On Saturday, September 14th, Greenville University hosted the Kalamazoo Hornets here in the small town of Greenville. There was a lot of excitement and anxiousness going into this game considering the last time Greenville won a non-conference game was six years ago! Coming into this game, GU was definitely considered the underdog. Last year, the Panthers were defeated 42-7 on Kalamazoo’s home turf. It was known that Kalamazoo was a very good team who wasn’t afraid to put GU in the dirt.
However, the Greenville Panthers did not let the defeat from last year affect their gameplay this year! Greenville defeated the Hornets with a final score of 31-17. Below are some of the reactions from Greenville players and coaches after winning this game that everyone counted them out of! Also included is information about what the Panthers accomplished on the field.
The GU football team knew that we were playing a very good team, Kalamazoo, who blitzes a lot on the defensive side. Their offense featured a young quarterback who made mistakes early on, but overall handled the pressure well. Kalamazoo’s defense was incredibly good overall as Greenville had to make big plays in order to advance the ball. GU’s offense scored with some incredible plays one of which was by Kyler Henson and Seth Logan at the end of the first half. This seemed to completely decimate Kalamazoo’s confidence. GU was able to push the ball slowly and also relied on trick plays in order to successfully score the ball. As a leader on the offensive line, Daniel Martinez mentioned, “They have a really talented defense that gave us a good battle from start to finish.”
The win was sweet and many were overjoyed, but the captains quickly humbled the team and reminded them of the work to be done as they continue into the season. The coaching staff gave them an example of a trampoline which would propel them to victory later in the season reaching higher than ever before as long as they chose to use it. The coaches are taking it one week at a time. Coach Schomaker always tells his players, “Worry about what you can control.” He means that the Panthers can’t worry about the opponent and should always focus on what they are doing as a team. Also, they have to play smart football which entails running the routes, hitting the blocks, and flushing each and every bad play. This means learning from mistakes, moving on, and giving it all they have.
The offensive coordinator, Joshua Flannery, talked about being relentless on every play and focusing on every assignment. This means that even when a player is not in the progression, he has to give it 100%. Thus, as an offense, they maintain the energy and explosiveness off the ball which helps keep the defense off the field. This improves GU’s already superb defense which wins them football games.
Many did not think that the GU football team was going to pull this one off. While they have had some bad luck over the past six years, the Panthers pushed their way to an amazing victory. The Panthers are back in action on Saturday, September 28th at Martin Luther College in Minnesota.