Saline went on the road and fought a tough Monroe football game. They withstood driving rain and tough field conditions. They withstood their own mistakes.
And they came away with a 28-14 victory to improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC Red. Monroe fell to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in the SEC Red.
Kyle Greenwood rushed for two touchdowns and had an interception and Larry Robinson threw touchdown passes to Luke Darmos and Kolton Malinczak.
After the Hornet defense forced a three-and-out, the Trojans punted into the wind from deep inside their own zone. The Hornets took possession at the Monroe 22. Three plays later, Robinson passed to Luke Darmos at the goal line. He caught the ball and stepped over the line for the six points. Brendan Cropsey’s kick made it 7-0.
The Trojans, against the wind and rain, were putting together a solid drive when Kyle Greenwood read the quarterback’s eyes and intercepted a pass, giving Saline possession at their own 27. The drive didn’t go very far. But the Saline defense got the ball right back for the Hornets.
This time, it was Greenwood behind center, with the drive starting at the Saline 35. Greenwood picked up big yardage rushing on first down, getting the ball over midfield and beyond. On the next play he ran again, setting up a first-and-10 at the Monroe 18. On the first play over the second quarter, he followed the blocks and ran into the end zone. Saline led 14-0 after Cropsey’s kick.
The Trojans QB Wyatt Head completed a long pass to set up Monroe’s first half touchdown. Head scored on a keeper from the one-yard line with 4:28 to play. Saline carried the 14-7 lead into halftime.
‘Saline’s first possession of the second half didn’t amount to much. The Trojans watched another dangerous drive dismantled by a Saline interception. This time it was Bryce Wizner - with his fourth interception of the year.
Saline put together a six-play scoring drive capped by a one-yard run by Kyle Greenwood. Saline led 21-7 midway through the third quarter.
The Trojans still had some fight in them. The Saline defense thought they’d ended a short possession, but the Hornets were penalized for roughing the punter. A big gain by Tristan Panza moved the Trojans over midfield and then Head found Panza in the corner of the endzone for a touchdown. Saline led 21-14.
Saline replied with a touchdown on their next possession. The first two plays went nowhere. And then Saline was sent backward for delay of game. On the next play, Robinson found Malinczak streaking down right side of the field. The pass connected perfectly with Malinczak, who didn’t break stride on his way to the end-zone for a 57-yard passing play with 1:34 to play in the quarter. Saline led 28-14.
That would be all the scoring in the game.
Monroe had three possessions but couldn’t score.
Late in the game, Monroe pushed the ball down to the Saline one and had several cracks at the end zone - but the Hornets kept them out.
Saline plays Bedford (4-1, 2-0 SEC Red) next week.
Around the SEC Red
Saline 28 Monroe 14
Bedford 42 Huron 7
Pioneer 29 Skyline 14
SEC Red Standings
Saline 2-0 4-1
Bedford 2-0 4-1
Pioneer 2-0 3-2
Monroe 0-2 1-4
Huron 0-2 1-4
Skyline 0-2 0-5
The Saline Post 3 Stars
Kyle Greenwood - Greenwood starred on both sides of the ball, using his speed and athleticism to make key plays. He ran for two TDs, made an interception and also made a couple tackles.
Larry Robinson - One of three Hornets to take snaps, Robinson had a couple substantial rushes and threw two touchdown passes,
Zach Sabin - Sabin, Baldus, Brannon and Koenen rose to the challenge for the Hornets. Sabin was in on a lot of tackles and caught several from behind.