Football: Noland powers Greenwood past FS Northside

Posted: September 2, 2017 at 5:45 a.m.

GREENWOOD -- It is only the first week of the season, but Greenwood is already in midseason form -- at least for a half.

The Bulldogs scored 34 first-half points and the defense was dominant in Friday's 34-7 season-opening blowout win over Fort Smith Northside.

Greenwood 34, FS Northside 7

FS Northside ^0 ^0 ^0 ^7 — ^7

Greenwood 17 17 ^0 ^0 — 34

First Quarter

Green – Wood 10 run (Ennis kick), 10:38.

Green – FG Ennis 37, 7:18.

Green – Holt 74 pass from Nolan (Ennis kick), 3:01.

Second Quarter

Green – FG Ennis 32, 8:09.

Green – Orlick 31 pass from Holt (Ennis kick), 6:57.

Green – Harmon 2 pass from Nolan (Ennis kick), :02.

Fourth Quarter

North – Thorne 56 pass from Wise (Paredes kick), 5:32.

"The kids executed awesome in the first half -- we ran it, we threw it, we caught it, played great defense and the kicking game was solid," Greenwood coach Rick Jones said.

The Bulldogs scored on all six possessions they had in the first half, rolling up 294 yards of total offense (199 passing, 95 rushing). Connor Nolandd was 13 of 20 passing for 164 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the opening half.

The Greenwood defense allowed just four first downs and 54 yards in the first half to Northside. The Grizzlies finished the game with just 192 total yards and eight first downs.

"Our defense played awesome," Jones said. "We were so worried about their quarterback because we are not able to catch him if he gets loose. They played discipline -- we had a guy on the dive, on the pitch and on the quarterback."

The Bulldogs, though, failed to generate much offense in the second half, including a missed field goal, and that bothered Jones.

"I was so disappointed (in the second half)," Jones said. "We played so well in the first half, but it is not a two-quarter game. We come out in the second half ... and we were flat. It is all about focus, concentration and energy. We will be working on that in practice next week.

Noland finished the game 19-of-28 passing for 214 yards. Greenwood gained 380 total yards in the game.

Greenwood opened the game with 17 first quarter points.

Kenny Wood capped a 48-yard drive with a 19-yard scamper around right end for a 7-0 lead 82 seconds into the game.

After Grant Ennis booted a 37-yard field goal for a 10-0 Bulldog lead, Noland hit Peyton Holt for a 74-yard scoring pass with 3:01 left in the opening period.

Ennis got his second field goal of the half, a 32-yarder, for a 20-0 lead with 8:09 left in the second quarter.

After a Dylan Vota interception, Greenwood executed a perfect flanker pass as Holt hit a wide-open Kade Orlicek for a 31-yard score and a 27-0 lead.

"We've worked on it some just in case," Holt said. "We have to make the cornerback bite when I am running ball. The line blocked well, the running back well and I even had Connor blocking behind me. It was good execution."

The Bulldogs ended the half with an impressive 80-yard, 17-play drive, capped with Noland hitting Zane Harmon in the back of the end zone with two seconds left in the first half.

"I thought about going for 2 points there, but I didn't want the kids go into halftime knowing the clock would run," Jones said. "I wanted them to come out and play hard in the second half. I knew Northside was not going to quit."

The Grizzlies finally got on the board with 5:32 left on a 56-yard, fourth-down touchdown pass from Derrick Wise to T.J. Thorne. Thorne outleaped a Bulldog defender for the ball at the Greenwood 15 then easily scored.

"We are going to play people tight coverage like that," Jones added. "Sometimes the other team will make a play and that is just part of it. We missed a tackle here or there, but we have a chance to be a good defensive team and we saw that tonight."

Sports on 09/02/2017