Offensive Burst Isn’t Enough
Greenville College Football’s offense had a quite a day this past Saturday in their 46-59 loss to MacMurray College. The Panthers had their highest scoring game of the season and still managed to fall short of the win. Freshman quarterback George Harris, went 25-38 on passing with 402 yards. He threw for three touchdowns and one interception. Junior receiver Derek Greifzu, who has been the most consistent player in the Panthers offense, rushed eleven times for 105 yards with two touchdowns. Greifzu also had ten receptions for 114 yards and another two touchdowns. The Panthers had 610 total yards on the game which turned out to be fifteen yards more than MacMurray.
The Panthers were able to hold the Highlanders to a field goal on their first drive. the Panthers were stopped short, however, in efforts to retaliate on the next drive. Sophomore punter, Michael Carie, went on to kick a forty-two-yard punt when the Highlanders muffed the fair catch and the Panthers fought to pick up the fumble. On their second chance, the Panthers drove forty-three-yards in five plays to score. Harris threw his first touchdown to Greifzu, for a nineteen-yard touchdown. This would be one of two times that the Panthers would hold the lead in the game.
MacMurray took the ball with 4:24 left in the first quarter. In nine plays, MacMurray drove sixty-six yards to score their first touchdown, giving the Highlanders a 10-7 led at the end of the first quarter. Senior quarterback Coy Dorothy of the Highlanders had a career day as he broke his school record of career touchdowns. Dorothy has a career total of fifty-five touchdown passes. The Panthers struggled all game to cover MacMurray’s passing game.
At the start of the second quarter, the Panthers recovered quickly. In ten plays the Panthers managed to drive the ball sixty-nine yards. Freshman quarterback Payton Roop, was thrown into the game with the Panthers on MacMurray’s three-yard line. Roop took the ball and rushed to the outside, scoring a three-yard touchdown. This was Roop’s first ever career touchdown as a collegiate football player. This was Greenville’s final lead of the game with a score line of 14-10.
MacMurray went on a thirteen-point run following Roop’s touchdown. With 9:08 left in the first half, Harris threw a deep ball to senior receiver, John Dudley, for a sixty-nine-yard touchdown. Dudley’s touchdown brought the Panthers back into the game but they were still down 21-23.
Once again, MacMurray went on a run scoring on two touchdown passes. Down 37-21 with 2:42 left in the second quarter, the Panthers were looking to bring the game back within nine points heading into the half. Starting at their own twenty-six-yard line, the Panthers drove the ball fifty-nine-yards. On their own fifteen-yard line, Harris dropped back for a pass. What looked to be a touchdown was shattered, the ball was intercepted. MacMurray would kneel the ball and go into the half with the lead still at 37-21.
Coming out of the second half, Greenville was on fire. On their first drive, the Panthers drove the ball sixty-eight-yards. Harris rushed for a five-yard touchdown to end the drive. However, MacMurray answered right back scoring on a ten-yard pass. Following the MacMurray touchdown, the Panthers drove the ball sixty-five-yards down the field to the two-yard line. But the Panthers failed to score. With 2:09 left in the third quarter, MacMurray took the ball ninety-eight-yards to score. The Highlanders lead at the end of the third quarter 52-28.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Panthers created a ten play drive that went seventy-three-yards. Greifzu ran nine yards for his first rushing touchdown of the game. MacMurray bounced back scoring again from a Coy Dorothy pass. This would be the last Highlander touchdown of the game, giving them the 59-34 lead.
Greenville finished the game scoring two more touchdowns. The first from a Harris pass to Greifzu, and the second from a Greifzu rush. The difference of the game was turnovers. If Greenville would have scored the two times that they were in the red zone this would be a completely different ball game. This was not a game where the offense could blame the defense or the defense could blame the offense for the loss. It was a team effort and both sides have the responsibility of a loss to bear.
Catch the Panthers this Saturday, October 22, as they take on Martin Luther at home for homecoming!