkeCountyMedia.com.