GREENVILLE — Both the Greenville Yellow Jackets and West Catholic Falcons came into Friday’s game fighting for its playoff lives.
Unfortunately, only one team could win. And unfortunately, for the Yellow Jackets, it wasn’t them.
West Catholic — which struggled to a 1-4 season start — found its offensive momentum and defensive power in a 49-19 O-K Bronze win over the Yellow Jackets at Legacy Field.
“We have a good group of kids. We have been waiting all year to get things going,” West Catholic coach Dan Rohn said. “But it’s just one football game and hopefully we are healthy and can get back to work on Monday.”
Both teams moved the ball offensively and for a while in the first half it looked like an offensive shootout was in the making.
West Catholic (2-4, 1-1) rushed for 421 yards and Greenville 403 yards, but it was the Falcons finding the end zone more often.
“We have some good athletes and our offensive line definitely opened up some holes tonight,” Rohn said. “We’ve been waiting for this, but it doesn’t mean we have turned the corner. We still have a lot of work to do.”
West Catholic’s Andy Corey opened the scoring on the final play of the first quarter with a two-yard run for a 7-0 lead. Greenville quickly answered with a 61-yard touchdown run by Eric Plate on their next drive to tie the game.
Corey gave the Falcons a 14-7 lead with a one-yard run with 9:10 left in the second quarter, but Greenville again responded, this time with a 58-yard run by Carter Stephens. A blocked extra point left West Catholic with a 14-13 lead.
“We moved the ball offensively. I felt pretty good about that after our first two scores,” Greenville coach Dave Moore said, “We felt pretty good being able to match them after their first two scores.”
West Catholic closed out the first half with touchdowns sandwiching a Greenville punt.
Lasavian Majewski scored on a 79-yard run and Drake Wooten caught an eight-yard touchdown catch for a 28-13 halftime advantage.
“They are a good team and they really did a great job on the line of scrimmage,” Moore said. “That was really the difference.”
West Catholic scored on its first three possessions — two in the third quarter and once in the fourth quarter — in the second half to blow the game open 49-13.
Greenville only had three possessions in the second half as the Falcons held control of the ball. In all, West Catholic possessed the ball for more than 30 minutes.
“They kept moving the ball four or five yards at a time,” Moore said. “It was tough to get the ball back. When they are ahead it’s tough to come back.”
Greenville’s Kyle O’Connor scored on a 73-yard touchdown run midway through the fourth quarter for their final score.
While the Yellow Jackets moved the ball, they just couldn’t finish drives with scores.
“We made some adjustments. It’s hard to simulate what they (Greenville) do in practice,” Rohn said. “It’s difficult. I don’t care who you are or what you do, what they run is difficult to simulate in practice. We moved some kids around, but once we did we were able to shut them down a little bit.”
Corey rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns, while Majewski rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Travis Russell was 12-for-13 for 191 yards and three touchdowns. Wooten caught six passes for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
Plate led Greenville with 132 yards, while Stephens finished with 123 yards.
The loss dropped Greenville to 2-4 overall (2-0 in league).
Greenville will face Forest Hills Northern on Friday at Fifth Third Ballpark. Tickets will be available at the Greenville High School athletic office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.