Football: Defense fuels Greenwood rout of Lake Hamilton

Posted: November 4, 2017 at 5:53 a.m.

PEARCY -- Credit the defense and the special teams for the latest Greenwood rout.

Aaron Ohl intercepted two passes in the second half and returned one for a touchdown as the Bulldogs ran off 35 unanswered points and completed an unbeaten regular season with a 45-17 rout of Lake Hamilton during 6A-West Conference play Friday night at Wolf Stadium.

Greenwood 45, Lake Hamilton 17

Greenwood^7^3^28^7^—^45

Lake Hamilton^7^3^0^7^—^17

First quarter

LH — Jackson 54 pass from Aitken (Jackson kick), 9:41.

Green — Wood 6 run (Ennis kick), 2:54.

Second quarter

Green — FG Ennis 33, 11:16.

LH — FG Jackson 30, 0:00.

Third quarter

Green — Harmon 8 pass from Noland (Ennis kick), 9:50.

Green — Wood 8 run (Ennis kick), 5:57.

Green — Ohl 5 interception return (Ennis kick), 3:15.

Green — Holt 58 pass from Noland (Ennis kick), :46.

Fourth quarter

Green — Noland 4 run (Ennis kick), 8:51.

LH — Brewer 7 run (Jackson kick), 2:07.

Greenwood (10-0, 7-0) held Lake Hamilton to just 6 yards total offense in the second half until it had already forced the sportsmanship rule on Connor Noland's 4-yard touchdown run with 8 minutes, 51 seconds remaining.

"I was proud of how our kids came out in the second half," Greenwood coach Rick Jones said. "More than anything, we just played the way we are supposed to play -- maybe just a little bit better.

"We let some guys loose. We had practiced against the Spread stuff a little bit, but the wing-T is just so different. We focused a lot of our attention on that."

Lake Hamilton (5-5, 3-4) forced a 10-10 tie at halftime on Jackson Johnson's 30-yard field goal as time expired, but Greenwood took the second-half kickoff and marched 62 yards to take the lead for good. Noland, held to 79 yards on 14 of 22 passing in the first half, hit Zane Harmon with an 8-yard touchdown pass at the 9:50 mark in the third quarter.

That's when the Bulldogs' defense and special teams became vital. Linebacker Luke Johnson sacked Utah Aitken to stop Lake Hamilton's ensuing drive, then a partially blocked punt eventually led to Kenny Wood's 8-yard touchdown run with 5:57 left in the third quarter.

Ohl then intercepted Aitken's next two pass attempts, and he needed to go only 5 yards with the second one to score and make it a 31-10 game with 3:15 remaining. Noland, who completed all but one pass in the second half and finished the game 27 of 36 for 231 yards, added a 58-yard touchdown pass to Peyton Holt with only seconds left in the third quarter before completing the scoring with his touchdown run.

"They made some adjustments, and we did, too," Lake Hamilton coach Tommy Gilleran said. "But that tells us that we can play with anybody in the state right now after taking 10-10 at the half. I don't think anybody has done that to them this year.

"They made some adjustments that seemed to work, and when it did we lost some of that intensity. When that intensity left, I don't think we played as well. Against a team like this, you have to have intensity the entire game."

Greenwood earns a first-round bye and will host the Texarkana-Marion winner in a Class 6A state playoff quarterfinal game in two weeks. Lake Hamilton has the conference's sixth seed and will travel to Searcy to open postseason play.

Sports on 11/04/2017