Greenwood football coach Mike Campbell hadn’t cleaned his office since the second week of the season. Laundry that may or may not be wearable wadded up on tables. Ticket stubs and other various detritus strewn about on the floor, all of it unmoved since the temperatures were in the 80s.
He was hoping to hold off of picking anything up until after Thanksgiving, but the superstitious coach and his Woodmen ran out of magic Friday night, dropping their Class 4A semistate game at East Central by a 27-14 count.
“We’ll do it tomorrow morning,” Campbell said with a shrug and a laugh of his impending cleanup.
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The momentum appeared to be swinging Greenwood’s direction early in the fourth quarter, when senior quarterback Seth Gallman capped a 99-yard drive with a 3-yard keeper and a two-point conversion run to cut the Trojan lead to 13-8.
But East Central (11-3) responded as it seemed to in key spots all night, getting a 17-yard touchdown on third-and-16 from Logan Storie to restore its two-score edge with 6:40 remaining. After the defense picked Gallman off on a fourth-down heave moments later, Storie shot up the middle for a 56-yard TD that effectively ended Greenwood’s season.
“We came out firing,” senior defensive tackle Nick Young said. “We wanted to win, we expected to win, and we didn’t back down from anybody. That’s just a great football team, big and physical. Sometimes it just goes that way.”
A late 28-yard scoring throw from Gallman to Isaiah Drew made it a bit closer, but the Woodmen couldn’t recover the onside kick to keep its hopes alive.
Two plays aside, Greenwood’s defense was airtight in the first half.
East Central got a 32-yard run from Logan Storie on the first play from scrimmage, but Justin VanDyke recovered a fumble four plays later for the Woodmen. The Trojans got into Greenwood territory on each of its first three possessions but failed to score on any of them.
Late in the second quarter, though, the home team caught a big break when Eric Rosemeyer’s punt rolled to a stop at the Woodmen 2-yard line. A three-and-out by Greenwood gave East Central the ball with good field position, and on third down, quarterback Alex Maxwell got the Trojans on the board.
Facing pressure with all of his receivers blanketed, Maxwell rolled left and suddenly found himself with plenty of space up the sideline. He dove just inside the pylon for a 38-yard touchdown with 1:45 to go in the second quarter to give East Central a 7-0 edge.
The long runs by Storie and Maxwell accounted for 70 of East Central’s 151 first-half yards.
Storie broke another one with 5:34 left in the third quarter, scampering 43 yards for a score to stretch the lead to 13-0. Greenwood blocked the extra point, but a slip of the foot on the ensuing kickoff had the Woodmen pinned inside their own 1-yard line.
That drive ended with a score, but Greenwood just couldn’t put enough of those together to extend its season.
“We just never could get it all together,” Campbell said. “It was one of those where we certainly competed and did things we wanted to do. We just didn’t do them consistently enough.”