Hawks spoil Greenwood’s homecoming

The Greenwood Community High School football team had no counter early to Decatur Central’s decisive speed advantage.

“They out-athlete us,” Woodmen coach Mike Campbell said. “It’s hard for us to simulate in practice the speed and athleticism of the quarterback (Bryce Jefferson) and their one wingback (Tyrone Tracy). You can tell kids they’re fast and athletic, but until they see it …

“Now we’ve seen it.”

That was evident on the opening possession as Jefferson and Tracy hooked up for 67-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter. That set the tone for the Class 5A No. 6 Hawks to post a 28-0 victory, spoiling Greenwood’s homecoming in Mid-State Conference action on a rainy Friday night.

The Hawks (6-1, 4-1 Mid-State) raced to 15-0 lead after one quarter and 22-0 at halftime.

“Our kids responded well to adversity,” said Campbell, whose team’s record dropped to 4-3 and 3-1 in the Mid-State. “Once we adjusted a bit, we played pretty well. We played hard. Obviously, we’re not satisfied. We still have some things that we can build on.

“They handled us up front, but we made some adjustments. We had a nice drive going and then had a penalty and didn’t capitalize on a couple of mistakes that they made.”

The Woodmen completed just 1 of 12 passes as the game was played in a steady rain.

“(Decatur Central) loaded up the box, and we knew we were going to have to throw the ball,” Campbell said. “The rain really did hinder our passing game, and they had a nice scheme. Their defensive backs were very physical with us, grabbing and holding and slowing up our releases.

“We’re going to have to work on being more physical in our wide receiving corps.”

Senior John Gallman led the Woodmen with 71 yards on 22 carries.

For the Hawks, Jefferson, a speedy sophomore, completed 8 of 14 passes for 186 yards, including two touchdowns in the first half. He was 2 of 6 passing for 64 yards in the second half. Jefferson led the Hawks with 92 yards on 11 carries.

The Hawks grabbed an 8-0 lead early with a 67-yard catch Tracy and a two-point conversion run by Derrick Whitlock.

Hawks coach Justin Dixson said Tracy, another sophomore, left later in the first quarter for precautionary reasons but was able to return in the first half.

Decatur Central pushed the lead to 15-0 with a 16-yard scoring strike from Jefferson to Lucas Kahre in the first quarter. Whitlock’s 2-yard TD run gave the Hawks a 22-0 lead at intermission.

The Hawks got their final touchdown on a 1-yard run by Whitlock.

“I was proud of our defensive and offensive lines,” Hawks coach Justin Dixson said. “Football games are won there, and those guys are doing a good job. Give (the Woodmen) credit, they’re a good team and they have a lot of weapons. Our guys played well and executed the game plan.

“We preach style of play, and on both sides of the ball we played with the style that we expect. We definitely have guys that can run and that helps.”

Campbell said this loss will help the team prepare for the postseason.

“Again, not satisfied, but there are still things we’ll take away from this as far as being quality young men,” said Campbell, whose team plays at Franklin on Friday night “We never got chippy. We played with class and character the entire time.”

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Mark Ambrogi is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.