Greenwich cruises to Section II Class D football title over Stillwater

WHITEHOUSE S MM BARBER
PHOTOGRAPHER:

SCHUYLERVILLE — Water may have killed the Wicked Witch of the West, but it only helped the Greenwich Witches.

In a pouring rain, the run-happy Witches carried the ball 57 times for 303 yards in a dominating 31-7 win over Stillwater in the Section II Class D football final Saturday at Schuylerville High School.

“It was kind of a buildup from last spring — they went 6-0 [then], and now they’re 10-0,” Greenwich coach Brandon Linnett said.

Top-seeded Greenwich was led by sophomore workhorse Matthew Conlin, but got production from five other ball carriers. The 5-foot-11, 240-pound Conlin had 21 carries for 173 yards and a pair of scores.

Second-seeded Stillwater (8-2) tried to distribute the ball, but only senior CJ McNeil had a strong day, with 24 carries for 116 yards. Four other ball carriers provided 13 yards on 12 carries.

For as good a game as he had, Conlin — who was injured during last week’s semifinal — wasn’t used in Greenwich’s opening drive. Still, the Witches efficiently mixed eight runs with two passes for a 61-yard scoring drive, capped by Aidan McPhail’s 2-yard run.

An interception by Trevor Cowin led to Stilwater’s only score. The Warriors mixed five runs and three passes, with Jaxon Mueller running in the last two for the tying score with 1:08 left in the first quarter.

“We did our best to kind of mix it up a little,” Stillwater coach Ian Godfrey said. “The weather doesn’t help when you kind of need to spread the ball to get these guys out of the box. It was just kind of a cavalcade of things that didn’t play into our favor today.”

Greenwich struck back quickly, this time featuring Conlin. It took just three runs and two Stillwater penalties for an additional 25 yards to give Greenwich the lead on Conlin’s 11-yard run with 10 seconds left in the quarter.

“We weren’t even sure we’d have him, maybe only on defense,” Linnett said of Conlin. “He had a huge day, and our offensive line did a great job.”

“We kind of had an idea he would play,” Godfrey said of Conlin. “I mean, Super Bowl, he’s such a tough kid. The credit goes to Greenwich; they were just the better team. And they’re really good kids and well coached. Our kids fought as hard as they could.”

Greenwich made it 21-7 with 9:04 left in the first half on a great 41-yard run from quarterback Jess Kuzmich, who somehow squirted out of a tackle for the final 10 yards.

With the rain falling even harder in the second half, the Witches went to ball control. They ran 13 times for 68 yards before Declan Kelleher connected on a 30-yard field goal to make it 24-7. Conlin provided the final score on a 16-yard run in the lightning-delayed fourth quarter, set up by Parker Jamieson’s second interception of the game.

Stillwater 7 0 0 0 —  7
Greenwich 14 7 3 7 — 31
G — McPhail 2 run (Kelleher kick)
S — Mueller 2 run (Brady kick)
G — Conlin 11 run (Kelleher kick)
G — Kuzmich 41 run (Kelleher kick)
G — Kelleher 30 FG
G — Conlin 16 run (Kelleher kick)

Categories: High School Sports, Sports

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