GREENVILLE, ILL-----The Greenville College Panthers (2-3, 1-0 UMAC) christened the new sod on Francis Field Saturday with a close win over the Martin Luther College Knights (2-3, 1-2 UMAC) 10-7.
In a tightly contested battle the Panthers found just enough offensive to hold off the stingy Martin Luther Knights Saturday. Once again it was senior running back Anthony Ambers carrying the Greenville offensive with 22 carries for 182 yards and one touchdown. Freshman kicker Luis Diaz accounted for the only other Greenville points making the game winning field goal from 19 yards out.
The Panther defense played with an energy and determination that held the Knights to only 7 offensive points. The unit was led by junior linebacker Kiso Faletufuga with 6 tackles, 1 sack and 3 tackles for loss. Senior Jumaane Bey helped keep the explosive Knight offensive at bay with his 7 tackles for loss. The safety combination of juniors Andy Lozano and John Smith combined for 10 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.
Offensively the Knights were led by senior quarterback Greg Holzhueter and his 137 yards of total offense. On the defense senior linebacker Matthew Rothe led the Knights with 8 tackles and 1 tackle for loss.
Martin Luther controlled the ball the majority of the first quarter with two drives over ten plays long. The Panther defense made the Knights work for every yard and pounced on the opportunities they were given. A fumble on the 7 yard line recovered by freshman defensive lineman Justin Coleman ended Martin Luther’s second drive.
The fumble recovery set up the Knights for the first score of the day early in the second quarter. On 3rd and 9 on their own 8 yard line quarter back Joel Lira was sacked in the end zone for a safety. The second half ended with Diaz missing a 38 yard field goal keeping the score 2-0 Martin Luther.
The third quarter was just as uneventful for the panther offensive as the first two. Martin Luther on the other hand started to roll. With their third drive of the quarter the Knights put together a 7 play 84 yard touchdown drive that was finished off with a 7 yard run by sophomore tight end Mike Voss.
The fourth quarter began with the Panther offense looking at a 3rd and 5 from the Martin Luther 19 yard line. Ambers lined up at quarterback and scored the first Greenville touchdown of the day.
After stopping the Knight offense on a crucial 4th and 2 Greenville looked to take the lead. 10 plays and 59 yards later Greenville was facing a 4th down on the Martin Luther 2 yard line with 5:47 left in the game. Head Coach Ordell Walker didn’t hesitate to bring in the freshman Diaz to seal the win. After the make Greenville had their first lead of the day 10-9.
The Greenville defense stopped the Knights desperation pass attempts and held on for their first UMAC victory of the season.
After the game Offensive coordinator Robbie Schomaker said, “It was a great game by the defensive today and hopefully next week we can help them out a little more.”
Next week the Panthers continue UMAC play by traveling to the College of St. Scholastica (3-2, 2-1 UMAC) in Duluth, MN at 3:30PM CST.