In desperate need of a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Greenfield Yellowjackets had trouble stopping the speedy Lake County Falcons in the open field and fell 46-30 to the host team from Tiptonville in Region 7-A action Thursday night.
Haul him down — Lake County defenders haul down Yellowjacket quarterback Ty Smithson before he can reach the end zone in Greenfield’s 46-30 loss Thursday night. The loss ended any hopes Greenfield had of making the 2008 playoffs.
“The difference in the game was they had too much speed in the wide open spaces. Lots of times we were in perfect position to break down and make the tackle, but they made a cut and got away from us,” Greenfield head coach Jason Rodehaver said. “We can walk away from this with our heads held high. We laid it all on the line tonight.”
With the win, the Falcons finish second in Region 7-A and will host Fayette Academy in the first round of the playoffs.
Lake County’s speed kept the Yellowjackets grasping at thin air as the athletic Falcons often used cutbacks to elude tacklers. Using their unusual spread offense and two-quarterback system, LC piled up 310 passing yards and 242 rushing yards.
Lake County drew first blood in the high-scoring affair. With Carlos Young at QB steadily picking up ground on keepers, an 8-yard screen pass to Trevor Blythe created the score. Patrick Robertson caught the two-point pass for an 8-0 lead with 8:20 left in the first quarter.
The Jackets needed just three plays to cover 68 yards. Ty Smithson hit Daniel Ricketts on a 23-yard touchdown toss on a seam route. Ricketts also ran in the two-pointer for an 8-all tie.
The other LC signal caller, Sam Hays, led the next Falcon march. Hays hit five different receivers and completed all six attempts on the drive which ended with a 12-yard catch and run for a score by Dominic Kimble. Young ran in the two-pointer for a 16-8 lead with 3:21 to play in the opening frame.
Greenfield needed just one play to tie the game again. Chase McMullen bulled his way through the line and then ran away from the defense for a 71-yard TD romp. He also ran in the two-point play for a 16-16 tie.
A turnover gave Greenfield a chance to take the lead. On the next Falcon snap, Ricketts forced Hays to fumble and Tyler Dunning recovered for GHS at the Lake County 9.
On fourth-and-goal at the 1, Dunning ran untouched around left end for the score. Ricketts ran in the conversion play for a 22-16 Jacket lead with 49 ticks remaining in the first quarter.
Greenfield’s defense came up big again, forcing three consecutive incompletions, but Lake County faked the punt and completed a 13-yard pass for a first down at the GHS 45. Two Hays passes set up a 6-yard Kimble run over the goal line. An incompletion on the point after left the Yellowjackets ahead 24-22 with 11:34 left in the half.
Greenfield regained the mo-mentum by scoring on its next possession. On the eight-play, 51-yard drive, Smithson converted a fourth-and-5 with a pump fake to provide room for a 10-yard run. He ended the march by throwing a jump ball into the end zone. Ricketts leapt and caught the pass between a pair of defenders. Ricketts’ two-point run was stuffed leaving the GHS lead at 30-22 with eight minutes left in the half.
The Falcons fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Josh Box recovered for GHS at the LC 20.
Instead of extending the lead and grabbing the momentum, Smithson was run out of bounds on a keeper on fourth-and-goal from the 4 to end the drive leaving the halftime score at 30-22 in Greenfield’s favor.
After three plays, the Jackets were forced to punt on their first possession of the third quarter.
Lake County took advantage of its first march of the second half to score on a 10-yard Hays keeper to cap the seven-play, 65-yard drive. A Hays pass to Robertson on the two-pointer tied the score at 30-all with 7:49 left in the third frame.
Greenfield looked as if it would regain the lead using runs by McMullen to move into the red zone, but again, Smithson was stopped on a fourth-down keeper run to give LC the ball.
“Two times we weren’t able to punch it in. They stacked the box and if that play works I’m a genius, if it doesn’t I’m a goat,” Rodehaver said of the calls for Smithson to run wide.
LC took the lead on its first possession of the fourth quarter. Young did most of the damage including a two-yard TD run and a pass to Kimble for the two-pointer for a 38-30 lead with 9:14 left in the game.
Ricky Boyd picked off a Smithson pass to end the ensuing Greenfield drive.
The Falcons moved in front for the first time since early in the second quarter when Young found Kimble open behind the GHS secondary and connected with him for a 65-yard TD toss. A Young to Hays halfback pass provided the two-pointer and a 46-30 Lake County lead with 4:33 left in the game.
Needing two quick scores, Greenfield took to the air and a Smithson pass was tipped and intercepted by Robertson with 3:15 remaining.
The Falcons ran nearly two minutes off the clock before punting, and time ran out on the Jackets before they could score.
The loss was the last in a Greenfield football uniform for six seniors — Daniel Ricketts, Houston Brunmeier, Chase McMullen, Christian Robbins, Tim Dehart, Aaron Means and Steven Johnson.
“Look at the results of the work the seniors have put in. We were knocking on the door of the playoffs for the second year in a row. They will be hard to replace,” an emotional Rodehaver said.
Greenfield-Lake County, Stats
Greenfield 24 8 0 0—30
Lake County 16 6 8 16—30
LCHS — Trevor Blythe 8-yard pass from Carlos Young, (Patrick Robertson pass from Young), 8:20.
GHS — Daniel Ricketts 23-yard pass from Ty Smithson, (Ricketts run), 7:18.
LCHS — Dominic Kimble 12-yard pass from Sam Hays, (Young run), 3:21.
GHS — Chase McMullen 71-yard run, (McMullen run), 3:07.
GHS — Tyler Dunning 1-yard run, (Ricketts run), 0:49.
LCHS — Kimble 6-yard run, (pass failed), 11:34.
GHS — Ricketts 21-yard pass from Smithson, (run failed), 8:00.
LCHS — Hays 10-yard run, (Robertson pass from Hays), 7:49.
LCHS — Young 2-yard run, (Kimble pass from Young), 9:14.
LCHS — Kimble 65-yard pass from Young, (Hays pass from Young), 4:33.
First Downs 16 31
Rushes-yards 41-188 28-242
Passing yards 62 310
Comp-Att-Int 5-19-2 21-29-1
Punts 3-29.7 2-35.5
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 3-2
Penalties-yards 3-12 11-92
Rushing — Greenfield, Chase McMullen 16-134, Tyler Dunning 11-29, Dalton Potts 1-15, Daniel Ricketts 2-15, Ty Smithson 11-(-5); Lake County, Carlos Young 18-171, Ricky Boyd 4-26, Patrick Robertson 1-17, Trevor Blythe 2-11, Sam Hays 1-10, Dominic Kimble 2-7.
Passing — Greenfield, Smithson 5-17-2 — 62, Steven Johnson 0-1-0 — 0, Potts 0-1-0 — 0; Lake County, Young 8-13-1 — 158, Hays 12-15-0 — 139, Steven Connell 1-1-0 — 13.
Receiving — Greenfield, Ricketts 3-54, McMullen 2-8; Lake County, Kimble 10-184, Blythe 3-42, Robertson 3-38, Boyd 2-33, Hays 1-7, Young 2-6.
Records — Greenfield 4-6 (3-4 Region 7-A), Lake County 6-4 (5-2 Region 7-A).
Next Game — The Greenfield season ends, while Lake County will host Fayette Academy in the first round of the TSSAA Class A playoffs with play slated to start at 7 on Friday evening.