For the Daily Journal
Friday night the Greenwood football team could claim a new nickname: spoilers.
Greenwood scored five touchdowns and played splendid defense to knock off Perry Meridian 34-7, spoiling the Falcons’ season-opener and the debut of the new Falcon Stadium.
Deafening noise in the form of screams and cowbells given out by the Falcon boosters accompanied the opening kickoff. That was drowned out later in the game by the Greenwood student body screaming, “This is our house.”
The Woodmen used three senior weapons on offense: Brandon Rosado on the ground, quarterback Seth Gallman passing and tight end Conner Battinau catching those throws.
Rosado rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown, while Gallman completed 10 of 12 passes for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Battinau caught eight of those passes for 77 yards and both scores.
It was special teams and defense, however, that were responsible for the Woodmen’s first-half scores — and all in a little over a minute.
Tim Johns got a piece of a Falcons punt that put the Woodmen in business on the Perry 44-yard line. Four plays later, Gallman hit a wide-open Battinau in the end zone for the Woodmen’s second touchdown.
Sixty-three seconds later, junior defensive back Alex Walker picked off a Brooks Davis pass and raced untouched 46 yards in the end zone. Rosado’s run on the two-point conversion made it 14-0, and that pretty much silenced the screams of the once-raucous crowd.
“Our defense bailed us out early,” said Greenwood coach Mike Campbell. “They did a great job and were physical and disciplined. I was excited to see them play.”
The Woodmen continued to roll in the second half.
Greenwood put 20 points on the board in the third quarter, as Rosado and Gallman scored on the ground and Battinau hauled in a 24-yard pass for his second touchdown.
Not to be outdone, the Woodmen defense was stellar, giving up the odd big play but keeping the Falcons from doing anything to capitalize on it.
Greenwood had two interceptions overall — the second from senior Noah Compton, who provided an entertaining runback, breaking five tackles in the process — and a recovered fumble.
More importantly, the Woodmen gave up less than 200 total yards.
Perry Meridian scored late in the game off a Woodmen turnover, spoiling the shutout, but that didn’t seem to bother Campbell.
“We knew we were going to be solid on defense, but on offense, once we figured out the tempo of the game and moved our feet, we executed well against a good team. We still need to work on some areas, but that was an excellent game for us.”
Greenwood will try and play home-opener spoiler again next week when it travels to Indian Creek in a Johnson County rivalry game.