Greenville eighth-graders topped by Tri County

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 5:30 pm on Monday, October 03, 2011

Tri County’s Hunter Wiltjer, left, is about to be met at the line of scrimmage by Greenville’s Will Kronlein (82) during the two middle school teams’ game Saturday night.

GREENVILLE – Greenville Middle School’s eighth-grade football team moved the ball against Tri County Middle School Saturday, but untimely turnovers cost Greenville.
The middle school Yellow Jackets lost to the middle school Vikings 30-20 at Black Field, dropping Greenville to 1-2 on the season.

“We had a few turnovers,” Greenville coach Jeff MacMillen said. “It’s just one of those things. The kids kept driving.”

Greenville got on the board in the first quarter with a 28-yard pass from Logan MacMillen to Will Kronlein. Tri County got that back with 2:56 left in the second quarter on a 32-yard run by Johnathon Becktell. So the two teams went into halftime tied at eight.

“That’s the thing,” Jeff MacMillen said. “At Big Rapids we kept up with the scoring and won. We almost did tonight.”

Early in the third quarter Vikings quarterback Hunter Wiltjer gave Tri County a lead they never gave up on a 1-yard sneak. Greenville scored again with 3:58 left in the quarter on a Jory Jenks four-yard sweep play. However, the Jackets couldn’t convert the two-point conversion, and they trailed 16-14.

Becktell scored his second touchdown of the night with just 37 seconds left in the quarter on a 13-yard sweep play to put the Vikings up 24-14 after three quarters.

Nolan MacMillen scored on a 13-yard run to shave the deficit to four, but Tri County used a short scoring drive, capped off by a 36-yard score by Wiltjer to end the game.

Greenville had numerous opportunities, especially passing the ball. But many of the passes were incomplete, and that didn’t escape Jeff MacMillen’s notice.

“Logan’s hobbling on an ankle from last week,” he said. “That caused some of the passes to be inaccurate. But Logan did a good job.”

MacMillen gave the Vikings credit for having a good team.

“That’s the first time meeting up with Tri County,” he said. “No. 28 (Becktell) could run and get to the outside. He was the difference-maker. had we been able to tackle him it would have been a different ball game.”

The next game for the eighth-graders will be this coming Saturday at Black Field against Mount Pleasant Middle School.

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