It was going to come down to execution Saturday and both head coaches knew it.
Both men, Granville’s Mario Torres and Greenwich’s Brandon Linnett, said so way back in August when the two teams met at Granville’s annual Coaching Connections football camp while preparing for the season.
Each coach said the team to execute, commit the fewest penalties and turnovers would win the game – and that is exactly what happened as the Granville Golden Horde fell 43-15 to the visiting Greenwich Witches.
“We got outplayed. We got outplayed in very aspect of the game,” Torres said afterwards. Granville’s offensive output was a miniature 141 yards and two touchdowns while the defense surrendered a combined 418 yards to the visiting Witches.
While Granville had few penalties and played disciplined football in that sense, Torres said it was missed opportunities and missed assignments that cost the Horde the game.
The loss drops Granville to 1-1, while Greenwich and Hoosick Falls stayed unbeaten at 2-0.
The Witches and Panthers meet in week three at Greenwich Sept. 18 in a game that will likely decide, at least for the early part of the season, first and second place in Class C North.
The Horde, in turn, look to right the ship as they host the Tamarac Bengals Sept. 18, at 1 p.m. at Sam Eppolito Field.
Granville’s bend-but-don’t-break defense held Greenwich out of the end zone and forced a turn over on downs in the first series of the game, stopping the Witches on fourth down and a short one at the 29-yard line.
The Horde offense, however, was not able to capitalize on the momentum and did not register a first down until the second quarter of play.
Granville did not score until the second quarter on an 82-yard Codi Scribner kick off return, pulling to within seven points however briefly. Scribner rushed 14 times for 78 yards in the game.
The Horde failed to find the end zone again until late in the fourth quarter as senior Brian Ricketts bounced a run around the end for a 5-yard score. Ricketts rushed three times for a total of 14 yards while as a team Granville gained just 135 yards on the ground.
“We had a game plan but we did not execute. We had three goals coming into this week: we wanted to protect the football, play disciplined football and capitalize on their mistakes, we didn’t do that,” Torres said.
Meanwhile the offense for the Class D Section II finalists of 2009 fired on all cylinders. Senior running back Tyler Pruiksma racked up 195 yards and scored four touchdowns on 21 carries.
Witches quarterback Tony Giroux threw for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Granville gave up just one turnover, an interception by senior quarterback Jaime Hicks in the third quarter as they recovered their own fumble in the second half. Conversely, Greenwich managed to turn a fumble into a 22-yard gain.
“Today they were the better team, my hat goes off to them; they played tremendous team football. I don’t think we played tremendous team football – we’re much better than we showed today,” Torres said.
Granville had considerably fewer penalties against the Witches than they did against Stillwater in week one, but failed to take advantage of any edge this might have provided.
“When you play a team that is as good as they are and you don’t execute you give them a window, they’re going to take advantage of it – they took advantage of us today,” Torres said.
While the loss is not fatal to the Golden Horde post-season hopes, Torres said the team has to bounce back in order to take on a talented Tamarac squad.
“One loss doesn’t ruin your season it just shows us we’re not as good as we think we are, that you have to come out each and every day to work and teams aren’t just going to roll over and you’re going to beat them AND if you have a game plan you have to execute it, you have to come out and take care of business,” Torres said.