PHOTO BY SABASTIAN NEECE•WWW.GREENWOODDOGPOUND.COM
Austin Garnes fights to stay on his feet while three Wampus Cats attempt to drag him to the ground.
PHOTO BY SABASTIAN NEECE•WWW.GREENWOODDOGPOUND.COM
Kevin Jones kicks his second game winning field goal in as many weeks. It was his third in the fourth quarter of Greenwood’s 23-21 victory over Conway.
Greenwood liked last week’s thrilling win so much they decided to do it again this week.
One week after he hit a last-second field goal to beat Southside, Greenwood’s Kevin Jones booted a 24-yard field goal with 2.3 seconds left to lift the Bulldogs to a 23-21 win against Conway.
“I guess we decided to do another version of it,” Greenwood head coach Rick Jones said. “After the last two weeks, we need to take a deep breath.”
Greenwood (9-0, 6-0 7A/6A-Central) clinched at least a share of the conference title for the second consecutive year after moving up to 6A. The Bulldogs more importantly clinched the top seed in the 6A playoffs and will be at home throughout the postseason. Plus they won their 47th consecutive game.
Down 21-20, the Bulldogs took over at their own 20 with 3:37 left following a missed 52-yard field goal by Conway.
Greenwood methodically and efficiently used 17 plays to set up the game-winning kick. Greenwood converted a pair of fourth-downs in the drive and a third-down try.
Quarterback Jabe Burgess hit Ryan Padilla on fourth-and-8 to the 31 to start the drive. Burgess converted another fourth down with a 9-yard pass to Grant Morgan on fourth-and-5 to Greenwood’s 45.
“They’re so big and strong, I did not want to give them the ball back,” Jones said. “I thought at that time I didn’t like our odds of going fourth-and-long close to our own zone, but I didn’t like the odds of punting it to them either. That was great execution. Jabe was so solid and so calm and poised in the pocket.”
After an incomplete pass, Burgess and Padilla hooked up again for consecutive plays of 11 and eight yards to Conway’s 36. Austin Garnes then converted on third down with a 5-yard gain to Conway’s 30. Garnes carried for six yards to Conway’s 24 with 36 seconds left. Burgess rolled right and hit Morgan, who made a leaping catch over a Conway defender, for a gainof 13 with 29 seconds left. Cameron Palmer carried for four yards to center the game-winning kick.
“We didn’t finish,” Conway head coach Clint Ashcraft said. “We just have to get our heads up and keep working.”
The field goal was Jones’ third in the fourth quarter. Two plays into the final quarter, Jones kicked a 41-yard field goal after the Bulldogs dropped a touchdown pass. That cut Conway’s lead to 21-17 with 11:06 left.
“Our offense could not get completely untracked,” Jones said. “We settled for field goals when we really needed touchdowns. Offensively, we struggled. They gave us fits. That’s a really fast defense. We had trouble getting open and we had trouble blocking the guys up front. It was a challenge.”
Conway (7-2, 5-1) picked up three first downs, but Greenwood’s Jordan Green forced a fumble and Justin Koch recovered with 9:09 left.
Burgess completed a 39-yard pass to Padilla, who made a sliding catch at the sideline. But Greenwood’s drive stalled after a sack and Jones punched through a 35-yard field goal with 7:40 left.
Again, Conway picked up three first downs and drove into Greenwood territory to the Bulldog’s 29. Conway set up for a 47-yard field goal, but had to settle for a 52-yard attempt after a delay of game. The kick by Matt Cummins, who has kicked two field goals of longer than 50 yards in his career, was short.
Greenwood managed just 64 yards of offense in the first half compared to 203 by Conway. Taylor Hasley’s 65-yard kickoff return to Conway’s 28, after the Wampus Cats opened the game with an eight-play touchdown drive, gave Greenwood a short field. The Bulldogs capitalized four plays later on Burgess’ 15-yard pass to Morgan across the middle.
Greenwood managed little else in the half and punted four times.
Conway took a 14-7 halftime lead on Breylin Smith’s 40-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-1 to Sidney Moore with 2:36 left in the half.
Greenwood tied the game on the opening drive of the second half on Burgess’ 18-yard touchdown pass to Morgan.
Conway took a 21-14 lead after it recovered a Greenwood fumble. The Wampus Cats needed just five plays to score on Smith’s 12-yard pass to Arbnor Prevulkaj with 6:17 left in the third quarter.
Burgess finished 24-of-36 for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Padilla had 11 catches for 114 yards. Greenwood finished with 297 total yards.
Bruising running back Kevin Chamorro had 26 carries for 173 yards for Conway.
SUMMARY — Greenwood kicked a game-winning field goal for the second consecutive week to increase its winning streak to 47 straight games.
TURNING POINT — Greenwood’s defense allowed just one touchdown and 120 yards in the second half when the Bulldogs rallied.
STAT — Kevin Jones kicked field goals on three straight possessions, culminated with a 24-yard field goal with 2.3 seconds left.
High School Football
Greenwood 23, Conway 21
Greenwood 7 0 7 9 — 23
Conway 7 7 7 0 — 21
Con – Chamorro 3 run (Cummins kick), 8:41
Gwd – Morgan 15 pass from Burgess (Jones kick), 7:38
Con – Moore 40 pass from Smith (Cummins kick), 2:36
Gwd – Morgan 18 pass from Burgess (Jones kick), 10:17
Con – Prevulkaj 12 pass from Smith (Cummins kick), 6:17
Gwd – FG Jones 41, 11:06
Gwd – FG Jones 35, 7:40
Gwd – FG Jones 24, 0:02.3
First downs 20 18
Rushes-yards 32-54 44-227
Passing 243 106
Comp-Att-Int 24-36-1 8-16-1
Punts 4-33.0 3-33.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-Yards 6-45 3-15
RUSHING — Greenwood, Garnes 14-50, Palmer 7-34, Hasley 1-1, Burgess 9-(minus-29). Conway, Chamorro 26-173, K.Johnson 11-64, Moore 1-6, McCoy 1-4, Smith 4-(minus-8), team 1-(minus-12).
PASSING — Greenwood, Burgess 24-36-1 245. Conway, Smith 8-16-1 106
RECEIVING — Greenwood, Padilla 11-117, Morgan 5-61, Collins 3-22, Jones 2-27, Garnes 2-10, Rhea 1-8. Conway, Moore 6-87, Prevulkaj 1-12, Mitchell 1-7.
MISSED FIELD GOALS — Conway, Cummins 52.
INTERCEPTIONS — Green 1, Conway 1