St. Francis out-hustles Hawks
Greenfield grounds out plenty of yardage, but falls short
Two very clear statements were made early Friday night in St. Francis when the visiting Greenfield Hustlin' Hawks came to play.
Both teams were going to run and neither team was going to hide.
St. Francis used 28 points in the first quarter to defeat Greenfield 45-28, with the teams combining for 610 rushing yards and just about as many hard hits.
The Mariners scored first on a 68-yard, nine-play opening drive, capped by a 2-yard Keyon Lawson touchdown run. Lawson, a senior, carried the ball 31 times for 131 yards and three touchdowns.
Greenfield answered just minutes later when senior quarterback Tyler Laverdure rushed for a 14-yard score of his own. Laverdure would also account for three touchdowns in the game, two on the ground and one passing, but with the score tied 7-7 it was the Mariners turn to answer.
The very next play from scrimmage after Greenfield tied that game, senior Mike McGeary broke free on a 52-yard touchdown run to put the Mariners back in front.
"You can't do those things," Greenfield coach Scott Otto said. "We come down and score and they come down and score one play later."
One play from scrimmage after that, St. Francis senior McClain Lyles stripped the ball away and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown. That was followed up by a recovered on-side kick, which led to Lawson's second touchdown and a 28-7 Mariners lead after one quarter.
"We get the ball back and they tear it out of our hands and run it in for a touchdown," Otto said. "Those are things we just can't have happen and then they recover an onside kick.
"Right now for us when it rains it pours."
Attempting to weather the storm, the Hawks finished the first half with a lengthy nine-play drive, resulting in a second Laverdure touchdown and a 31-14 halftime score.
Greenfield attacked at the start of the second half. Laverdure connected with sophomore Brayden Campagna for a 57-yard touchdownpass play.
The lead was just 10 points with 10:28 remaining in the third quarter, but that would be as close as the Hawks were to get.
"It kind of snowballs on us and then we regroup," Otto said. "I give our kids credit for regrouping and I take responsibility as a coach."
"I will never blame these kids. They are doing what I tell them to do. We just have to get better and have to improve."
Senior Damion Whittaker joined the rushing onslaught for St. Francis, gaining 161 yards on just 11 carries.
Greenfield senior Jason Katrichis led the Hawks with 120 yards rushing, including a 51-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The loss drops Greenfield to 0-3 this year, while St. Francis moves to 2-1. Friday night also marked the 14th straight loss for Greenfield, a streak that dates back to October 2008. The Hawks will try again to snap that streak next week against South Milwaukee in Greenfield.
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