GREENVILLE — Coming into the football season with a young team, Greenville coach Bart Schmitz knew there would be struggles.
But, the Green Wave showed improvement throughout the season — picking up a win in week eight before closing the season at 1-9 with a 41-13 loss to Fairborn in the homecoming game at Harmon Field.
And Schmitz was particularly pleased with this year’s senior class.
“I am really proud of those guys,” he said. “I can’t say enough about what they brought to the team. They made this a fun season to coach. They had a great work ethic.”
Fairborn, who lost just one game all season and finished 5-1, proved a strong challenge to finish the season.
But, in the end, Greenville wasn’t far from being right in the game.
“That is the story of our season,” Schmitz said. “Get in the red zone and then find some way not to score.”
Greenville missed an opportunity to get off to a fast start when Jason Byrum recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff at the Fairborn 17-yard line.
A 13-yard pass from Hayden Bush to Connor Mills set Greenville up with a first-and-goal on the Fairborn two-yard line.
But, a penalty and sack moved the ball all the way back to the 23-yard line and on fourth-and-goal, Dwight Lewis made an interception in the end zone.
Fairborn went the 80 yards in five plays, with Hunter Warner running 28 yards for the touchdown and Fairborn led 6-0.
The Skyhawks went 50 yards in fourplays on their next possession, with Lewis catching a 23-yard TD pass from Patrick Parrish.
Donovan Dierker’s kick made it 13-0.
Greenville then drove inside the Fairborn 20 again, before a fumble ended the drive.
On three consecutive plays, Bush completed passes to Alexander Baumgardner, Connor Mills and Million Bryant, before the fumble ended the drive at the Fairborn 14.
Fairborn went the 84 yards in nine plays.
Warner had a 47-yard run on the drive and Parrish threw to Lewis for a six-yard TD.
Dierker’s kick made it 20-0 with 5:02 remaining in the half.
Greenville then put together a 73-yard drive to get on the board.
Bush threw to DJ Zimmer for 36 yards on the drive and Haydyn Sharp had a 27-yard run.
Bush threw a six-yard TD pass to Baumgardner for the score and Logan Sibery’s kick cut the deficit to 20-7.
Greenville was again its own worst enemy on its next possessions after stopping Fairborn.
With 2:22 remaining in the half, the Skyhawks’ Jamison Anderson recovered a fumble at the Greenville 20 and Parrish ran for a TD from two yards out and Dierker’s kick made it 27-7.
Despite having only 29 seconds left, Greenville nearly got a late score to end the half.
Mills had an 18-yard run and Bush was tackled at the Fairborn 36 on what appeared to be the final play of the half.
A face mask moved the ball to the 21 for an untimed down, but Lewis intercepted on the final play of the half.
Fairborn added two more scores in the second half.
Parrish threw a 50-yard TD pass to Brody Monger and Dierker added the PAT kick.
Lamar Collins ran three yards for a score and Dierker’s kick made it 41-7 early in the fourth quarter.
But, Greenville would not quit.
Khale Conthnier picked up a fumble at the Fairbon 45-yard line and ran in back to the four-yard line.
Sharp ran it in on the next play, making the final score 41-13.
Sharp led Greenville with 30 yards on 11 carries, while Mills had 26 on eight carries.
Bush completed 18 of 34 passes for 225 yards.
Baumgardner caught five passes for 87 yards and Bryant added seven receptions for 53 yards.
Mills led the defense with 10 tackles.
Warner had 180 yards rushing on 18 carries for Fairborn, while Parrish completed seven of 10 passes for 123 yards.
Mumger had two catches for 62 yards and Lewis had five for 61 yards.
Munger had 10 tackles on defense, Noah Johnson added nine and Anderson had seven.
To contact Rob Kiser, please email email@example.com or call 937.569.0055.