GREENVILLE – For a while the Greenville Yellow Jackets were poised to close out play at Black Field with an upset over a state ranked rival.
Unfortunately, the Lowell Red Arrows played much better in the second half than they did in the first and defeated the Yellow Jackets 35-7.
“I think our kids made some critical mistakes in the first half,” Lowell coach Noel Dean said. “I was very proud of the way they played in the second half.”
Friday was the final varsity football game to be played at Black Field, which has been home to Greenville football for more than 75 years.
The Greenville defense played spectacular in the first half, holding the Red Arrows to just seven points. Greenville forced Lowell to punt twice and turn the ball over on downs twice in their first four possessions.
“That is the best half we played all year long, by far,” Greenville coach Dave Moore said. “We played so well. I was so proud of them with the way they played.”
The Yellow Jackets scored early in the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown run by Zach Hoover to make the score 7-0.
Lowell had the benefit of great field position in the first half and used it to their favor on its first touchdown.
The Red Arrows scored their lone first half touchdown with no time left on the clock. Quarterback Gabe Dean hit receiver Blake Lyman for a 26-yard score.
“Certainly, they showed some poise going in and tying the game right at halftime,” Dean said.
The drive began on the Yellow Jackets’ 36-yard line and lasted just 31 seconds.
“The second quarter was all about field position. They had it and we didn’t,” Moore said. “We were back on our heels there a little bit. That hurt. I thought we were in great position to make a play and they came up a big play.”
The Lowell defense took over in the second half and forced two Greenville fumbles. Greenville punted four times in addition to the two fumbles in the second half.
“I’m really proud of our defense. They do a nice job and our coaches have organized things real well,” Dean said. “They are a nice group of kids and they are still learning. We are still starting nine underclassman. We are working to get better and trying to improve each week.”
The first fumble gave Lowell the ball at the Yellow Jackets’ 29-yard line. Dean capped the drive with what turned out to be the game winning touchdown to make the score 14-7.
Dean scored once more while Joshua Addington ran two touchdowns in for the 35-7 win.
“You can’t run the ball over against good teams,” Moore said. “If you do that, good teams will make you pay and they did.”
Curtis Heppe led Greenville in rushing with 12 carries for 31 yards. He was 5-for-11 passing for 66 yards.
Heppe said the team was fired up for the last game at Black Field.
“It fired us up having all these people out here,” he said. “It was a great game. It was fun and we just played football.”
Chris Mickey had three catches for 37 yards while Greg Krusniak had two catches for 29 yards for Greenville.
Dean rushed for 84 yards on 26 carries. He was 10-for-19 passing for 169 yards Addington had a game-high 89 yards rushing.
Lowell improved to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the O-K White. Greenville fell to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in the league.
The Yellow Jackets will close out the regular season with a trip to face Northview on Friday.