Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

November 6, 2012

First title at home means extra for Pirates

Nick Gonnella
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — After the Greensburg football team’s 27-19 Sectional 22 Championship win over Indian Creek Friday, Pirate head coach Scott Moore observed something that had never taken place at Greensburg.

The Shriver Field crowd had just witnessed the Pirate gridders claim its second sectional crown, and its first on its home turf. When the final whistle blew, Moore watched something just as satisfying as his team matching the school’s record for wins.

“We were just trying to win the game,” he said. “After the postgame handshakes, I saw the student section run on to the field and the parents run onto the field. It was just an amazing feeling to see the students and fans come onto the field. A great feeling for the kids to see, because they worked so hard for what they’ve done. That’s something we’ll never forget.”

The Pirates improve to 10-2 overall, while the Braves end their season at 9-3.

“They were great,” said Moore, adding that the first title was clinched outside Decatur County. “The crowd certainly did not disappoint with their enthusiasm. It came down to the last play of the game before it was decided, and it was certainly worth their money to stay the whole game.”

Greensburg advances to the Regional Tournament against Indianapolis Bishop Chatard Friday at Lawrence North High School.

“This can't be the pinnacle,” said Moore. “We know that Bishop Chatard is the team. Don't take anything away from Indian Creek, because they are solid.”

The Pirate offense and defense both powered the Pirates past Creek in the second half. Elliott Green and Ryan Martin, two seniors who have anchored the Pirate backfield all season, helped swing the momentum.

Junior quarterback Andy Meadows started the scoring to answer Creek’s early 6-0 lead. He scored from the 4 to cap a 78-yard drive and put the Pirates up 7-6 until the 6:50 mark of the second quarter. The Braves went ahead on a 21-yard touchdown pass, and Greensburg trailed 13-7 at the half.

Moore said Greensburg maintained its composure and made adjustments at halftime.

“The key was to not panic and to know what we were doing, and to just go out and do it,” he said. “We missed some opportunities in the first half to get some points up on the board. If we stayed the course, the opportunities would be there. The guys did a good job of executing.”

Senior Derek Chambers scored from the Creek 2 early in the third quarter, knotting it at 13-all. Earlier in the drive, Meadows connected with senior Justin Dance for a key 28-yard gain on a third down. Green later added a 37-yard run inside the Creek 10 to sustain the drive.

A Brave fumble on the kickoff – which Moore called the game’s turning point - and an interception by senior Jack Eberhardt, allowed the offense to go to work. Green broke free for 32 yards to paydirt, and senior Riley Billieu made it 20-13 to end the third quarter.

Creek answered back, but the Pirates stayed ahead 20-19 on a missed PAT. Green lifted his team up by eight points with a 1-yard burst with 5:10 left. The drive chewed up 50 yards in six minutes and capped a 20-6 second-half scoring edge.

Green (129 yards) and Martin (111) each rushed for more than 100 yards, while Meadows led an offense that gained more than 350 total yards.

The Pirates tightened up on defense in the final 24 minutes. Junior Brad Wilson tallied a quarterback sack to help stop Creek's final possession, which resulted in a turnover on downs.

Moore said the defense would need to make the difference against a team that scored more than 30 points a game.

“We knew our defense would have to step up and play,” he said. “If we could hold them under 20, we’d give ourselves a good chance to win. Our defense won us that championship, especially on that last drive of the game. As much as Creek throws the ball, we knew we were going to get some turnovers. For the most part, they really couldn’t run the ball against us, and we were able tighten up on the pass coverage and pass rush. That’s been our story all year long.”

Moore credited his coaching staff afterward for guiding the squad to a school-record 10 wins. The 2006 team finished the season with a 10-2 mark, but did not win a sectional.

“Our coaches do a great job,” said Moore. “They coach their positions. They coach the absolute best they can do . It shows because we’re a pretty fundamentally sound team. Without them, we don’t win 10 games this year. They do a great job and they work well with the kids.”

Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.