The Greenwood Community High School football team got the better of Decatur Central in the second half Friday night.
Unfortunately for the Woodmen, that was too late.
The host Hawks grabbed a 28-0 halftime lead en route to a 28-14 victory in Mid-State Conference action. Decatur Central improved to 6-1 and 5-0 in the Mid-State.
“We had opportunities to do things offensively early, and we didn’t execute, and we didn’t capitalize,” said Greenwood coach Mike Campbell, whose team’s record fell to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the league. “When you are playing against a team with the number of athletes they’ve got, if you don’t execute early and take good fortune when it presents itself, you’re going to put yourself in a hole.”
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Campbell was encouraged by the second-half showing.
“Our kids battled hard; there’s no fault in our effort,” Campbell said. “We’re going to keep coaching consistency. We were much more consistent in the second half and we’re going to keep getting better.”
The Woodmen finally got on the board with a 10-yard TD pass from Seth Gallman to Dylan Rosado with 6:50 left in the third quarter.
Gallman and Rosado then hooked up for 49-yard TD pass with 11:37 left in the fourth quarter to cut the lead in half. However, the Woodmen couldn’t mount another sustained drive.
“Our defense was exceptional the second half,” Campbell said. “It wasn’t a lot of schematic changes. Our kids played with a lot of heart. Down 28-0, a lot of teams want to fold up the tent and go home. Our kids want to go play football.”
Greenwood’s opening drive stalled, ending with a missed 39-yard field goal.
Hawks running back Calvin Thomas scored the first 14 points. Thomas scored on a 74-yard TD run with 4:38 left in the first quarter (the PAT was blocked), and he followed that by scoring on a 45-yard TD and catching the two-point conversion pass with 1:17 left in the first half.
Derrick Whitlock’s 5-yard TD run and quarterback Bryce Jefferson’s conversion run pushed the Hawks’ cushion to 22-0 in the second quarter.
A promising Greenwood drive late in the first half was snuffed out in dramatic fashion when Hawks cornerback Gary Wright intercepted Gallman’s pass and ran it in 82 yards for the TD. The PAT run failed.
“They jumped the coverage on us, and their kid made a great play on the ball and took it the other way and scored,” Campbell said. “Credit to their kids making a good play and adjustment.”
A good portion of the first half was played under heavy rain.
Jefferson gained 121 yards on 15 carries for the Hawks. Thomas added 125 on five carries.
Junior running back Brandon Rosado led the Woodmen with 104 yards on 14 carries.
“I thought we got better (Friday night),” Campbell said. “The outcome wasn’t what we wanted or expect, but I know we can build on what we did, especially in the second half.”