NORTH LEWISBURG – Trent McIntyre was again sensational Friday night, but the Triad Cardinals still lost a nailbiter to Greeneview, 41-39, in OHC action.
“I’m very, very proud of their efforts,” Triad Coach Payton Printz said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Greeneview, but I think we beat ourselves.”
It was a sour start for the Cardinals, as Greeneview scored on each of its first two possessions to build a 13-0 lead after the first quarter.
McIntyre and the Triad offense responded, buoyed by the interspersal of strong runs by Dalton Holycross and Jacob Thompson. Thompson finished with 70 yards on 11 carries and Holycross had 62 yards on 8 runs.
McIntyre found Camron Atchison on a 15-yard touchdown pass after scrambling for his life and reversing direction to avoid the rush.
Triad’s next touchdown also came via a quarterback scramble, with McIntyre this time taking off and darting between defenders for a 20-yard scoring scamper. The Cards missed both extra points and trailed 13-12. McIntyre finished with 128 yards on 19 carries for the game.
Greeneview surged further ahead late in the half with a 24-yard touchdown run by Logan Test with 1:23 left, but a failed two-point conversion left the score 19-12 Greeneview.
The Cardinals mounted a late scoring threat with a couple of terrific catches and then McIntyre scrambled and found Atchison for an 18-yard strike.
A Rams’ facemask penalty put the Cardinals inside the 2-yard line for a conversion try and the home team punched it in for two points, taking its first lead of the game at 20-19 with less than a second on the clock before intermission.
The Cardinals carried that offensive momentum over to the first possession after the half, marching the ball all the way to the 1-yard line.
But Triad couldn’t get the ball across, getting stuffed and throwing an incompletion on four plays before turning the ball over on downs.
Greeneview gave the ball right back after a three-and-out and set the Cards up with excellent field position.
A few plays later, McIntyre found Timmy Marsalis on a 6-yard screen for a touchdown and the Cardinals led 27-19 after the extra point.
Greeneview responded with the first huge play of the game, with Test going 58 yards for a touchdown on the next drive. The Rams’ two-point try was good and tied the game at 27-27 with 3:08 left in the third quarter.
The score remained tied until McIntyre notched his fourth touchdown pass of the game – this one to Garrison Rogan – midway through the fourth quarter. The extra point was blocked and Triad led 33-27.
The Rams answered less than a minute later after a huge kick return on a Test 25-yard run to tie the game. Greeneview also pushed through the extra point, taking a 34-33 lead.
“It was obviously a team effort,” Printz said. “Defensively, we just haven’t brought it together. They were just running through our arms.”
Triad turned the ball over on downs in its own territory on the ensuing drive and Greeneview made the Cards pay with a scoring drive capped by a 3-yard run by Test. The extra point made it 41-33 Rams with 3:56 left.
Triad was forced to go for it on fourth down on its next drive, with McIntyre scrambling near midfield before pulling up and hitting Marsalis with a laser behind the coverage to the 5-yard line.
Thompson punched it in on the next play with less than a minute left, and Triad took a timeout to discuss the crucial two-point conversion.
An option play gave the ball to Thompson up the middle, but the back was stopped just shy of the goal line.
A penalty on the onside kick gave the ball to Greeneview and the Rams knelt on the ball to kill the clock.
Triad plays at Mechanicsburg next Friday night.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.