The Tiger Cubs made a trio of momentous momentum-changing plays in the third quarter and played solid defense to deliver a win for coach Eric Davis in his debut game with the program.
Monrovia entered the game as the state's No. 3-ranked team in the 2A coaches poll. The Bulldogs were 14-1 last season and lost in the state championship game. They defeated the Tiger Cubs 50-0 in the 2009 season opener.
Greencastle showed what a difference a year and a coaching change can make.
Monrovia led 6-0 at halftime. The Bulldogs had all the momentum midway through the third quarter after recovering a Greencastle fumble at the Tiger Cubs' 45-yard line. Quarterback Dalton Clements completed a 36-yard pass to Austin Sichting to put the Bulldogs at the Greencastle 15.
But two penalties pushed Monrovia back to the 35 and on second down, Clements' pass was intercepted by Keith Carr in the end zone.
Starting from their 20, on second-and-8, Tiger Cubs' quarterback Tanner Battin launched a strike to split end Keegan Remsburg, who was behind the defender and made the catch in full stride. By the time Monrovia knocked him out of bounds, the play had covered 64 yards to the Bulldogs' 14.
The Tiger Cubs scored in three plays: a 4-yard run by Battin, a 2-yard run by Trevor Teal and an 8-yard sprint around end by Mac Shuee.
Parker made the point after kick and with 2:37 left in the third, Greencastle had a 7-6 lead.
"We call it (the 64-yard pass) a fade and it just kept going," Davis said. "It really loosened them (Monrovia) up. On our next plays, were able to run our complementary plays, the companion plays off the pass."
Following the ensuing kickoff, Ryan Battin intercepted Clements and returned it 31 yards to the Monrovia 13-yard line.
The Tiger Cubs faced fourth down at the 11. Parker kicked a 29-yard field goal with 7.6 seconds left in the third quarter for a 10-6 lead.
Monrovia threatened early in the fourth quarter.
Zach Klampe burst for a 40-yard gain to the Greencastle 23. It was the last first down the Bulldogs would make in the game.
Greencastle held the Bulldogs to three yards and took over on downs with 8:34 remaining.
The Tiger Cubs were three-and-punt and the Bulldogs took over at their 45. Greencastle stopped them on four plays and took over on downs.
Greencastle's Jesse Vermillion ran for a critical first down to the 33 and it forced the Bulldogs to use up their three second-half timeouts before getting the ball back with 1:01 remaining.
Monrova, with backup quarterback Sichting in the game for the injured Clements, gained three yards on four passing plays, surrendered the ball with 24.6 seconds remaining, and all Battin had to do was take a knee and it was over.
"Our defensive staff did an amazing job and our defense was the glue that rally held us together," Davis said. "Our front seven on defense led by Codi Duncan and Levi App and Michael Lawson and Nate Secrest, I think they did a great job. Monrovia has a lot of big boys and we hoped our speed would trump their size. We matched them physically very well.
"It's exciting (winning) for the kids. They're amped up. I'm happy for them. It's their night and they should enjoy it."
M--Jaynes 25 pass from Clements (kick failed) at 4:10.
G--Shuee 8 run (Parker kick) at 2:37
G--FG Parker 29 at 0:7.6
Rushing: M--Klampe 10-79, Oliver 9-33, Dillon 3-16, McCleerey 8-16, Fairfield 2-8, Roberts 1-3, Sichting 1-0, Clements 6-(-3); G--Teal 21-37, Shuee 3-23, Vermillion 3-12, Hesler 3-9, 5-(-1).
Passing: M--Clements 2-8-2, 61, Sichting 1-5-0, 3; G--Battin 1-6-0, 64.
Receiving: M--Sichting 1-36, Jaynes 1-25, McCleerey 1-3; G--Remsburg 1-64.
First downs: M 8, G 4. Penalties: M 7-50, G 7-49. Fumbles/Lost: M 3/0, G 1/1.