GREENVILLE, Ill. - The football team played their Homecoming game on Saturday in front of an energetic crowd and came up with a 40-34 win over St. Scholastica.
Attempting to defeat St. Scholastica for the first time since their first matchup in 2010, the Panthers used 519 yards of total offense, including 312 yards rushing, to take the upper hand and notch the victory. Greenville also recorded 207 passing yards.
After receiving the opening kickoff and moving 55 yards on eight plays, the Panthers turned the ball over on a fourth and five from the CSS21. The Panthers held St. Scholastica to a three-and-out and got the ball back on the 50-yard line.
On the ensuing CSS possession, Adereio Jones recovered a fumble on the CSS38 after four plays to give the Panthers a short field. The Panthers capped their possession with a 15 yard touchdown pass from George Harris to Seth Logan. Soares de Castro made the extra point, and Greenville held a 13-0 lead with 2:47 left in the first quarter.
Greenville forced a punt after three plays on St. Scholastica's next possession, but Malik Holder fumbled the punt return at the CSS45, and the Saints kept the ball. Facing second-and-ten at the GU41, Javion Smith intercepted the ball at the GU30 and returned it 26 yards to the CSS44 where he stepped out-of-bounds but gave Greenville another short field with 38 seconds to play in the first period.
After five plays that covered 44 yards, Greenville took a 20-0 lead when Frank Moreno caught a 28-yard touchdown from Harris. Soares de Castro made the PAT with 14:07 on the clock in the second quarter.
St. Scholastica scored a late touchdown in the first half but missed the extra point to make the score 20-6 at halftime.
In the opening moments of the third quarter, Greenville forced a punt by St. Scholastica and took over from their own 36 yard line. Eventually, a 43 yard touchdown run by Paul Garrett and another PAT from Soares de Castro put GU ahead 27-6 when 10:53 remained in the third quarter.
Two touchdowns by CSS in the third quarter tightened the score to 27-20 as the final period began.
The Saints eventually tied the game at 27-all with a touchdown and extra point with 13:09 left in the fourth quarter.
Greenville answered immediately. A 32-yard kick return by Smith gave Greenville good field position from their own 44 yard line. A 12-yard run by Christian Moss took the ball to the CSS44, and Moss carried the ball 25 yards on the next play to give the Panthers a first down at the CSS19. Garrett ran the ball four yards, and then Harris completed a pass to Henson for 15 yard touchdown strike to make the score 34-27 after a successful extra point by Soares de Castro.
After CSS answered with a touchdown and extra point to tie the game again at 34-all, GU scored on their next possession when Henson caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Harris. However, the PAT attempt by Soares de Castro failed, and Greenville had to give the ball back to St. Scholastica with 4:30 left knowing that a touchdown by a CSS team known for its comebacks would likely put the Panthers in a hole.
The Greenville defense answered the challenge. CSS held the ball for 13 plays and 63 yards, eventually facing a 4th-and-7 at the GU11 with 57 seconds to go. Facing pressure from an onrushing defensive end, the CSS quarterback's attempt was incomplete, giving Greenville the ball with 52 seconds to go.
The Panthers recorded a first down with nine yard and five yard runs by Moss, forcing CSS to exhaust its timeouts and giving the Panthers the win.
Overall, Harris managed to complete four touchdown passes while completing 15-of-31 attempts for 179 yards.
Greenville had a pair of rushers with greater than 125 yards. Paul Garrett led GU with 23 carries for 173 yards, and Christian Moss ran the ball 17 times for 128 yards. Both men averaged 7.5 yards per attempt.
Anthony Esquivel came up with 11 tackles for Greenville, including three and a half quarterback sacks.
The Panthers (4-2, 3-1 UMAC) travel to Crown for a game on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Noon.