GHS

Greenwood HIgh School quarterback DeAndre Smith runs in the mud and muck Friday night against Louisville.

Points were already going to be at a premium, and then ol’ Mother Nature had her say in it.

In a battle of the two stingiest defenses in all of Class 4A, Greenwood secured a 14-6 win over Louisville Friday night at a rain-soaked Bulldog Stadium. GHS exacted revenge on the Wildcats ending its season last year, and at the same time punched its ticket to the North 4A title game for the fourth time in five years.

“Hey, man, this was a fun one, one we had been waiting on for a full year now,” said GHS coach Clinton Gatewood, who drew the ire of the Louisville program and fans last week with a Facebook message about his team’s plan for revenge. He said he didn’t worry about bulletin board material for the Wildcats because he knew his players “had his back.”

“They were going to make sure we got this one,” Gatewood added.

Sweetening the taste of revenge for GHS is the fact that Louisville also ended its season in 2017.

Louisville ends the season at 11-3.

The Bulldogs will play on the road for the first time in four postseason games this season when it faces off against Corinth, a 44-31  winner Friday night over Itawamba AHS. The Bulldogs are quite familiar with the explosive Warriors offense.

Greenwood beat Corinth 42-38 in a wild one in the third round of the playoffs before falling to Louisville in the North 4A title game.

The game ended about 10:45 p.m. Friday after two 20-minute weather delays for lightning in the area. Gatewood said the conditions were tough for both teams, and that’s he proud of his guys for finding a way to score 14 points on a nasty, muddy field.

The game was scoreless at the half, but GHS opened up the third quarter by scoring in two plays. Sophomore quarterback DeAndre Smith hooked up with senior wideout Daylin Metcalf for a 55-yard touchdown reception. Travor Randle added the two-point conversion.

The Bulldogs’ normally strong aerial attack wasn’t much of  a factor after that. Smith completed 4 of 7 passes for 101 yards, but the strong-running signal caller iced the game with his legs, picking up a team-high 75 yards on 14 carries, with most of those rushing yards coming in the second half.   

Smith put his team up 14-0 in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard scoring run.

The Bulldog defense just missed its fifth straight shutout, but a blocked punt near the goal line led to an easy touchdown for the Wildcats.

Tyler Beckworth led the Greenwood defense with nine tackles, while William Stewart, Davin Anderson and Jaylen Blake each had eight stops.

One more victory would get Gatewood’s Bulldogs finally over the hump, putting Greenwood in its first state championship game since 1988.

The Wildcats’ balanced offense, which came in averaging 189 on the ground and 173 through the air, found the sledding tough against the ferocious Bulldog defense that came in allowing less than eight points per game. The sledding was also tough on the sloppy field conditions.

Contact Bill Burrus at 581-7237 or bburrus@gwcommonwealth.com.

(1) comment

Sciencelady

Congratulation to Coach Gatewood, his staff for organizing, preparing and training the players to play as a team as they play for their brothers standing in the trenches besides them. Playing for an opportunity to compete for a state championship is something that does not just happen as it takes sacrifices from players, families, the community and the school. The life lessons learned on the field will be with these guys forever and help them deal with the hurdles that they face now and in the future as they become productive adults. I know the community will come out strong to support the team and I will be on the road again from Jackson to Corinth and hopefully to Hattiesburg for the state finals. The consecutive streak of district championships and the large number of college players clearly indicates that Greenwood not only has talent but also has a system in place to help the players go on to college assisted by their academic and/or football abilities. While also serving as Athletic Director and previously as assistant principle, Greenwood has an invaluable asset in Coach Gatewood who is also a parent and does unrecognized activities such a getting these kids to church and taking them out to eat. He has created a family atmosphere and is a positive male role model for many players that may not have a father figure. So, as you can see, Coach Gatewood is not only successful on the football field but also off the field, in the classroom, and in life. No matter where you live in Greenwood or Leflore County, the citizens should come out strong to support his activities. Why? Because the programs and activities he has built gives Greenwood a real sense of pride and he keeps young men out of trouble by establishing in them good work habits, responsibility, knowledge of how the world operates, teamwork, character, how to set and achieve goals, how to work and associate with others outside of their comfort zone, and having pride in doing the right thing as they represent their coach, families and their community. This man deserves and has earned a little more than a pat on the back. So, congratulations Coach Gatewood and GHS and thank you for your personal sacrifices and service to the kids and adults in this community we call Greenwood in Leflore County. You are a source of pride and should be considered as citizen of the year in the Mississippi Delta. We need more citizens like you. Jerry Porter, Jackson, MS.

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