Greenfield football outlasts Mariners in shootout
Copeland, Hustlin' Hawks fly high on offense
The style of game was much different than Scott Otto thought it would be, but the Greenfield football head coach will gladly take the result.
The Hustlin' Hawks found themselves locked in a shootout Friday with St. Francis but finally prevailed 48-41 behind four touchdowns from Xavier Copeland.
"We didn't expect a 48-41 game," Otto said, "but our kids rose to the occasion. St. Francis played extremely well, the best I have seen (the Mariners) play this year."
Still, Greenfield managed to hang on and was rewarded by improving to 3-0 in the Woodland Conference East Division and remaining tied with South Milwaukee for first place.
Those two teams will clash at 7 p.m. Friday in a game with division title implications. The winner will have the advantage heading into the final two games of the conference season.
"You always want to be playing for a championship," Otto said. "We need to limit our turnovers, and defensively, we need to stop the big play."
Big plays were in abundance in the game with St. Francis.
Copeland rolled up 169 yards rushing on 14 carries for an eye-popping average of 12.1 per attempt. He scored on runs of 1, 67, 3 and 15 yards, with his latter two touchdowns coming in the fourth quarter and breaking a 34-34 tie.
Quarterback Jeremy Swider added 91 yards on the ground and completed 5 of 8 passes for 61 yards and two touchdowns.
"Jeremy had a nice game in just his ninth varsity start," Otto said. "He is getting better each week. He actually threw for three touchdowns, but one was called back. He did have an interception, but he kind of forced the issue a bit on that."
On the St. Francis side, quarterback Jake Wiedower hit a sizzling 22-of-30 in passing for 321 yards. Trevor Nord caught nine balls for 134 yards and two scores and Michael Ross eight for 99 yards.
"Wiedower was on fire and threw the ball well," Otto said.
Tyler Dorfner got the scoring started with a 5-yard run in the first quarter. The Mariners tied it at 7-7, but Copeland tallied twice to put Greenfield up 21-7.
Swider hit younger brother Mark with a 20-yard scoring pass in the second period as the Hawks took a 28-21 halftime lead.
Jeremy Swider found Josh Czerwinski with a 29-yard touchdown pass in the third, but the Mariners tallied twice to tie it at 34-34 heading into the fourth period.
Copeland scored twice more to build a 48-34 advantage, then Greenfield held on from there.
The game clearly did not feature much defense, but Joey Badora totaled 12 tackles and an interception and Weston Strasser six tackles.
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