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4A Sectional 23 Semifinal- East Central 49, Greenwood 35

Varsity Football, 4A Sectional 23 Semifinals at Greenwood- Friday, November 1

East Central 49, Greenwood 35

EC  14  07  07  21 – 49
GR  00  07  21  07 – 35

Host Greenwood gave the top-rated team in the Class 4A Sagarin, East Central, a great game in Friday’s Sectional 23 semifinals.  The Woodmen were a near three touchdown statistical underdog and were tied 28-all with the Trojans heading into the fourth quarter.

But a passing touchdown by EC’s Ryan Bond to Trevor Becker, a pick six by teammate David Badescu and a final rushing score from Jake Fike produced 21 fourth quarter points for the boys from northern Dearborn County who secured a hard-fought, semifinal victory and preserved their perfect season.

The favored Trojans got off to the type of start they had expected with Fike rushing for two of his five touchdowns in the first quarter.  Runs of 21 and three yards with Sophie Browndyke kicks to follow (7/7 XPs Friday) staked EC to a 14-0 lead after the opening 12-minute period.

Greenwood put together a 10-play, 76-yard drive to get on the scoreboard midway through the second stanza.  The scoring play was the first of five touchdowns passes thrown by Oliver Rau and the first of three TD receptions for Bryce Hoffman.  This one went for 14 yards.  Luke Roscoe added the PAT (5/5 XPs Friday) to make it 14-7.

East Central countered with a nearly identical 11-play, 75-yard scoring effort which ended on a Fike four-yard run.  It was 21-7 Trojans at the half.

The Woodmen tied the game at 21 on a pair of Rau to Hoffman TD passes of 25 and 10 yards.  The scores came within 64 seconds of each other in the third quarter.

Fike found the end zone again with 4:23 showing in the stanza on a 29-yard run. But on the first Woodmen snap after the ensuing kickoff, Rau and Jaydin Sheppard hooked up on a 76-yard pass play to knot the score again at 28.

The fourth quarter, however, belonged to the four-time defending sectional champions from St. Leon.  The 13-yard TD toss from Bond to Becker and the 44-yard interception return by Badescu bumped East Central up to a 14-point lead, 42-28, with 5:35 to play.

Rau and Sheppard joined forces again with just over three minutes to play on a 28-yard TD through the air.  But Fike got a big insurance score with his fifth rushing touchdown, this one covering 24 yards.  That essentially put the game out of reach, 49-25, with just 2:52 remaining.

Fike finished with 286 yards rushing on 35 carries and five TDs.  Bond had 79 yards on 6 of 15 passing and one TD.  That was to Becker who caught four balls for 49 yards.

Rau threw for 277 yards despite only completing 17 of 42 passes.  Sheppard had four receptions for 137 yards and 3 TDs, while three of Hoffman’s seven catches were touchdowns.  He had 61 yards receiving.

Defensively, Badescu’s interception return to the house was a big play for the Trojans.  Teammate Anthony Littleton also had a pick to stop a Woodmen drive.

Please click this link for the box score.

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