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Lions take advantage of Greenfield turnovers

Lions take advantage of Greenfield turnovers
Lions take advantage of Greenfield turnovers | Dresden Lions, Greenfield Bulldogs, Aaron Knott,
IN TRAFFIC — With Lion defenders (from left) J.B. Capps, James Washburn and Isaac Butler trying to stop him, Greenfield junior Daniel Ricketts (right) tries to haul down a pass from quarterback Colin Medling in the final minutes of the Yellowjackets’ 35-20 loss to the host Dresden Lions on Friday night at Rotary Field. Ricketts caught five passes covering 92 yards, including a 28-yarder good for a game-tying toucdown on the final play of the first half, but it was Dresden which prevailed. The Lions converted Greenfield turnovers into points in the first meeting between the two Weakley County schools since 2002. Photo by Stephanie Sturgis

The Dresden Lions took advantage of Greenfield turnovers to hand the hard-charging Yellowjackets a 35-20 season-opening loss Friday night at Rotary Field.
In the first meeting between the two teams since 2002, the Class AA Lions earned the first career victory for their new head coach Eric Knott. The DHS win denied the same privilege to Greenfield’s first-year head coach Jason Rodehaver.
“It’s good to get our first win over with, but we got out-hustled and out-played and out-coached in the first half,” Knott said.
“Turnovers were the difference in the game. Every one led to a score for them,” Rodehaver said after his team’s loss.
Dresden (1-0) recovered a GHS fumble at the Yellowjacket 17-yard line and scored four plays later when senior Clay Adams ran 2 yards up the middle for the game’s first touchdown.
Greenfield (0-1) picked up a first down on runs by fullback Chase McMullen and QB Colin Medling, but a sack of Medling by Zach Garner and Michael Dilday eventually led to a punt.
The Yellowjackets halted the next Lion drive when Medling picked off a deep pass by DHS quarterback Austin Evans and returned it to the Dresden 25.
Greenfield capitalized with their first touchdown of the 2007 season. Setting up shop deep in Lion territory, Greenfield needed only three plays to score. The big play in the drive was a 20-yard keeper by Medling. Chase McMullen muscled over the goal line for the score on the first play of the second quarter. Senior Brett Perkins raced around the right end for the two-point conversion to give the visiting Yellowjackets an 8-7 lead with 11:57 left in the half.
The Lions used runs by Adams to move the chains twice in their next drive, but a flag and two incompletions forced a punt.
Greenfield matched the Lions’ output, moving the chains twice before Dresden’s defense stiffened. Adams and Neil Cantrell hauled Medling down for a loss of 3 yards and Tyson Wright caught Perkins behind the line for a yard loss. An incompletion on third down brought out Benjamin Woods for a 21-yard punt with no return by DHS.
Starting near midfield at their own 43, Evans made yardage out of a botched play when he picked the football off the turf and scampered 22 yards.
It was then Greenfield’s turn to deny. Lineman Chris McMullen hauled Adams down for a 1-yard loss and Perkins matched that by catching Evans behind the line for a loss. An incompletion on third down set up a 4th-and-11 at the GHS 37 with just 51 seconds left in the half.
Knott elected to let his offense go for it and Adams broke loose for a 37-yard touchdown run on a draw play. Nanney’s PAT gave Dresden a 14-8 advantage.
“I’m very proud of the way Clay ran the ball, but I was not happy at all with our offensive line. We will address that in practice this week,” the first-year Lion head coach said.
Just when the Lions thought they had a handle on things up 14-8 with 40 seconds left in the half, GHS rose up and refused to head into halftime trailing.
Medling hooked up with junior Daniel Ricketts on a post route. Ricketts hauled down the pass between two Lion defenders for a 32-yard gain to place the ball at the Dresden 28-yard line.
With 14 seconds to play in the first half, Medling tried to find Ricketts again on a route to the front corner of the end zone. Evans, also the safety for DHS, knocked the pass down to prevent the score.
With time for one more play, the Jackets went back to what got them there. Ricketts ran another post and, with time expiring, leaped between another two DHS defenders to haul down the pass in the back of the end zone. Greenfield fumbled the snap on the two-pointer, leaving the score at 14-all at halftime.
The third quarter began with a play that went from near disaster for Dresden to an all-out celebration on the Lion sideline. On first down at the DHS 20, Evans collided with his fullback, then eluded a pair of would-be tacklers before sprinting up the sideline for an 80-yard touchdown.
On the attempted PAT, Evans again turned disaster into points. As the holder on the kick, Evans bobbled the snap but recovered and threw to his tight end, Wright, for the two-pointer and a 20-14 Lion lead with just 18 seconds gone in the third.
It wasn’t a fumble or an interception, but a Greenfield mistake led directly to the next Lion success. Unable to earn a first down, the Jackets sent Woods back to punt. The snap was low and the GHS punter was swarmed under by Garner.
Dresden used a 3-yard sneak by Evans and two 5-yard runs by Adams to cover the 13 yards to paydirt. Adams scored his third touchdown of the night. Nanney’s kick was wide left, leaving the Greenfield deficit at 14 points, 28-14, with 8:24 still to play in the third quarter.
The Lions forced another GHS punt, which Woods successfully booted 36 yards.
Dresden suffered a big loss on its ensuing drive. Austin picked up 19 yards before a hit in the open field injured his knee and forced a fumble, which Ty Smithson recovered for GHS.
A Lion roughing the quarterback penalty and runs by Perkins and Medling kept the march alive. Chase McMullen eventually capped the 10-play, 66-yard drive with a 2-yard run. Perkins was stopped on the two-point try to keep Dresden’s lead at 28-20 with 4:01 left in the third.
Dresden freshman QB Dale Hutcherson and Adams at I-back helped the Lions take over five minutes off the clock before punting the ball to GHS.
On third down, Capps intercepted a Medling pass and returned it 57 yards for a TD to give the Lions breathing room. Nanney’s kick was good for a 35-20 lead with 6:48 left to play.
Greenfield put up a fight, but was unable to reach the end zone again as DHS took a 35-20 win.
“I learned we have a lot of heart. We came out vs. a double A team and didn’t back down,” Rodehaver said.
“When we got into the region, we can’t give up those types of opportunities. I was happy with the win, but disappointed with the effort,” Knott said.

