GRAND RAPIDS – In a game that featured nearly 900 yards of offense it was the Northview Wildcats who ran its way to a season finale victory.
The Wildcats rushed for more than 300 yards in a 40-28 win over O-K White rival Greenville on Friday night. The win gave the Wildcats (5-4, 2-3) a slim chance at being one of the few teams with five wins to make the postseason.
“Offensively, we had a good game plan. We came in and executed well,” Zeitman said. “I thought we ran the ball extremely well. They did a good job defensively taking away our receivers early and forced us to pound the ball.”
The Yellow Jackets led 14-13 at halftime, but it was a combination of Brian Killinger and Taylor Roberts on the ground leading the Wildcats in the second half. The two combined for 206 yards and three touchdowns in the game.
“We played good offensively, but defensively we had a lot of mental breakdowns,” Greenville junior Miguel Nieto said.
Greenville started the second half with the ball and the lead. They turned the ball over on downs their first two possessions, including once inside the Northview 10-yard line.
“Defensively, we had to make some adjustments. That is a hard offense to defend,” Zeitman said. “It’s hard to replicate in practice and they do a nice job with it. That Chris Mickey is the real deal. He is a great football player.”
The Wildcats scored twice following the Greenville stops. Roberts scored both on runs of two and 52 yards to give Northview a 26-14 advantage.
“We had difficulty stopping them. They have some nice kids and their quarterback is so quick and made some nice decisions,” Greenville coach Dave Moore said.
The Yellow Jackets fumbled on their next possession – third turnover of the game – giving the Wildcats great field position at the Greenville 32-yard line.
Just over a minute later, Killinger punched in a five-yard score to put the game out of reach 33-14.
“They are an option team and you have to cover every option they have,” Moore said. “That includes the quarterback, the pitch and their receivers. If they read it correctly its tough to defend.”
Northview’s Kevin Rich caught an 18-yard touchdown in between two Mickey scores to set the final at 40-28.
Robby Meadows rushed for 101 yards and a score while going 11-for-13 with 155 yards and two touchdowns passing. Max Carpenter had 95 yards and one touchdown receiving.
Greenville’s Curtis Heppe went 15-for-23 with 237 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Jordan Powell rushed for 101 yards and Greg Krusniak caught five passes for 49 yards and a score.
The Yellow Jackets finished the year 4-5 overall and 1-4 in the league.
“Despite our record I’m real proud of the kids and how they played,” Moore said. “They are a great group of guys. They played with a lot of heart and determination all year long.”