Hawks win for 3rd straight week -
MT. JULIET -- In a game that featured stingy defensive play, Green Hill rallied from an early deficit to down Class 3A Giles County 17-13 Friday -- the third win in a row for the first-year program.
“I thought tonight we won the line of scrimmage since we knew coming in it was going to be a physical football game and our kids answered the call,” said GHHS coach Josh Crouch.
“Our defense played really well. A lot of people wrote us off after we started 0-5, but we've moved a lot of people around, figured it out and really improved.”
The Hawks wasted an early blocked punt by senior Camaron Sowell when a 41-yard field goal attempt by Sam Crickmar sailed wide left.
Giles County grabbed a 7-0 lead when Chaye McElroy capped an 8-play, 80-yard drive with a hard-fought 36-yard TD scamper with 3:25 remaining in the first period.
Crickmar put the Hawks on the board when he drilled a 21-yard field goal from the right hash with 3:58 left in the half.
Green Hill took the lead for good with just :06 remaining on the first half clock as quarterback Clayton Nordstrom hooked up with Kaleb Carver for a 34-yard back-shoulder scoring pass. Crickmar boomed the PAT allowing the Hawks to take a 10-7 lead to the locker room.
“I just wanted to give my playmaker a chance," Nordstrom said. "I missed the throw earlier and I made sure to hit it that time."
Green Hill moved ahead 17-7 at the 10:09 mark of the third quarter as offensive lineman Collin Jarrell thundered in from 1-yard out to cap a 4-play, 78-yard drive.
Giles County tallied in the closing seconds of regulation as Riley Cardin threw a 44-yard TD pass to Jakari Randolph. The two-point conversion try failed.
McElroy, a 2019 all-stater, had a fantastic night for the Bobcats -- finishing with 156 yards on 19 carried and a touchdown.
Senior Marzeion Jones led an inspired Green Hill defensive effort with several open field tackles and an interception.
Coach Crouch believes his squads' improved defensive play was a matter of figuring out how to utilize the talents of his players.
“As a new program, we are starting to put kids in positions where they will be successful at,” Crouch said.
With the win, Green Hill moved to 4-5 on the season (including a COVID-19 forfeit) and is scheduled to visit Morristown Oct. 23 to play Lakeway Christian Academy.
The team will leave Mt. Juliet at 10:30 a.m. Friday, eat lunch at the Golden Corral in Cookeville and arrive at the game site around 5 p.m. Central after some 210 miles on the road.
“It will be a long road trip and I have talked to the team about that," Crouch said. "We have to be mature on the trip, just watch movies and such. I am excited just to hang out with the team away from the football field.”
Giles County, now 4-5 with a pair of COVID-19 forfeit wins, closes out the regular season at home Oct. 30 versus Pearl-Cohn.
SENIOR NIGHT -- Ceremonies were held pregame honoring the four Green Hill seniors: Camaron Sowell, Marzeion Jones, Charlie Elwell and Azra Besetsny.