WHEELERSBURG — After their week-four football game versus Manchester was canceled, and they were unable to find an opponent, the Green Bobcats used their subsequent two weeks prior to Saturday’s game against Fairview (Ky.) for preparation.
Although in-game experience can go a long way in showing things a team may need improvement on, second-year Bobcats coach Chad Coffman said the additional practice time for his young team also paid dividends at the midway juncture.
Green handed the visiting Eagles a 36-21 loss in their second “home” game of the season, one that was played at nearby Ed Miller Stadium in Wheelersburg.
The Bobcats set the tone early with their physicality on defense, and when the offense began making its way into Eagle territory and making good on scoring chances, Fairview couldn’t quite keep up.
A Derek Salyers 13-yard touchdown run with 10:55 remaining in the game gave the Bobcats their largest lead at 30-7 — and all but solidified Green’s (1-3) path to its first win of the season.
“I think with how inexperienced we are, any additional time we get to practice makes us a better football team. In that sense, two weeks preparing for Saturday games certainly allowed us to be better at some things,” Coffman said. “I feel like were blocking better, tackling better, and doing a lot of things better.”
The Bobcat defense held Fairview scoreless until its first possession of the third quarter as Green entered half with a 14-0 lead.
Their defense held the Eagles to just 76 yards on the ground and only 11 first downs, two things that Coffman said helped establish the game in their favor.
“The defense, the first couple of drives, really established what the game was going to be. Our front guys were relentless. Isaiah Runyon made a few really big plays, we were able to get some pressure on them and get them a little rattled,” he said. “Even though we were a little flat on offense at the start, the defense really came out and set the tone.”
Abe McBee scored both of the Bobcats’ first-half touchdowns — the first on a two-yard run near the goal line and the second on a 13-yard pass from Salyers.
Salyers was Green’s leading rusher, carrying the ball a game-high 29 times for 152 yards and his fourth-quarter rushing score.
Landan Lodwick and Blake Smith each found the end zone in the second half, each doing so to keep Green ahead by two or more possessions.
Lodwick’s five carries totaled 81 yards as the game’s second-leading rusher.
“Derek’s been the kind of consistent guy. With a few of our guys out, we knew we were going to rely on Derek. We’ve got Abe and Landan coming back… when we were able to establish ourselves and play physical, able to establish the edge even more so,” Coffman said.
Despite two touchdowns from the Eagles in the final six-and-a-half minutes, Green’s lead was never threatened.
They totaled 16 first downs in the win and averaged 6.2 yards per play over the course of the game.
The Bobcats will head to Willow Wood on Saturday (Sept. 25) for their Southern Ohio Conference Division I opener versus Symmes Valley.
“They’re probably the best team in the league right now, along with Notre Dame who’s looking really good and Northwest who has guys back from last year. Anytime you go up to Symmes Valley it’ll be a challenge.”
Fairview: 0 0 7 15 — 21
Green: 0 14 8 14 — 36
|Yards (Pass-Rush)||303 (227-76)||353 (67-286)|
|Penalties||2 for 10 yards||6 for 35 yards|
|Time of Possession||22:29||25:31|
G — 2-yard run, Abe McBee (two-point failed); 6:35 2Q 6-0 G
G — 13-yard reception, Abe McBee from Derek Salyers (Landan Lodwick converts two-point); :56 2Q 14-0 G
F — 77-yard reception, Cody Caldwell from Tanner Johnson (#33 XP good); 11:28 3Q 14-7 G
G — 7-yard run, Landan Lodwick (Salyers to McBee two-point successful); 8:47 3Q 22-7 G
G — 13-yard run, Derek Salyers (Trevor Sparks two-point successful); 10:55 4Q 30-7 G
F — 4-yard run, Tanner Johnson (two-point failed); 6:34 4Q 30-13 G
G — 7-yard run, Blake Smith (two-point failed); 1:39 4Q 36-13
F — 9-yard run, Tanner Johnson (Johnson two-point successful); :33 4Q 36-21 G
Passing — Tanner Johnson (F) 10/19 227 yards, TD; Derek Salyers (G) 3/4 67 yards, TD
Rushing — Tanner Johnson (F) 10-29 2TD, Caden Thomas (F) 10-(-19) yards; Derek Salyers (G) 29-152 TD, Landan Lodwick (G) 5-81 TD, Abe McBee (G) 11-49 TD, Blake Smith (G) 1-7 TD, Brett Chaney (G) 3-6, Ethan Hayslip (G) 1-(-9)
Receiving — Cody Caldwell (F) 1-77 TD, Austin Miller (F) 4-99, Jeremy Harper (F) 5-51; Abe McBee (G) 3-54 TD
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved