The Greenfield Hustlin’ Hawks started their 2019 campaign with a home game on Thursday night against their neighbors in Martin Luther High School. After a 3-6 campaign last year, Greenfield hopes to find themselves back in the playoffs for the sixth time in seventh years with an improved conference record this season. This non-conference tune up would be a great opportunity for Greenfield to learn about their talent heading into league play in two weeks. Martin Luther High School was tremendous last season, posting a 10-2 record before losing to Racine St Catherine’s in the state quarterfinals. A strong start had the Hustlin’ Hawks in this game early, but the passing attack of Martin Luther was ultimately too much to overcome in a 35-21 defeat.
In this game, the defense set the tone early on both sides. After forcing a quick punt, Greenfield started their first drive on their own 30 yard line. Two plays later, Martin Luther’s Fred Guyton got his hands on JC Compton‘s pass and returned it 34 yards to the endzone for the touchdown, giving the Spartans a 7-0 edge.
After two exchanged punts and a turnover on downs, Martin Luther had the ball back on their own 39 yard line, still ahead by seven. It was on this drive that the Hawks’ defense and special teams units had their opportunity to shine. After forcing nine negative yards, Martin Luther lined up to punt. Junior lineman Jalonnie Williams made a huge play on special teams when he blocked the punt, scooped it off the grass and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown. The extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the Hustlin’ Hawks down one, 7-6.
Halfway through the second quarter, the offenses finally registered a touchdown. MLHS quarterback Brady Hoppert took to the air and found Sylvere Campbell for a five-yard touchdown pass to extend the Spartans lead to 14-6. The ensuing kickoff bouncing out of bounds set up Greenfield with great field position for a much-needed response. After driving thirty yards down the field, the Hawks faced a 4th down and 7. Compton tossed the ball up and found Joel Santa Maria for a 36 yard touchdown strike. The two-point conversion by Matthew Fischer tied the game at 14.
Right before the half, Greenfield showed a tremendous amount of defensive poise against the stout Spartans’ offense. With MLHS knocking on the door with a first and goal from the one, Greenfield forced four consecutive incompletions to hold the score even at 14 heading into the locker room.
In the second half, Martin Luther’s passing attack proved to be too much for the Greenfield defense. Hoppert and Campbell connected again, this time for a 74-yard deep ball to flip the field and move the ball deep into Greenfield territory. Three plays later, Fred Guyton punched it in for his second touchdown of the game, giving MLHS the 21-14 advantage. After some penalties stalled the ensuing drive for the Hustlin’ Hawks, MLHS struck once more. This time, Hoppert paired up with Jacob Hartlaub for a 37 yard touchdown to extend the lead to 14.
MLHS would tack on another touchdown following a Greenfield turnover, all but sealing the deal midway through the fourth quarter. Before the clocks hit zero, Greenfield did score once more as Matt Fischer punched it in from seven yards out for his first touchdown of 2019. This left the game at its final score of 35-21.
There were plenty of positives for Greenfield in this tough defeat. At 0-1, Greenfield has another non-conference date on the schedule next week. They will host New Berlin Eisenhower next Friday at 7:00.
Greenfield: JC Compton 13/23 132 yards 1 TD
Martin Luther: Brady Hoppert 15/22 278 yards 3 TDs
Greenfield: Matt Fischer 17 carries 122 yards 1 TD
Martin Luther: Jayden Bridgewater 11 carries 40 yards
Greenfield: Chris Lopez 5 catches 44 yards
Martin Luther: Sylvere Campbell 7 catches 183 yards 2 TDs