After the Greeneview High School football team took a 3-0 lead on its opening possession at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, the Eagles returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown — and never looked back.
The sixth-seeded Rams fell to third-seeded CHCA 47-24 in a Division V, Region 20 playoff game Friday night in Cincinnati.
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“It’s a tough loss,” Rams coach Ryan Haines said. “It’s not the way you want to end the season. The one thing I told the kids is that it kind of leaves that bitter taste in your mouth and we can use that as motivation.”
Greeneview finished its season 10-1, winning the Ohio Heritage Conference South Division title and earning its second undefeated regular season in school history and its first since 1996. The Rams will bring back about 30 players next season, he said. It was the Rams’ fourth straight playoff appearance.
“We’ve done a lot of great things this year and we want to continue to build on that and come back in next year’s playoffs and be ready to go again,” Haines said.
Rams QB Nick Clevenger scored on a 6-yard run to give the Rams a 10-6 lead with six minutes remaining in the first half, but the Eagles would score 27 straight points to take a 33-10 lead in the third quarter.
“Our kids played hard, but when we needed to execute in key situations and get them off the field defensively, we weren’t able to do that tonight,” Haines said. “It’s a tip of the cap to them and their execution.”
Clevenger went 11-for-19 for 128 yards and a TD through the air and rushed for 91 yards and two scores on the ground. Ian Tamplin also had a TD reception, while Clay Payton added a touchdown on the ground.
Eagles QB Danny Vanatsky went 21-for-25 for 303 yards and three scores for CHCA (8-2), which advanced to face Middletown Madison in the D-V regional semifinals on Nov. 10 at a site to be determined.
Spencerville shuts out Mechanicsburg
Sixth-seeded Mechanicsburg struggled offensively for the first time this season against third-seeded Spencerville in a Division VI, Region 24 playoff game.
The Indians entered the game averaging 30.6, but fell 34-0 to the Bearcats (8-2). Host Spencerville tallied 355 yards of total offense, while the Indians were held to just 68 yards.
“We got beat by a better team, plain and simple,” Mechanicsburg coach Kurt Forrest said. “They’re a really big, physical team up front and they were able to control the line of scrimmage. They’re very disciplined and they deserved to win.”
Mechanicsburg finished 8-3, making its fifth consecutive trip to the postseason.
“Our kids played as hard as humanly possible,” Forrest said. “They fought their tails off to keep it close in the first half. In this region, all your flaws are going to get exposed starting in Week 11. We got as far as our kids hearts would take them and I’m very proud of them.”
Joey Mascadri led the Indians with 47 yards rushing. Mechanicsburg trailed 13-0 at the half, but the Bearcats pulled away in the second half.
No one expected the Indians to be standing on the field in the postseason, Forrest said.
“Our kids found a way to get there and battled adversity all year,” he said. “I’m very, very proud of them. They’re a special group that’s going to be remembered for a long time.”