Ram football team falls to 1-3
By SUE RIEDER
Greene County’s varsity football team held Creston to 23 points, nine points below their season average. But the Rams had difficulty scoring on the big non-district opponent and lost 23-7 at Linduska Field on Sept.19. Creston has averaged almost 400 yards of offense per game this season and came into the contest with a 2-1 record.
The Rams had a great first possession when they combined 53 rushing yards by Daric Whipple, 12 rushing yards by Dylan Hamilton, and an eleven yard pass from Whipple to Jake Carey to score a touchdown. Nick Schroeder’s kick gave Greene County a 7-0 lead with 8:07 left in the first quarter. Creston quickly responded with a seven play scoring drive covering 85 yards including a 44 yard pass play from quarterback Alex Nielsen to Seth Maitlen. Chase Schiltz ran the last 10 yards to the end zone, and the game was tied 7-7 when Conner Pals kicked the extra point with 5:44 left in the first quarter.
Later in the first quarter the Panthers had a 14 yard punt that gave Greene County excellent field position. JC Weitl had some nice four and five yard runs, and Greene County even got the help of a Creston personal foul penalty, but could not get further than the opponent’s 21 yard line where they were held on downs. The Panthers had big pass plays of 41 and 20 yards on their next possession, but their momentum was stopped deep in Ram territory when Mathew Gordon got his first career interception. Creston did a good job of stopping the run on the Rams next series, so Greene County could not capitalize on that turnover. Two minutes later, Max Neese intercepted a Panther pass, and ran it back 44 yards. The Rams followed that with an apparent 35 yard touchdown run by Dylan Hamilton, but Hamilton’s run was nullified by a holding call, and Greene County came away with no points again. Creston took a 10-7 half time lead on an astonishing Conner Pal’s 52 yard field goal that easily cleared the cross bar.
Max Neese had a nice 20 yard kick off return to start the second half, but the Rams were penalized for a block in the back and were moved back to the 12 yard line. The Rams overcame that set back when Hamilton had consecutive 35 and 15 yard runs, but a broken play resulted in a fumble and the first Ram turnover in three games. On the Panther’s next possession, a sack by Noah Juergensen put the Panthers in a difficult third and long situation, but after calling a time out, the visitors started using a wildcat formation and hurry up offense on some of their plays. A wildcat formation is when the ball is snapped directly to the running back instead going to the quarterback and then to the running back, so the play takes less time to develop. When the hurry up or no huddle offense is also employed, the pace really goes fast. These schemes are used to disrupt the defense and keep them off balance. The strategy worked, and after having success on several quick running plays, quarterback Nielsen completed a 32 yard pass play that increased the Panther lead to 17-7 with 4:41 left in the third quarter. Poor field position plagued the Rams for the rest of the third quarter, and there were eight penalties called -five on the Rams and three on the Panthers.
Down by 10 points, Greene County had still had the opportunity to score in the fourth quarter. They had good field position at the Panther’s 44 yard line, but were stopped a yard short on a fourth and eight situation. The next time they got the ball, Whipple was intercepted by Haines who took the ball back down to the 15 yard line. After what seemed like an endless sea of yellow flags on both teams, the visitors scored one more touchdown with 1:59 to go in the game, but failed to make the PAT, so the final score was 23-7.
Leading Rams rusher was Hamilton with 106 yards. This is the third game this season that the senior has rushed for more than 100 yards. Whipple was 7 for 15 passing for 47 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, the Rams collected their first two interceptions of the season and were led in tackles by Joe Doran and Keydon Pollock.
“We didn’t take advantage of the errors that they made,” said a disappointed coach Dean Lansman. Offensively we didn’t move the ball well at critical times. The team knows that we are better than what we played tonight.”
Greene County 7,
Gr. Co. 7 0 0 0 — 7
Creston 7 3 7 6 — 23
Gr. Co. Creston
Yards Rushing 203 129
Passes 15 22
Completed 7 9
Intercepted 1 2
Passing Yards 47 194
Total Yards 250 325
Punts 6 5
Average 39 31
Fumbles Lost 1 0
Rushing (yds/attempts) – Dylan Hamilton 106 on 18, Daric Whipple 65 on 11, JC Weitl 21 on 4, Riah Nelsen 8 on 5, Max Neese 3 on 1
Passing (attempts/completions/yds/Int.) – Whipple 15-7-47-1
Receiving(completions/yards) – Tyler Beger 4 for 22, Jake Carey 2 for 15, Neese 1 for10.
Total offensive yards – 250 yards
Tackles – Joe Doran (4 solo, 6 assist), Keyden Pollock (4 solo, 4 assist), Mathew Gordon (0 solo, 6 assist), Mitchell Gorsuch (0 solo, 6 assist), Neese (3 solo, 2 assist), Weitl (4 solo, 1 assist), Riah Nelsen (0 solo, 5 assist), Carey (1 solo, 3 assist), Jordan Challen (1 solo, 3 assist), Hamilton (1 solo, 3 assist)
Interceptions – Gordon (1), Neese (1)
Penalties – 7 for 72 yards
Kickoffs (attempts/yards) – Nick Schroeder-1-58
Punts (attempts/yards) – Doran 6-234
Kickoff returns – Neese 3 for 40, JC Weitl 2 for 13
Rushing – Alex Nielsen 66 on 15, Chase Schiltz 65 on 16, Conner Pals -2 on 3
Passing – (attempts/completions/Yds/Int.)- Nielsen 22-9-194-2
Receiving – (completion/yards) Christian Groumoutis 2-64, Bryce Briley 3-51, Seth Maitlen 2-50, Conner Pals 1-25, McClain Haines 1-6.
Total offensive yards – 325 yards
Tackles – Maitlen (2 solo, 14 assist), Schiltz (2 solo, 10 assist), Kaden Hulett (O solo, 8 assist), Alex Tamerius (1 solo, 7 assist), Jordan Thompson (1solo, 5 assist), Tyson Tucker (1 solo, 5 assist), Tayler Pettit (1 solo, 5 assist), Trevor Downing (1 solo, 5 assist), Cory Rathe (0 solo, 5 assist).
Interceptions – Haines (1)
Penalties – 10 for 89 yards
Kickoffs – Pals 5-265
Punts – Nielsen 5-157
Punt returns – Groumoutis 1-14, Haines 1-18
Kickoff returns – Pals 1-13