With the excitement level escalated and the win-or-go-home pressure, the Ohio high school football playoffs can be an eye-opening experience for players.
Greeneview’s first-round game at Milton-Union won’t phase Brad Davis. He’s already experienced both emotions — terror and triumph — in one play.
It came during his first and only career touchdown catch in Week 10.
“They were huge,” the Rams’ tight end said of his eyes as the pass from quarterback Collin Matt sped toward him. “It was probably the scariest and one of the greatest moments of my life all at the same time.
“I was open enough for Collin to sling a dime right into my hands and I finished it. That was awesome. That was probably the best experience this year, so far.”
A playoff win could top it.
Greeneview (7-3) travels to Milton-Union (6-4) at 7:30 p.m. today in the Division V, Region 18 playoffs. Greeneview is seeded No. 5 and Milton is No. 4.
The Rams, making their second straight playoff appearance and second overall, won their postseason debut in 2014. That gives them a shot of playoff confidence in their return trip.
“It sparked us. It’s something Greeneview never has really experienced,” Davis said. “Last year was two games. Why not this year be three or four games? I think we can deliver. We all want to go to Week 12. I think we have the heart and desire to do it. I’m not trying to brag but we have the talent to do it.”
Greeneview’s senior class is five players strong but has provided a huge impact.
Logan Test’s 1,448 yards rushing are a Rams’ single-season record. He also has 24 touchdowns. Greeneview coach Neal Kasner calls two-way lineman Caleb Green the team’s best player. Wide receiver and defensive back Harrison Gallagher has shined after waiting his turn for playing time. Defensive back Will Harding, who transferred in from Centerville last season, has shown steady improvement as a newcomer.
And then there’s Davis. He played his first three seasons as a two-way lineman. He moved to linebacker his senior year to fill a need and won the job. He then moved to tight end after standout Ethan Bradds was injured.
“Brad putting the team first … it’s helped this football team wins games,” Kasner said. “He’s not an all-state football player. He’s a tough kid who plays hard and he puts the team first. Those kids don’t get recognized often.
“He stepped right in at tight end and has given us great effort there. Now he’s in a situation where he doesn’t leave the field. It’s been his unselfishness that’s been good for us.”
Davis has also excelled on special teams — Kasner calls him a “special-teams demon” — and rarely comes off the field. That’s fine with him.
“It’s a different kind of mentality for me,” Davis said of special teams. “It’s let’s see who can get down there quickest and see who can get the hardest hit. There’s something about that I enjoy.”
Just like catching touchdowns.