GREENVILLE – Trailing Sidney 14-13, Greenville rallied with 1:46 remaining in Miami Valley League play on Friday with a Tyler Beyke to John Butsch 23-yard touchdown pass to re-take the lead and return the Little Brown Jug to GHS with a 19-14 senior night win at Greenville’s Miami Valley Hospital North Stadium at Harmon Field.
“We had a lot of success this year and we have been though a lot,” said first year head Greenville coach Bart Schmitz. “That final drive when we had to go win a game, they did exactly what they were coached to do and it’s unreal…unreal…unreal.”
“It’s why I do this,” Schmitz, a member of a Versailles state championship football team added. “I said it when I got the job – I said I wanted the kids to have the same experiences that I had.”
The Greenville win marked the first Green Wave victory over the Yellow Jackets since 2015 giving the team possession of the Little Brown Jug for the next 365 days to go along with Greenville’s first winning season in 11 years.
“I told the senior the other day I had a goal and I had a vision of where I wanted this program to go,” Schmitz said. “The seniors laid the foundation and that foundation is awfully strong right now. I would go up against anybody and I would go to war with these kids any day of the week. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
The game for the Jug was the final regular season game for both teams with the Sidney Yellow Jackets finishing with a 3-7 mark while Greenville completes the season with a winning 7-3 record.
Greenville took the opening kickoff and was quickly forced to punt going three-and-out setting the Yellow Jackets up with a first-and-10 from the Greenville 43-yard line.
The Jackets took advantage of a Cedric Johnson to Lathan Jones 43-yard touchdown pass on the team’s first offensive play of the night to put six points and the board and take a 7-0 lead at 10:20 in the first quarter with Hallie Truesdale making good on her PAT kick.
Greenville answered with a 69-yard 7-play drive to get on the board at 2:41 in the first. Facing second-and-18, a 55-yard touchdown strike from the GHS senior combo of Beyke to Butsch followed with four year senior placekicker Ethan Flanery splitting the uprights out of the hold of Beyke to tie the game a 7-7.
Greenville would get its second score of the first half with a Beyke 8-yard quarterback keeper around the right side outracing the Jackets to the end zone with 1:07 showing on the second quarter clock. A blocked extra point attempt and solid GHS defense over the final minute of first half play sent the teams to the break with Greenville holding a 13-7 lead.
The teams played scoreless for the first 18-minutes of the second half before the Yellow Jackets drove 90-yards in 12-plays to score on a halfback pass from running back E.J. Davis to receiver Lathan Jones with 3:36 left in the game. With the PAT kick good, Sidney took a 1-point 14-13 lead.
“We tried to change the mindset when I got here – you expect to win,” noted Schmitz. “You don’t hope to win, you expect to win.”
Unfazed, Greenville marched 65-yards down the field scoring on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Beyke to Butsch – a leaping catch Butsch would make while falling on his back just inches inbounds with 1:46 left.
In what proved to be the winning drive, the march ate up 1:50 on the game clock with Greenville using 7-plays to complete the comeback drive and return the Little Brown Jug to the Greenville Senior High trophy case.
Coach Schmitz took time to thank his wife and three children, his father, Dave Schmitz and the entire Greenville coaching staff.
“I couldn’t ask for a better wife, late hours, she never lets me get to high and never lets me get too low,” Schmitz said. “The support, always my biggest fan. My wife, my three kids, they don’t get to see me a whole lot in football season but they love it.”
“I got to coach four years with my dad (Dave Schmitz) at Lehman and obviously I played for him (Versailles),” said Schmitz. “He brought a tremendous knowledge to this team and I just couldn’t be happier that he was able to come and coach with me.”
“Defensive coordinator (Adam Eberwein) stuck with me and he coached his tail off like we all did,” Schmitz said. “I am really happy with my coaching staff. Hopefully we stick together for a long time.”
The seniors would make one final victory lap around the field before heading back to the team locker room.
Greenville had 286 yards of offense, 163 rushing and 123 passing while Sidney had 257 offensive yards, 190 rushing and 67 passing. Beyke complete 8-of-14 passes with two TDs, both to John Butsch.
Tony Sells finished with 40-rushing yards on 10-carries, Butsch 37-yards on 4-attempts, Marcus Wood 6-carries for 29-yards and Connor Mills 3-carries for 24-yards.
Butsch had 2-catches for 78-yards with both going for touchdowns. Wood 4-receptions for 25-yards and Alec Fletcher 2-catches for 20-yards.
Butsch led Greenville with 7-tackles including a sack, Brennen Siefring and Mills accounted for 6-tackles and Haydn Sharp 5.
Greenville had the ball for 27:29 and Sidney 20:31 while first downs mirrored the score; Sidney 14, Greenville 19.
Contact Darke County Media Sports Editor Gaylen Blosser at email@example.com or 937-548-3330