Greenfield-Dresden, Stats
Greenfield 0 14 6 0 20
Dresden 7 7 14 7 35

First Quarter
Dre — Clay Adams 2 run (Dylan Nanney kick), 6:41.
Second Quarter
Gre — Chase McMullen 4 run (Brett Perkins run), 11:57.
Dre — Adams 37 run (Nanney kick), 0:40.
Gre — Daniel Ricketts 28 pass from Colin Medling (run failed), 00:00.
Third Quarter
Dre — Austin Evans 80 run (Tyson Wright pass from Evans), 11:42.
Dre — Adams 5 run (kick failed), (kick failed), 8:24.
Gre — McMullen 2 run (run failed), 0:40.
Fourth Quarter
Dre — J.B. Capps 57 interception return (Nanney kick), 6:48.
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Gre Dre
First Downs 14 10
Rushes-yards 33-91 37-263
Passing yards 103 6
Comp-Att-Int 6-22-1 1-8-1
Punts 4-31.5 2-34.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-yards 6-45 8-60
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Individual Statistics
RUSHING — Greenfield, Colin Medling 15-45, Chase McMullen 7-33, Brett Perkins 9-24, Benjamin Woods 1-(-11). Dresden, Austin Evans 11-144, Clay Adams 21-105, Jonathan Boyd 2-12, Zach Garner 1-3, Tyson Wright 1-5, Dale Hutcherson 1-(-6).
PASSING — Greenfield, Medling 6-22-1 103. Dresden, Hutcherson 1-2-0 6, Evans 0-6-1 0.
RECEIVING — Greenfield, Daniel Ricketts 5-92, McMullen 1-11. Dresden, Wright 1-6.
RECORDS — Greenfield 0-1, Dresden 1-0.
NEXT GAME — Greenfield will visit Dover to take on Stewart County, while the Lions will visit the McKenzie Rebels. Both games will kick off at 7:30 on Friday night.

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