CAMDEN — Greenville quarterback Clay Guillozet ran for two long touchdowns and the Green Wave defense stepped up for three huge defensive stands to hand Preble Shawnee its first loss of the season on Friday, Sept. 11, 42-22.
Guillozet finished with touchdown runs of 81 and 47 yards as Greenville used a dominating second half rushing performance to close the game.
With steady rain coming down, the teams traded punts on the first four offensive possessions of the game.
It was Preble Shawnee’s second punt of the game, from deep in its own territory, which gave the Green Wave the ball on the Arrows’ 30-yard line to set up the game’s first score.
Guillozet found Bradley Mead for a reception after a quick swing pass, to set the Green Wave up with a first and goal before Codi Byrd ran the ball in from a few yards out to capitalize on the good field position.
The PAT was missed, but Greenville led 6-0 with 3:29 left in the first quarter.
The Arrows answered on their next drive after quarterback Joby Williams pump faked the defense and found receiver Trey Smith from 33-yards out for his first of two touchdown catches of the game.
Early in the second, Preble Shawnee led 7-6.
The Green Wave, however, quickly gained their momentum back after a long sustained drive on its next possession resulted in Byrd finding the end zone for the second time. This time it was from three yards out. After a two point conversion from Guillozet to Eldrige, Greenville regained the lead, 14-7.
Shawnee used a few scrambles from Williams to get into the red zone, but it was Greenville’s defense which had the advantage over the Arrows in the red zone all night.
The Wave held the Arrow offense on fourth down, when the Arrows went for it.
The defensive stand in the red zone set up Guillozet, who broke off an 81-yard run a few plays later giving his team a 21-7 lead with 4:14 left in the half.
The Arrows, however, had their own answer before halftime.
Williams threw a jump ball to Smith, who won the battle and hauled in a 43-yard touchdown catch to give the Arrows momentum going into halftime, despite trailing 21-14.
The rain continued at the start of the second half, which saw Shawnee drive back into the Green Wave defensive red zone. This time the Arrows gave the ball back after a turnover on downs at Greenville’s 14-yard line. Back-to-back times the Arrows entered the red zone only to come away without any points.
Greenville punted and Shawnee began to drive again before stalling out and facing fourth down just outside the red zone. Once again, the Green Wave defense stepped up and forced a third turnover on downs on the night.
This time Guillozet put the game away for good after a 47-yard scamper late in the third quarter doubled the lead to 14.
Greenville added to the lead after the defense forced a three and out.
Eldrige scored from 12 yards out, giving the Green Wave a 35-14 lead with 10 seconds left in the third.
The teams traded touchdowns in the fourth, but Shawnee never really threatened to get back into the game.
Despite the loss, Arrow quarterback Joby Williams went 18-for-40 for 284 yards with two touchdowns. He also ran for 133 yards on 19 carries and added a touchdown. Trey Smith had 12 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns.
Preble Shawnee out-gained Greenville by a total of 500 yards to 471 yards, but Greenville ran for 410 yards on 55 attempts, controlling the clock when it mattered the most.
Preble Shawnee head coach Matt Hopkins said he felt his team was outplayed at times, out-coached at times and said “that’s on me.”
Hopkins, however, still believes this team has a chance to be special if they will embrace the challenge of being a winning team.
“It’s like I told these guys, we’re almost like we’re scared to be good. We see that as coaches and it’s so frustrating — they have potential to be a great team, probably the best that has ever come through here, but they are just so afraid because they are not used to feeling that or knowing how to handle that,” Hopkins said.
The Arrows will need to embrace the challenge as it opens SWBL play.
Preble Shawnee (2-1) will travel to Madison (1-2) for its first SWBL game of the season on Friday, Sept. 18.
Reach Austin at 937-683-4062 or on Twitter @aschmidt_RH.