After being shut out 50-0 on the road by the Simmons Blue Devils last Friday, the O’Bannon Greenwaves (3-1) imposed a shutout of their own in a 22-0 Homecoming victory over the Palmer Dragons.
“They played hard tonight and I was pleased with the effort because my mind still goes back to last week because they are way better and more talented than the effort they put forth last week and that’s the problem I had,” O’Bannon head coach Lynn Lang said of his team. “So this week they put forth the effort and I was happy with the way they were competing this time.”
The Greenwaves received the ball at their own 38 yard line to begin their first drive down the field.
It ended, however, with the interception of a pass intended for junior wide receiver Dontrell Byrd Jr. by a Palmer defensive back in an attempt to convert a 4th & 10 deep in Dragon territory.
After a scoreless first quarter came a turnover on downs by Palmer at their own 20-yard line, setting the O’Bannon offense up nicely for a short drive into the redzone.
O’Bannon’s defense was relentless as junior defensive lineman Anthony Brown was credited with a quarterback sack along with freshman Devonte Green. And, senior, Tyler Rhodes, a tackle for a loss of four yards on 3rd & long.
Once the Greenwave offense took over on the Palmer 20, all it took was a 19 yard pass to senior Arthur Carter for a touchdown and a 2-point conversion by sophomore running back Marquette Baites to put them up 8-0.
Freshman defensive end Derion Dillard also recorded a sack in the second quarter and sophomore d-lineman Ashton King, a tackle for a loss of six yards.
The Greenwaves would score again in the ensuing possession as freshman quarterback Chandler Wade connected with Carter, this time, for a 25-yard reception in the endzone
If not for the tenacious rushing attack of junior running back Jordan Clark in that drive, it would have been a much longer one.
At halftime, the score was 14-0
Clark finished just shy of 60 yards rushing and sophomore running mate, Brown, just shy of 70.
The second half was one filled with miscues by both teams, but much more to the Greenwaves’ advantage.
Four minutes into the 3rd quarter, an illegal block in the back called on Palmer led to another 3rd & long and in their attempt to convert, a fumble that was recovered by Clark and returned for nearly 20 yards.
The Greenwave offense made its way onto the field and soon,
Wade found junior wide receiver Dontrell Byrd Jr. for a 5-yard touchdown pass — the last scoring drive of the game — making the score 22-0.
Brown was asked how he was able to run so powerfully on so many carries throughout the game.
He responded, “That comes from coach making me pull tires every day at practice.”
Both Brown and Clark agreed that coming away with a win was “very important” as they were anxious to bounce back from the previous game.
Lang said even though his players are young, he challenges them to step up every time they play and assume the leadership role on their own, not just wait on someone to do it for them.
“We lost some good people to Greenville Christian, but the guys I’ve got now, I love them. They are athletic and competitive so the future is going to be really bright for us,” he added.