For the first time since Week 5, Ethan Bradds’ knee wasn’t sore following a high school football game. His right forearm, though, was still smarting following Friday night’s Division V, Region 18 playoff game.
Bradds blocked Milton-Union’s extra-point attempt with 2:14 left in the fourth quarter, helping preserve Greeneview’s 35-34 road victory.
“It didn’t feel good, but it felt good at the same time,” the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Bradds said of the ball bruising his forearm. “Nobody really blocked me. We drill that every day. Tonight I took one for the team and it was worth it.”
Even with the blocked extra point, the fifth-seeded Rams (8-3) needed one final stop to beat the No. 4 Bulldogs (6-5).
Facing fourth-and-2 near midfield, Greeneview punted and pinned Milton on its own 4-yard line with 1:09 to play. The Bulldogs threw a pass down the sideline but Greeneview’s Harrison Gallagher broke up what could have been a long, if not scoring, gain.
A couple of runs by Milton quarterback Blake Smith moved the Bulldogs to its own 44 with 20 seconds left. That’s when Gallagher sealed the win with an interception near midfield.
“Just what I’ve been preparing for,” Gallagher said. “We go through practice every day working on it and experience kind of took over.”
The Bulldogs, who trailed by 21 early in the third quarter, pulled within a point with 2:14 left in the game when Blake Smith hit Keaton Lucous in the corner of the end zone for a 13-yard TD pass.
Greeneview worked time off the clock but couldn’t get a game-clinching first down. That’s when the Rams punted and pinned the Bulldogs on their own 4.
“Give them a lot of credit. They could have rolled over but they kept battling,” Greeneview coach Neal Kasner said.
Greeneview led 28-14 at the half behind its powerful rushing attack. Quarterback Collin Matt rushed for three first-half touchdowns (13, 1, 23 yards) and Jacob Green added another score (9 yards) barely two minutes into the game.
Logan Test led the Rams with 168 yards and a TD on 18 carries. Matt added 73 yards and threw for another 76 yards and a TD.
Greeneview gained 341 yards, including 256 on the ground.
It was the first playoff road win for Greeneview. The Rams qualified for the postseason for the first time in 2014 and won their playoff debut.
“I don’t mean for this to sound like an excuse, but you’re talking about a football team that returned three starters,” Kasner said. “And one was hurt for half the year. I’m so proud of these young men.”
The game was delayed with 9.4 seconds in the third quarter when junior Austin Roberts was injured on a kickoff. Roberts remained face down on the field for about 10 minutes as medical crews checked him. Roberts gave a thumb’s up to the crowd as he was carted off on a stretcher.
“Losing Austin Roberts, he’s not a flashy stats guy but he’s one of those pillars,” Kasner said. “He’s a fullback, he’s our lead blocker, he catches the ball in the flat. We’re thin so it limited us a little bit.”
Greeneview plays top-seeded Brookville at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The neutral site will be announced by the Ohio High School Athletic Association this afternoon.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.