The Diamond Wildcats defeated the Greenfield Wildcats, 20-7 Friday night on homecoming and senior night at Diamond High School.
In an interview earlier this week, Diamond coach Jimmy DuShane said, "Our line play will have a big factor in what happens."
DuShane was right. Diamond controlled the line on both sides of the football in winning the Spring River Valley Conference game.
When asked about his offense, Greenfield head coach Aaron O'Laughlin said, "We could not pick up their pressure. We've got some injuries and we're having to adjust; it's not easy but it's what we have to do."
Right from the start Diamond rushers were in the backfield pressuring the quarterback and chasing running backs before they got the handoff. The extent of injuries to the Greenfield line was evident when, before the game, O'Laughlin changed the numbers of two players, tight end Carl Mason (normally No. 40) was assigned 65 and started the game as center, and running back Lucas Millingar (normally 25) was assigned 62 for the game.
Greenfield (3-4, 3-3 SRVC) received the opening kickoff and picked up a total of 33 yards while eating about five minutes off the clock before turning the ball over on downs to Diamond on Diamond's own 19-yard line. Zach Renfro took the handoff on Diamond's first play from scrimmage and ran 81 yards for a touchdown with seven minutes left on the clock.
Greenfield was not able to get much on the next series and turned the ball over on downs. Diamond (4-3, 4-2) moved consistently toward the goal line, and with 2:44 on the clock Brodie Bien ran 18 yards on a keeper and scored. The quarter ended with Diamond on top, 12-0.
By the second quarter both teams began to settle into the game.
O'Laughlin said, "We made good adjustments to Diamond, especially in the 2nd quarter."
Greenfield tossed a wrinkle into their offense simply by the way they lined up across its offensive line. Greenfield displayed nontraditional splits across its line with some linemen lining up a full arms length between each other. While it did provide some initial confusion for the Wildcats, they soon figured out how to defense the situation.
When asked about Greenfield's wide-spread offensive stance, Coach DuShane said, "We had a talk with the players and told them to just set up where they are supposed to. Told them their area of coverage is still the same, its just the distance is a little longer than they are use to. Got them calmed down. They hadn't seen it before and it took a while before they settled down."
It wasn't until late in the third quarter that either team was able to draw blood. Bien plowed across the goal line for his second touchdown of the night putting Diamond in front, 18-0. Not to be out-done, Green field's Dalton Broiller scooped up a fumble on the ensuing kick-off, which had bounced out of the hands of both Diamond and Greenfield players, and ran 61 yards for a touchdown. Those two touchdowns took a combined 11 seconds off the clock, and Diamond still led 18-7.
Page 2 of 2 - Diamond's Clay Rolf downed a punt on Greenfield's one-yard line in the fourth quarter and the defense smelled a safety. With 2:15 on the clock, Remmi Renfro and Tanner Paradies pulled down Greenfield quarterback Brendan Black in the end zone to make it 20-7.
But Greenfield wasn't done. They kicked off to Diamond, forced a fumble and got the ball back with 2:08 left in the game at their own 33-yard line. With less than a minute left, Diamond's Kyle Williams intercepted a Greenfield pass shutting the door on another Greenfield score.
The Wildcats’ balanced attack on offense saw them have success both on the ground and through the air. Bien connected on six passes for 64 yards. Zach Renfro, meanwhile, amassed 193 yards rushing on 25 carries while Remmi Renfro had 43 on 11 tries. Bein also racked up 47 yards rushing. Evan Moreland had two catches for 31 yards.
Defensive leaders were plenty as well. Paradies, Remmi Renfro and Zach Renfro each had a sack in the game. Kyle Williams intercepted a pass while Jordan Douglas led the team with 15 tackles and Chase Drake added 11.
O'Laughlin said, "This was Brendan's first start at quarterback in two weeks, he was hurt. He played last week but not at quarterback. He seemed a little rusty for the passing game."
Diamond held Greenfield to 110 yards of total offense. The Wildcats honored seniors Drake, Nathan Worthan and Douglas on senior night.
Greenfield hosts Miller next week while Diamond travels to Lockwood.