The possum is staying in Greenwood coach Chris Seabolt’s office after the Gators opened the season with a 39-7 victory over Warren East on Friday at Gators Field.
The Greenwood defense had four interceptions, and former Warren East running back Willie Reynolds ran for 127 yards and three scores and added a kickoff return for a touchdown in his Gators debut to lead Greenwood to a second straight season-opening win over the Raiders.
“I told them I had to go somewhere else and play and be on a better team, and that’s how it is,” Reynolds said. “I was amped up all day. I was ready for it. That was real fun. That’s the best offensive line I’ve had since I’ve been playing football.”
The Gators got it started with former Warren East running back Reynolds returning the opening kick 93 yards for a score.
Greenwood (1-0) added two more touchdowns in the first, with both scores set up after Warren East interceptions.
Jake Sanson’s pick set up a Jackson Adams 9-yard keeper that made the score 12-0 and Malcolm Johnson’s interception set up his 10-yard touchdown run that gave the Gators an 18-point lead with five minutes left in the first half.
Johnson added a second touchdown run from 18 yards out early in the second quarter, and Reynolds scored again from 6 yards out to make the score 32-0 with 4:38 left in the half.
The Raiders got inside the Greenwood 25 late in the second, but a penalty negated a long gain and Chauncey Greer was sacked on the final play before the half.
Greenwood fumbled on the first two possessions of the second half after fumbling on the final possession of the first half, before adding a final Reynolds touchdown run to force a KHSAA-mandated running clock with 9:57 left in the fourth quarter.
Warren East (0-1) was able to avoid the shutout when Greer connected on a 45-yard touchdown pass to Patrick Satterfield with nine seconds remaining.
Greenwood finished with 297 yards rushing.
“(The possum) is staying where it belongs,” Seabolt said. “The kickoff return for a touchdown set the tone for the night. Just like last year, we had concerns about our defense, but our defense played unbelievable tonight. We gave up a score with nine seconds left. They had their varsity in against some of our freshmen. I hated to see that, but the truth is other than that one play they couldn’t have played any better than that.”
Greer threw for 243 yards for the Raiders.
“You are looking at a team that has started the year in the top-10 in 5A,” Warren East coach Justin Chaffin said. “They are going to finish the year in the top six in 5A and be a district runner-up and have a chance to win a playoff game or two, or three, or four. When you play good teams, your margin for error is small. We got off to a start like that and I don’t know that we were doomed, but it shrunk everything down to where we couldn’t make any more mistakes after that.”
Greenwood will play at Allen County-Scottsville at 7 p.m. Friday. Warren East will play at Monroe County at 7 p.m. Friday.
WEHS 0 0 0 7`– 7
GHS 18 14 0 7 – 39
GHS – Willie Reynolds 93 kick return (kick blocked), 11:46
GHS – Jackson Adams 9 run (run failed), 8:04
GHS – Malcolm Johnson 10 run (pass failed), 5:00
GHS – Johnson 18 run (Tanner Dawson kick), 11:18
GHS – Reynolds 6 run (Dawson kick), 4:38
GHS – Reynolds 14 run (Dawson kick), 9:57
WE – Satterfield 45 pass from Greer (L. Johnson kick), 0:09