Greeneview quarterback Collin Matt wasn’t afraid he would throw the same mistake twice. Not when his team needed to break a second-half tie and not with an experienced offensive line to help him.
Matt dropped back, his linemen blocked the West Liberty-Salem defenders just long enough and he completed a screen pass over the middle to Jacob Green. There were more blockers in front of Green and he took the ball 14 yards for a touchdown.
The tie was broken and the Rams were on their way to a 27-14 Ohio Heritage Conference victory Friday night.
In the first quarter, the Rams (4-1, 2-0) ran the same play in the other end of the field and Matt underthrew it. Tigers lineman Trevor Burden intercepted and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown for a 13-6 lead.
“The first time everyone else did what they were supposed to do and I held the ball too long, so it was my fault,” Matt said. “The next time we had awesome timing, awesome spacing, our line did a great job of selling, the fullback did a good job of finding space and it just worked that time.”
Matt, a second-year starter, also rushed for a 46-yard touchdown to tie the score at 13 late in the first half. He rushed for 73 yards on 10 carries and passed for 52 yards, completing 4 of 8. Green rushed 11 times for 66 yards and six Rams carried the ball.
“We work together so well and our offensive line is just so strong,” Matt said. “I feel safe back there. And that’s what you need as a quarterback.”
The Rams added a late score after David Vanhorn returned an interception to the Tigers’ 4. The defense did not allow any points and held the Tigers to 136 yards of offense.
“They did a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage,” Tigers coach Dan McGill said. “It didn’t seem to matter if we were going inside or outside, they seemed to be in the right spot. So hats off to them.”
The Tigers (2-3, 1-1) took a 13-6 lead five minutes into the game on an 85-yard kickoff return by Levi Moell and Burden’s interception return.
“West Liberty’s a good physical football team and very well-coached and they’ve had a tough schedule,” Rams coach Neal Kasner said. “We were making mistakes and they were making plays, but we just kept battling. I was proud of our attitude.”