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By Carmen Ensinger
The second-round playoff game between Carrollton and Greenfield-Northwestern (GNW) was billed as “The Greene County Showdown” and it lived up to its moniker.
But at the end of four quarters, it would be Carrollton fans who would be piling onto the field to congratulate their Carrollton Hawks for defeating GNW 14-6 and advancing to the quarterfinals this week, also at Carrollton.
The Carrollton Hawks had defeated the GNW earlier in the year in regular season play, so the Tigers came in ready for revenge and the Hawks were ready for them.
The Hawks got on the board first with a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Grant Pohlman and extra point by Kyle Leonard to give the Hawks a 7-0 lead. Those would be the only points scored in the game until midway through the fourth quarter.
GNW keyed in on Carrollton’s key playmakers and all but shut them down. Harley Angel, who had 224 yards rushing last week against Shelbyville, setting a new school record and breaking his own record from earlier in the season, was held to only 15 yards on 3 carries.
The Hawks returned the favor to GNW limiting their leading rusher, senior Sam Walker, who averages 130 yards rushing per game, to only 40 yards on 14 carries.
Early on it was evident that GNW had the numbers of Carrollton’s rushers, so they put the ball in the hand of their quarterback, Grant Pohlman. Pohlman ended up being the leading rusher with 153 yards of the Hawks 157 total yards on 25 carries.
For GNW, Drake Stuart was the leading rusher with 46 yards on 9 carries contributing to the Tigers 127 total yards on the afternoon.
In the passing game, both quarterbacks were just about even. Pohlman attempted 21 passes, connecting on 10 of them for 135 yards total. GNW quarterback Brady Pembrook took to the air 20 times hitting his man 14 of those times for a total of 143 yards.
With 8:38 left in the fourth quarter, Pohlman connected with Gus Coonrod in the endzone and Leonard booted it through the uprights to give the Hawks a 14-0 lead.
GNW came back and countered with their own touchdown at the 6:01 mark when Brady Pembrook connected with his brother, Dylan Pembrook on a 20-yard pass to finally put the Tigers on the board. The attempt at the 2-point conversion failed so GNW would have to settle for just 6 points.
It will go down as the lowest scoring game of the season for Carrollton, who came into the game with an average of 53 points per game. The Hawk’s only loss on the season came in week 1 when they traveled to Camp Point and were defeated 30-22.
The Hawks will host the Athens Warriors in the quarterfinals this Saturday at 1 p.m. This won’t be the first meeting between the two teams. The Warriors defeated the Hawks 55-28 in the quarterfinals in 2019. They advanced to the quarterfinal bracket this year by defeating Sesser-Valier 57-28 in Athens.
Tickets for Saturday’s game must be purchased online and presented at the gate via a media device, such as a cell phone or tablet. There will be no paper tickets nor will money be taken at the gate for admission.