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Defense getting better

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After allowing 105 points in its first three games, Greenwood’s defense wanted to show its talents in Friday’s football home-opener against Mid-State Conference rival Mooresville.

Mission accomplished.

The Woodmen shut out the Pioneers for the first 43 minutes, allowing just two touchdowns against mostly second-teamers after they already had built a 33-0 lead. The Greenwood defense produced six sacks, two interceptions and a fumble while allowing just

19 rushing yards en route to a 33-13 victory.

Mooresville (0-4 overall, 0-2 Mid-State) passed for 288 yards, with quarterback Cody Cannon completing 22 of 33 passes, but more than half of those yards came in the fourth quarter after Greenwood built its 33-0 lead.

The Woodmen, meanwhile, didn’t even need a third-down conversion on any of their three first-half touchdown drives and gained 302 yards on the ground.

“This week, practice has gone better,” said junior defensive lineman Paul Proctor, whose three sacks of Cannon helped keep Mooresville’s passing attack at bay early in the game. “We worked all week on getting to the ball and going hard, and that came through in the game.”

Michael Lyons added two sacks for Greenwood, while Marty Wituszynski and Austin Montgomery combined for another.

Wituszynski also intercepted a pass that stifled Mooresville’s best scoring threat in the first three quarters. The Pioneers had the ball in a first-and-goal situation at the Greenwood 10-yard line, but Wituszysnki picked off a Cannon pass at the 5 and returned it to the Mooresville 36 with 2:08 remaining in the third quarter.

“It’s been tough being road warriors, but it was nice to get that first home game,” Wituszynski said, referring to Greenwood playing its first three games on the road. “Our linemen bounced guys out to me throughout the game, and I was able to bring them down.”

Offensively, the Woodmen’s rushing attack controlled the game. Sophomore John Gallman led Greenwood with 122 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Tanner Skeel added 97 yards on just five carries and two touchdowns.

Montgomery scored Greenwood’s other touchdown and rushed for 48 yards on five carries. Those three combined to average 8.1 yards per carry.

“The lines got off the football well tonight,” Greenwood coach Mike Campbell said. “We had a rough game last week (a 35-14 loss at Class 5A No. 3 Martinsville), but we had a couple of grinders in practice this week. Our backs ran hard, they got great blocks up front and we were more physical.”

The Woodmen defeated Mooresville for the fourth straight time and improved to 2-2 overall, 1-1 in Mid-State play. They return to action next Friday at conference rival Plainfield.

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