Tiger Cubs overpower Monrovia with air attack
MONROVIA -- The Greencastle football squad took to the road to face the Monrovia Bulldogs Friday night. It also unveiled a new-look offense, which helped the Tiger Cubs stroll away with a dominating 54-6 win over the Bulldogs.
"I'm extremely happy," head coach Josh Buis said following the win. "This is something our kids and community have deserved for a long and it just shows that hard work pays off. Our kids have been working extremely hard, like I said before, in the weight room. All of them have been coming in; our coaching staff has been working tirelessly.
"Our community helped us raise $20,000 this year and I'm just extremely happy we were able to put a good product on the field tonight and hopefully they feel they got what they paid for," he added.
In the only West Central Conference match-up of week one, Greencastle wasted little time announcing its presence in the WCC and showing that a power shift in the conference might be shaping up.
Just four plays into the game, Greencastle struck gold as Nick Gilliam found Ryan Battin in stride down the sideline for a 43-yard score with 10:15 on the clock.
Two plays later for the Bulldogs, Greencastle's defense showed they could score just as easy as its offense had. Hayden Stuckwisch jumped the receiver to snag an interception and raced 23-yards to give Greencastle it's second score of the night and open the floodgates.
Greencastle added four more touchdowns in the first half with Gilliam and Battin hooking up for a score, with Gilliam and Mac Shuee hooking up on a fourth-and-15. Gilliam and Derrick Lenihan had a rushing touchdown each for the other two scores.
On its first possession of the second half, Greencastle drove 63 yards in five plays, including a 50-yard hook-up between Gilliam and Shuee. Lenihan scored from five yards out to put Greencastle up 47-0.
The Tiger Cubs' final score of the night has perhaps its most impressive. With Monrovia a mere six yards from the endzone, Stuckwisch once again jumped in front of the receiver and raced down the sideline for a 99-yard interception return. That made the score 54-0 in favor of the Tiger Cubs.
Greencastle's stout defense held the Bulldogs scoreless in the first half, but Monrovia scrapped their game plan and began passing the ball. The Bulldogs were driving down the field when the referee blew his whistle and signaled that lightning had been spotted.
The action ceased for an hour lightning delay, but once the teams returned to the field, Monrovia scored its only touchdown of the night, bringing the score to its final tally of 54-6.
On the night, Gilliam was 5-of-13 for 157 yards three touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 24 yards and a score. Lenihan was the Tiger Cubs' leading rusher with 12 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
On defense, Stuckwisch had three interceptions, to of which he returned for touchdowns.
"Hayden had an extremely good game tonight. He was on his game. From our defensive schemes, coach (John) Perkins did a great job with the gameplan. Coach Perkins got Monrovia out of what they want to do," Buis said.
He said instead of running as Monrovia normally does, they were putting receivers out and passing the ball. He explained that getting a team out of its gameplan is usually a recipe for success.
"Anytime you can get an offense out of their gameplan and get an offense out of rhythm, you're going to have some success," Buis said. "It's a testament to coach Perkins and the defensive staff did a great job with that.
"Also it's just a testament to the relentlessness that our defense had. We pursue to the ball. It's the most important thing on the field at that time and those guys understand we cannot win unless we get the ball. Tonight I felt we had 11 heartbeats and 11 sets of eyes working together. I was extremely pleased with how our guys pursued to the football," Buis said.
Asked about how the emotions from such a big win would carry over to week two, Buis said it's all about getting back to work.
"I can assure you our guys are going to be pretty sky high tomorrow, but my job as the head football coach is bring them down to earth," Buis said. "We'll let them enjoy tonight, but like I've said before, tomorrow we've got to get back to work and start putting money in the bank.
"Game planning for West Vigo doesn't start Monday -- it doesn't start Sunday. So we'll let them enjoy tonight, but we have to start putting more money in our account starting tomorrow morning, so we have a good nest egg to spend next Friday," he added.
Greencastle will host West Vigo at 7 p.m. Friday.
Greencastle 21 20 6 7 -- 54
Monrovia 0 0 0 6 -- 6
GHS -- Gilliam 43 yard pass to Battin, kick good 10:15
GHS -- Stuckwisch 23 yard interception return, kick failed
GHS -- Gilliam 15 yard pass to Battin, 2-pt. good
GHS -- Gilliam 19 yard pass to Shuee, kick failed 2:43
GHS -- Gilliam 5 yard run, conversion failed 51.9
GHS -- Lenihan 3 yard run, kick failed 7:10
GHS -- Stuckwisch 99-yard interception return, kick good 11:46
M -- Clements 2 yard pass to Bower, kick blocked 5:28
Passing -- Gilliam 5-13-3-1 157 yards 3 TDs, INT
Rushing -- Lenihan 12-124, 2 TDs, Christy 7-38, Gilliam 4-24, TD, Shuee 1-8
Receiving -- Shuee 2-69, TD, Battin 2-58, TD, Hutcheson 1-30