SCOTTSVILLE — Greenwood football coach Chris Seabolt joked that all week long, Allen County-Scottsville coach Brad Hood texted him and emailed him to tell him how bad they were, but he wasn't buying it.
"I told our kids don't buy into that stuff," Seabolt said. "They are waiting for us over there. It's going to be a dog fight and it was. I can't imagine there was a better game tonight in our area. I'm just tickled to death our kids responded to adversity. We had many times we could have quit and we just chose to keep fighting."
Indeed, it proved to be a gut check for the Gators, who held on for a 35-27 win over ACS at Patriot Field on Friday. Greenwood (2-0) used a lengthy fourth-quarter drive to get some distance, then got a defensive stop in the final seconds to preserve the victory.
The teams traded first-quarter touchdowns, with Jackson Adams' 54-yard scramble offsetting Jaylon McPeak's 3-yard touchdown run for ACS.
The Patriots added a 1-yard keeper from Chase Wilson to regain the lead and were driving midway through the second period when Jake Sanson stepped in front of a Wilson pass and returned it 81 yards to tie the score 14-14.
"That swung the momentum, but when we decided we were going to throw the ball we knew we were going to have them every once in a while," Hood said.
Greenwood took its first lead with 1:22 left in the second period on a 25-yard touchdown run by Willie Reynolds, but Allen County-Scottsville got a 9-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Jack Ward to tie the score 21-21 with eight seconds left in the first half.
Allen County regained the lead midway through the third period on a 12-yard scamper by Wilson, but the extra point was blocked and the score remained 27-21.
That gave Greenwood a chance to take the lead, with Adams' 1-yard plunge and extra point making the score 28-27 late in the third period.
The Gators added to the lead in the fourth with a 20-play, 79-yard drive that eclipsed more than nine minutes on the clock. Greenwood converted four third downs and two fourth downs on the drive, including Adams' third touchdown run to stretch the lead to 35-27 with 1:44 remaining.
"That is what our offense is designed to do," Adams said. "Coach Seabolt said 'Let's get an 11-minute drive' and we were a 1:50 short."
The Patriots had one final chance, getting to the Greenwood 11, but two sacks and a Wilson spike on fourth down ended the drive to preserve the win for Greenwood.
"I wouldn't change Chase Wilson for any quarterback in Kentucky," Hood said. "He's my boy. He's only a junior. He will learn from that, I promise, and it will never happen again. That kid is a fighter."
Allen County-Scottsville outgained Greenwood 406-294.
Adams ran for 151 yards, while Reynolds added 127 yards on the ground.
"People will look at the yards and see that Greenwood gave up 400 yards ... but our guys stepped up when we needed to," Seabolt said. "Sanson had the big pick-6 for us and then we got the sacks at the end of the game. There was a couple of times we got stops when we needed to get stops. We need to stop making it so exciting at the end for the home crowd."
Wilson finished 17-for-28 for 271 yards, while McPeak ran for 98 yards. Ward finished with eight catches for 166 yards.
"I'm so proud of my quarterback and my offensive line," Hood said. "Our defense battled. We didn't give them any free ones like we did in the past. It was a heckuva football game by two good football teams."
Greenwood will host South Warren at 7 p.m. Friday, while ACS plays at Monroe County at 7 p.m. Friday.
GHS 7 14 7 7 — 35
ACSHS 7 14 6 0 — 27
ACS — McPeak 3 run (Ward kick), 6:03
GW — Adams 54 run (Dawson kick), 3:47
ACS — Wilson 1 run (Ward kick), 10:53
GW — Sanson 81 interception return (Dawson kick), 5:44
GW —Reynolds 25 run (Dawson kick), 1:22
ACS — Ward 9 pass from Wilson (Ward kick), 0:08
ACS — Wilson 12 run (kick blocked), 5:37
GHS Adams 1 run (Dawson kick), 2:20
GHS Adams 1 run (Dawson kick), 1:44