Greenwood’s football team had been this close before. The current group of Woodmen seniors advanced to sectional championship games each of the past two seasons, only to fall short.
They weren’t to be denied Friday night. Two running backs, a quarterback and a dominant offensive line led the effort to ensure that.
Greenwood controlled the line of scrimmage, producing three rushers who gained at least 116 yards apiece and a whopping 492 yards combined. That was more than enough to overcome some early mistakes and cruise to a 59-32 win against host Mooresville for the program’s fifth sectional title.
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The championship ended a 12-year title drought for the Woodmen (10-2), who will host Mississinewa (10-2) in next Friday’s regional. The Indians edged Western 41-39 on Friday to win their sectional crown.
After falling behind 13-6, Greenwood outscored Mooresville 53-19 the rest of the way. The Pioneers (3-9) lost their first eight games of the season, including a 51-21 setback at Greenwood on Sept. 8 but rallied to win three straight to advance to Friday’s final.
“We took a step forward that we needed to take,” said Greenwood coach Mike Campbell of the program, referring to the previous two sectional title-game losses. “We’ve been there the last few years and didn’t finish the job. These seniors have done so much for the program.”
Seth Gallman completed all five of his first-half passes for 114 yards, but the Woodmen attempted only one pass the entire second half. It went for a 19-yard touchdown to Conner Battinau.
From there, Greenwood’s running game completely took over. Nick Willham did most of the damage in the second half, leading the Woodmen with 204 yards overall on just 21 carries, scoring three touchdowns. Gallman added 164 yards and three touchdowns on 20 rushes, while Brandon Rosado finished with 116 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
Greenwood rushed for 347 second-half yards, keeping the ball out of Mooresville’s hands. Woodmen linemen Andy Pollert, Zach Drew, Ethan McClain, Noah Dixon and Cole Raker made it possible, opening up huge holes and executing lead blocks all night for the Greenwood backs and Gallman.
“The guys up front played great; this was the best I’ve ever seen them play,” Gallman said. “I’m happy for the coaching staff and all of these guys. A lot of us were on those teams that lost (in the sectional final).”
Greenwood’s defense struggled to stop Mooresville’s passing game, as Pioneers quarterback Karson Goodman completed 21 of 36 for 342 yards and four touchdowns, but the Woodmen completely shut down Mooresville’s running game (4 yards). That rushing stat was lowered by four sacks, including two by Battinau.
“I felt like we had control of the line of scrimmage, so we wanted to exploit that,” Campbell said of the second-half rushing attack. “Seth was always in control, and the defense got stops when we needed them.”