New Castle’s football season came to an end with a heartbreaking 35-34 loss to Greenwood in double OT at Neal Field Friday night. 18 seniors played their last game for NC and completed the best 2 year record since the late 70’s and early 80’s. It wasn’t supposed to end like this.
Greenwood’s running backs weighed in at 240 and 265 pounds respectively. That took a toll on the defense as Greenwood scored 2 TDs in the first quarter and went up 14-0 after 1.
In the second quarter, NC’s offense finally came to life as the running game took effect. Luke Bumbalough and Gage Burk ran out of the Wildcat formation, moving the Trojans down the field. Drew Barber hit Bumbalough for a 9 yard TD and it was 14-7. Gwood had a 3 and out, and the Trojans took over. On 3rd and 18, Barber hit Nicholas Grieser for 24 yards and the Trojans were in business. Bumbalough ran it 3 times down to the one, and Barber scored from there to tie the game at 14. Greenwood was moving before the end of the half, but Gavin Ridge picked off a pass to stop the drive.
The 3rd quarter was all Greenwood. After a 3 and out, Gwood was moving the ball when Stephen Spears caused a fumble that Trenton Williams recovered. NC threw an interception and Gwood was on the move as the quarter ended.
The 4th quarter started and Gwood pounded their big backs time and time again, eating up a lot of clock. They scored to go up 21-14 with 8:45 left. NC got the ball and Gwood played a soft, prevent defense, allowing NC to pass the ball down the field. Tytus Ragle went for 9, James Thompson for 14, Grieser for 19, Bumbalough for 6. On 4th down at the 7 yard line, Barber lofted a pass towards Bumbalough when out of nowhere, Grieser jumped and came down with the catch for the TD, tieing the game at 21 with 5:19 left. Gwood got 2 first downs, but had to punt, giving the Trojans the ball with 2:16 left. Barber hit Grieser for 6 and 9 yards, Bumbalough for 6, and Triston Chesher for 28 yards, as well as running for 22 yards on 3rd and 2. NC had the ball at the 5 yard line with 18 seconds left. Barber tried a pass that was Intercepted at the goal line, and the game went to OT tied at 21.
In the first OT, Greenwood scored on 2 plays from the 10 yard line and went up 28-21. NC got the ball and Barber hit Chesher for 7, Gage Burk ran 2 yards to the 1, and Barber snuck it over. Stevenson was good on the PAT and it was tied going to the second OT.
NC got the ball first in the 2nd OT and Barber scored from 10 yards out on the first play. For the first time this year, Stevenson missed the PAT and it was 34-28 NC. Greenwood then ran 3 plays, only getting 5 yards. On 4th down from the 5, the Gwood QB rolled right and threw a TD pass. The extra point was good and NC had lost 35-34.
Offensively, Barber completed 18 of 30 passes for 187 yards, 2 Tds and 2 Ints, and ran for 3 more TDs. Bumbalough had 67 yards rushing and 29 receiving. Gage Burk ran for 27 yards also. Grieser led the receivers with 6 catches for 69 yards a TD. Chesher had 4 catches for 60 yards, Ragle 3 for 23, and Thompson 1 for 14.
Defensively, NC was on the field alot and had to gang tackle the big backs. Stephen Spears led the way with 23 tackles and a forced fumble. Nicholas Grieser had 20 tackles, Dylan Beck 18, Trenton Williams 14, Colin Holcomb 12, Brayden Miller 10. Williams had a fumble recovery, Bumbalough a strip sack.
NC finishes the season 5-5. These seniors have left a legacy of winning. Those who have watched NC play the last 2 years have seen some of the best players in the history of NC football. It was a tough way to end the season, but these boys put their hearts out there every game. Proud of them all.