SPENCER -- Most teams would have folded.
Already trailing 13-0 at the half, the Greencastle football team allowed an 88-yard return to Owen Valley's Evan White to open the second half. At 21-0, they could have given up. No one would have blamed them.
Instead, the Tiger Cubs chose to make it a game. GHS scored on its next two drives and made Owen Valley sweat twice more before falling 21-14 to the Patriots.
"The one thing I'm proud of is the kids didn't hang it up. We came back and got two nice scores, made some big plays, did some good things," Tiger Cub coach Mike Meyer said. "It's just unfortunate right now we're not where we all want to be."
On the first scoring drive, Greencastle (1-8, 1-5 WCC) found the elusive mix it had searched for all night. They mixed the bruising running of Jesse Vermillion with the athletic ability of wideouts Keegan Remsburg and Jordan Hickam along the sideline.
Remsburg capped off the nine-play 49-yard drive with a two-yard pass from Tanner Battin. Kyle Parker's PAT made it 21-7.
Then Parker caught the Patriots snoozing with an onside kick he pursued and covered perfectly on his own. GHS was back in business at the Patriot 46.
This time, Remsburg broke a bubble screen on a fourth-and-two that he took 38 yards to the house. Another Parker kick and it was 21-14 OV.
Remsburg finished the night with an impressive 142 yards on eight catches. Battin was 14-for-23 for 142 yards, two scores and three picks. Ford picked up 85 yards on 19 rushes.
Unfortunately, that was it for the evening's scoring. Battin threw his third interception of the night to end the next drive.
On the Tiger Cubs' only drive of the final quarter, they looked good, marching 54 yards on 12 plays. However, the offense stalled in Patriot territory and the threat ended with a turnover on downs at the 35.
The Patriots (3-6, 1-5 WIC) ran out the clock on runs by Jonathan Herschberger, who ran for a game-high 106 yards on 20 attempts.
"I'm proud of the kids. We came back and played in the second half," Meyer said. "I wish I could say it was perfect, but we missed some opportunities and did some things we shouldn't have done.
"The kids played hard and that's all we can ask out of them," he added
It was Tiger Cub errors early that put Owen Valley in its good position. Jarrod Gilstrap jumped a Battin pass on the first drive and returned it to the Tiger Cub 8. Three plays later, Hersberger scored.
On the next OV drive, the GHS defense had QB Brennan Tarrence all but sacked on a fourth-and-eight, when he found Tony Drescher for a 20-yard TD.
"We threw an interception early and blew a coverage that gave them two scores right off the bat. We can't do that," Meyer said. "Then we come back and we give them a special teams score."
Meyer and his team will look to clean up those mistakes and put together a more consistent attack for next week's sectional opener.
"We've got Tri-West at our place next week. Hopefully we can put together four quarters and finish on a good note," Meyer said.
At Owen Valley
|Greencastle||0 0 14 0 -- 14|
|Owen Valley||13 0 8 0 -- 21|
OV -- Hershberger 1-yd. run (Gilstrap kick good) 9:36
OV -- Drescher 20-yd. pass from Tarrence (Gilstrap kick failed) 0:46
OV -- White 88-yd. kickoff return (Herschberger run good) 11:43
GHS -- Remsburg 2-yd. pass from Battin (Parker kick good) 6:06
GHS -- Remsburg 38-yd. pass from Battin (Parker kick good) 4:03
Greencastle (1-8, 1-5 WCC):
Rushing (28 rushes, 94 yards) -- Ford 19-85, Hickam 6-6, Battin 3-(-2), Remsburg 1-6
Passing (14-23, 182 yards, 3 INT, 2 TD) -- Battin 14-23, 182 yds., 3 INT, 2 TD
Receiving (14 catches, 182 yards) -- Remsburg 8-142, Hickam 6-40
Owen Valley (3-6, 1-5 WIC):
Rushing (29 rushes, 127 yards) -- Herschberger 20-106, Tarrence 4-11, Shedd 4-11, Turley 1-3
Passing (3-7, 38 yards, 0 INT, 1 TD) -- Tarrence 3-7, 38 yds., 0 INT, 1 TD
Next game -- Greencastle opens sectional action at 7 p.m. Friday when it hosts Tri-West (4-5, 3-4 Sagamore).