Greenfield - After losing its season opener two weeks ago to Waukesha North, Greenfield's football team grabbed its first victory of the 2011 season Friday night by upsetting highly-touted Pewaukee in the opening game of the Woodland Conference, 9-7.
Pewaukee, the winningest team in the Woodland the last three years, had all kinds of trouble moving the ball on the visiting Hustlin' Hawks. The Pirates did not score an offensive touchdown in the game and finished with just 107 total yards.
"This is a very big win for us," said second-year Greenfield coach Scott Otto. "Pewaukee has one of the best programs in the conference, and we have a lot of respect for them. Greendale, New Berlin Eisenhower and Pewaukee have been the top teams in the conference for a long time.
"To come in here and get the win is a credit to our kids. They're working hard and our goal is to move forward from here and try and get better with each game. This feels pretty good right now."
Playing it safe(ty)
With the score deadlocked at 7-7 after three quarters, the Greenfield defense delivered the play of the game with 3 minutes, 40 seconds left to play.
Pewaukee, with the ball at its own 13-yard line, was facing a third-and-17 situation when the Hawks put pressure on quarterback Brock Bateman as he dropped back to pass.
Bateman kept retreating and finally was tackled in the end zone for the safety and the game-winning points. On that play, Greenfield's Trevor Holmes and Kyle Sobocinski ended up finishing the tackle on Bateman.
Greenfield took a 7-0 lead at halftime, scoring in the second period on a 1-yard run by senior quarterback Tyler Laverdure. That run capped a six-play, 59-yard drive by the Hawks.
The biggest play of the drive was a 28-yard pass from Laverdure to junior end Reggie Blakely. Laverdure, who finished with 108 yards rushing for the night, also had a 15-yard run in that scoring march.
That lead looked like it would hold up the rest of the night the way the Greenfield defense was playing. Led by big efforts from Yazan Rizeq, Sobocinski, Tavarus Hart, Holmes, Trent McClanahan and Charles Sloan, Greenfield allowed Pewaukee into its territory just twice in eight possessions for the game.
However, the PHS defense came up with a big play of its own in the third quarter to stun the Hawks.
Greenfield kicker Alex Bosl attempted a 39-yard field goal with 6:49 left in the period, but Pewaukee linebacker Austin Schroeder broke through the middle of the line and blocked the kick. Josh Berg of the Pirates scooped up the loose ball and returned it 46 yards for the game-tying touchdown.
From there, the Greenfield defense took over. The Pirates managed just one first down on their final three possessions. Defensive back Travis Hyatt delivered a big play for the winners by recovering a fumble with 9:15 left in the game.
After the safety, Greenfield ran off the final 3:35 to clinch the game. The Hawks got two big first downs on that final possession.
"We have tremendous respect for the Pewaukee program, so to win a close game on their field is a great accomplishment for us," Otto said. "The goal of our program is to get to the level that Pewaukee's at. This is a good step forward for us."
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