By Nick Gonnella Daily News
---- — GREENSBURG — The Greensburg football team celebrated Senior Night Friday by clinching a second straight win, coming back from a two-score deficit and holding off Rushville 28-26 at Shriver Field.
Greensburg honored seniors Colten Black, Joel Chase, Tye Fleetwood, Jacob Kelso, Bryce Logsdon, Andy Meadows, Collin Rigney, Drew Robbins, Matt Scheumann, Brad Wilson, Blake Wood and Devin Workman.
The Pirates improve to 6-3 to conclude the regular season, while the Lions fall to 6-3.
Greensburg trailed 20-7 at halftime, but scored 21 straight points to take the lead for good in the third quarter.
Junior Trent Black and senior Andy Meadows scored two touchdowns apiece.
The Lions and Pirates exchanged punts in the first quarter. A measurement indicated a Lions first down late in the first period, but Greensburg held on fourth-and-10 from the Pirate 32. Rushville turned the ball over on downs as a pass attempt went through the end zone.
On the first play of the second quarter, Black broke away for a 58-yard run to set up Meadows’ first touchdown, a keeper from the Lions 1. Senior Collin Rigney’s extra point made it 7-0 with 10:31 left in the second quarter.
Rushville answered back without delay. Senior Garrett Hittle got loose and pulled away for a 77-yard touchdown. The extra point was no good, making the score 7-6 with 10:05 left in the half.
Hittle scored again; putting the Lions in front 12-7 as the Pirates thwarted the 2-point conversion.
The Lions capitalized when Greensburg’s special teams negated a good play with a bad one. Meadows boomed a punt 43 yards to the visitors’ 20, but senior Austin Yurack fielded the ball and returned it 80 yards to pay dirt. Refusing to give up on the play, Meadows pursued Yurack until he scored. Rushville made the 2-point conversion.
Neither team posed a serious threat as they exchanged empty possessions to end the half, with the Lions leading 20-7.
Defense played a bigger factor for the team in blue. The Greensburg defense held tight throughout the game, allowing just one second-half touchdown. The Pirate offense started the second half by driving down inside the redzone. Greensburg pulled to within six when Meadows swept around the left side and scored from six yards out, and Rigney made it 20-14 with 7:15 left in the third.
Rushville’s ensuing possession ended in a punt. A big hit from Pirate senior Jacob Kelso forced a Rushville punt on the ensuing possession. Junior Dillan Able scampered down the home sideline, setting up shot for the Pirates at the Lion 2 with 4:58 left in the third.
Black’s 3-yard run finally gave his team a 21-20 advantage, a lead that would last, with 4:45 left in the period.
The Greensburg defense held tight throughout the game, allowing just one second-half touchdown. Turnovers-on-downs and a fumble recovery in the second half helped give the home team momentum to sustain its comeback.
The Greensburg defense again held its ground by clogging the line for a turnover on downs. After switching sides of the field to start the fourth quarter, Black struck again with a 45-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 28-20 with 9:25 left in the game. Greensburg had converted a fourth down to keep the drive alive.
Rushville took its own turn on defense to make a play. The Lions recovered a Pirate fumble at the Greensburg 13 with just less than five minutes left. Hittle picked up 58 quick yards to the Pirate 10, but a Lion facemask penalty pushed them back to the 24. However, senior Clay Tressler found Yurack for a 22-yard touchdown pass to the corner of the end zone. Greensburg saw its lead shrink to just two points with 2:08 left. Tressler attempted a 2-point pass for the tie, but senior Bryce Logsdon preserved his team’s win by intercepting the attempt.
Greensburg recovered the Lions’ onside kick, and Black converted one more first down to run out the clock.
The Pirates host Indianapolis Marshall next Friday in the first round of the IHSAA Football Sectional tournament. The Lions travel to Guerin Catholic for the first round of the sectional.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.