Momentum was the story on Friday night as the Greendale football team capitalized on big plays to turn a defensive game into an offensive display against host Greenfield, 35-3.
The defensive contest was blown wide open in the third quarter. A 5-yard touchdown run by Greendale’s Mike Scheidt gave the Panthers a 14-3 lead with just one minute left in the third quarter, and from that point, the Panthers’ offense was virtually unstoppable.
In the fourth quarter, Greendale senior Kennedy Ringelberg caught two touchdown passes from quarterback Sam Brick, first for 51 yards, then for 23 yards 3:30 later. Sebastian Garcia-Bankowski finished the scoring with a 40-yard run after blazing his way through the middle of the Greenfield defense.
“All the credit to Greendale,” Greenfield coach Scott Otto said. “They beat us at their game. They lined up and smacked us and we didn’t get it going.”
“We executed well,” said Greendale coach Rob Stoltz. “We have some very good playmakers.”
Going into the third quarter, the momentum seemed to be with Greenfield. Alex Bosl had nailed a 37-yard field goal mere seconds before halftime to cut the Panthers’ lead to just 4, and Greenfield started the second half with the ball.
“I thought that with getting the field goal and going in to halftime 7-3, and then getting possession to start the third that we’d be fine,” Otto said.
Greenfield’s first possession amounted to very little, and the Hawks were forced to punt after 6 plays. Greendale took over on their own 25 yard line, but a bad snap on 3rd down and 3 forced the Panthers back to their own 5-yard line, and they had to punt from inside their own end zone. Brett Nethery punted the ball nearly 70 yards to the Hawks’ 40 yard line, preventing Greenfield from getting the good field position it had hoped for.
“That was absolutely huge,” said Stoltz. “He has a great leg. Obviously field position was a big part of it, and there were lots of momentum shifts.”
The momentum continued to shift to the Panthers after the Hawks failed to convert on a 4th and 4 situation. On the second play after Greendale took over on downs, Brick found Ringelberg on a 25 yard pass, which helped set up the touchdown run from Scheidt. Ringelberg finished the game with three touchdown receptions and 148 receiving yards.
“It’s just finding space and then making the catch,” Ringelberg said. “It’s what I love to do.”
“He works very hard. They all work very hard,” added Stoltz.
In the first half, Ringelberg scored just two minutes in on a pass from Brick.
Possession then changed hands a number of times before the field goal from Bosl.
“We played a good game for two and a half quarters,” said Otto. “I thought our defense played well, but they usually aren’t on the field this much because we like to play a possession game. Momentum was huge in this game. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.”
Andy Lucas led Greenfield in rushing yards at 48. Greendale’s Sam Brick completed 8 passes for 174 yards.
The win moves Greendale to 5-1 overall, and 5-0 in the Woodland conference. Greenfield dropped to 3-3 overall and 3-2 in conference. The Hawks will try to recover against Wauwatosa West, while Greendale seek to maintain its undefeated conference record against Whitnall.