Coach Mike Brown and his Greenway Demons have made it a habit not to lose Desert Sky region home games. That changed Friday night as the visiting Independence Patriots wrestled a 14 to 13 victory from the home standing Demons.
On their first offensive possession, the Patriots moved quickly down the field behind the running of RBs Ray Canty and Micheal Reyna and QB Cameron Douglas. Having established the run, Patriot coach Kelley Moore called for a play action pass on 2nd and 13 from the Greenway thirty-one. Douglas found Reyna up the seam for a TD completion. The PAT was blocked. Independence 6 Greenway 0.
The following Greenway possession was not short on O. On 2nd and 10 Greenway H back Richie Brockel took off from midfield for an apparent TD run only to have it called back for holding. As the drive continued, QB Nathan Hodges hit RB Kenton Thomas with a forty-yard strike on 3rd and 8. With the ball inside the fifteen yard line Thomas eventually finishes what he started on a short TD run. Greenway's PAT was no good making the score Greenway 6 Independence 6.
As the first quarter transitioned into the second quarter, Independence was again on the move threatening to score. On a big 3rd and 7 play on the Greenway nineteen QB Cameron Douglas was thrown for a loss by Demon D-lineman JD Hanley. Sitting with 4th and 14 the Patriots go for a field goal that was blocked by Greenway. Keeping the score at 6 to 6. The two teams then exchanged possessions and punts. Greenway is able to begin moving the ball and is aided by Independence when on 4th and 3 the Patriots are drawn off sides on the Buzz count. Sensing a chance to strike Coach Brown calls for a reverse and WR Dave Hoffman takes off on a big gainer. The Demons now begin to pound the ball with Brockel and Thomas to the Patriot eighteen. On 2nd and 4 QB Nathan Hodges shows some great slight of hand on play action and hits a wide open Brenin Brooks for a TD, sealing the eighty seven yard drive. PAT good Greenway 13 Independence 6.
Independence receives the ball with just over a minute left and on 2nd and 6 the athletic Cameron Douglas takes off on a scramble to the Greenway sixteen. Douglas then connects on a short pass to get the Patriots first and goal. Two plays later Micheal Reyna goes off the right side for a TD. For good measure Reyna adds the two point conversion off the option right pitch from Douglas, making the score at half Independence 14 Greenway 13.
The second half begins with promise as Micheal Reyna of Independence take the kick off with the aid of a penalty to midfield. Setting a tone for both teams the remainder of the game, the Patriot drive bogs down due to penalties. Following this formula, the third quarter is a series of penalties and punts. The highlight of the quarter takes place when Greenway's Kenton Thomas takes off from his own twenty-seven yard line reverses fields, breaks tackles turns on the jets and uses a nice stiff arm to race for a touchdown only to have it called back on a penalty.
The fourth quarter sees Greenway mounting a drive after a great circus catch by Brockel on 1st and 10. The drive slows and on 4th and 6 the Demons go for it. Nathan Hodges throws a strike to Thomas only to have the ball dropped turning it over on downs to Independence. On the following Independence drive, the Greenway D toughens up and holds. Momentum seems to be in the Demons favor as Hodges hits Nick Certo on an eighteen yard pass play. With incompletions and time running out Greenway is forced to go for it on 4th and 15. The pass play is intercepted by the Patriots Walter Peoples. Independence is able to get a first down and run out the clock making the final Independence 14 Greenway 13.
Bottom Line: This game was ugly!! Due to penalties both deserved and undeserved neither team was able to get any offensive consistency going during the game.(Remember there was no scoring in the second half) Independence now is in the drivers seat for a playoff birth from the Desert Sky region. At 2-5 Greenway will more than likely be sitting out the playoffs this year.
Game Balls: Although ugly, this game had no shortage of players. Micheal Reyna and Cameron Douglas are solid football players who rarely come off the field. Each time I have seen Douglas I feel he would make a great college safety. He is a long 6'2 has a frame that you can add weight to and has surprising quickness. For Greenway Richie Brockel does it all. He makes blocks, catches and runs. Not to mention he is a great LB. Whoever he signs with will get a versatile D1 player.