Week 5 football Preview: The journey to a title begins
By BRANDON HURLEY
On paper, this one should threaten the Greene County record books, yet again.
As the sixth-ranked and undefeated Rams (4-0) embark on they journey to the Class 2A, District 9 title Friday, they’ll welcome winless Shenandoah (0-4) into town.
The Mustangs haven’t faced a single 2A team this fall, only scoring a total of 35 points in four straight losses, an average of 8.75 points per game. They’ve been shutout once, a 45-0 loss at the hands of second-ranked AHSTW (Class A), and have only scored more than 10 points in one of four games. The Mustangs are last in the district in total offense with 760 yards and just four touchdowns. They’ve run for 372 yards and passed for 388 yards.
With Shenandoah coming into town, it’s the perfect opportunity for a Greene County team that’s won just two district games in the last two years to make a statement. The Rams enter Friday’s contest averaging nearly 40 points per game sporting one of, if not the stingiest defense in the state as well as a spotless non-district record, one of only seven undefeated 2A teams remaining.
The Rams are exactly where they wanted to be at this point of the fall, Greene County head coach Mitch Moore said, but there’s more to be desired.
“That was our goal and certainly my expectation as a leader of this program,” the coach said. “We’ve reached (that), we are 4-0. But 4-0 isn’t our goal. I’ve been open about this since I got here, my job is to win championships. We’ve got five more games to win a district title and that’s our goal right now.”
In a wide-open district – both Greene County and ninth-ranked OA-BCIG (4-0) are the onlydistrict members to sport winning records – and for his Rams to reach their untapped potential, Moore believes they have to remain grounded.
The Rams have won four straight games to open the year for the first time since 2007, outscoring their opponents 166-23. The defense has yet to allow more than 72 yards rushing while they’ve only given up three touchdowns all year. They are first in the district in total sacks with 12, and have forced 15 turnovers, inclduing a state-best 10 fumble recoveries. The offense isn’t too shabby either, they are fifth in 2A with 1,661 yards and third in touchdowns with 22.
“For a team that’s never won, it’s amazing to see how they’ve handled winning,” Moore said. “We’ve got a lot of excitement and enthusiasm and I think now, that’s starting to turn into confidence. Now we know we’re a good football team.”
The focus this week has been on building on the moment, not settling for the best start in a decade, not settling for a No. 6 ranking. Not settling for an undefeated non-district record. Moore wants his guys to strive for more while exerting a dedication to improve.
“We are going to ask them how good they want to be,” Moore said. “If we continue to get good player-driven leadership where they’re leading the team, they’re leading the boat and we’re laying down the foundation, the sky is the limit for this team.
Great teams get better every week, no matter who you play.”
The week five kick-off is set for 7 p.m. at Linduska Field in Jefferson.