Football: Greenville Panthers vs Westminster Bluejays
The Greenville College Football team hosted Westminster College for their third game of the season on Saturday, Sept. 26. Before kick-off, the Westminster Blue Jay’s record was at a reputable 2-1 and Greenville was standing at a 1-2 record. Greenville Panthers were coming off of a win last week against Iowa Wesleyan University and were prepared for a conference uphill battle between Westminster. Westminster Blue Jays were coming off a two-game win streak, beating Iowa Wesleyan and MacMurray.
The Blue Jays quickly marched down the field and struck first blood as Latif Adams ran a 1-yd touchdown into the end zone. Greenville struck right back on the next ensuing drive when Jacob Tibbetts converted a 4-yard pass to Sam Northey. Going into the second quarter, Hamid Camara scuffed through to dive into the end zone for a 7-yard touchdown. Then as the first half was reaching its end, Westminster managed to enter Greenville’s red zone. However, the Panthers devastated Westminster’s offense and did not allow the team to score again before the first half came to a close. Greenville Panthers went into halftime with a lead of 13-6.
As the third quarter began, the Westminster Blue Jays jumped to a fleeting start. They scored in the first few minutes a pass from Eian Robert to Mike Williams for a 60-yard touchdown. Then after a quick three-and-out from Greenville’s offense, Westminster struck gold again. Latif Adams darted through Greenville’s defense for a 64-yard touchdown putting them up 20- 13.
The fourth quarter began and the Westminster Blue Jays were beginning to close the door. With 9:42 left in the game, Westminster’s Kevin Ludwig booted a 34-yard field goal for a two-possession lead against Greenville, putting them up 23-13. However, Greenville refused to give up so easily. With a bit of trickery, Jake Tibbits threw a swing pass to Sam Northey who then threw the football to freshman Chase Stamatis for a 37-yard touchdown, making the score 23-20. Unfortunately, the next drive for the Blue Jays was quick and ended in a 57-yard touchdown run for Latif Adams.
Adams, Westminster’s running back, ran for 243 yards in total for the day and seemed to get stronger as the game carried on. According to Coach Schomaker, Greenville’s head coach, “There were simply too many mental mistakes that disabled us and caused the loss. Some of the players relied on themselves and it takes 91 of us to win, not one.”
Assistant Coach Luke Moore pointed out, “The bottom line was that Westminster was the better team today, we let them win”. Robert Deering, who was the leading tackler of the day with 10 total, commented, “We battled to the very end and fought devoutly, despite our mistakes”
What stood out the most was the amount of commitment and togetherness the team had after the game. Greenville football positively brings the players together in encouraging ways after every game. Win or lose, to grow as a team the players must re-gather themselves and collect each other’s thoughts about the game. No matter what happens, after the game, the players, and the coaches have to remember that football is just that, a game.
This is something I appreciated from Coach Schomaker because he puts things in perspective for his players. Football is a joy, but it is a temporary activity. Despite how much we love the sport, someday it will be over. So as players, we enjoy it to the fullest and leave it all out on the field. In the end, Greenville may have lost a game but what the team is doing has a greater purpose that will last the rest of the player’s lives.