Eaton Rapids picked up their first football win of the year, and came from behind to do it, with a touchdown in the final minutes that defeated Parma Western 29-26 on Sept. 28.
The win gave the Greyhounds a record of 1-5 overall and 1-4 in CAAC Gold play.
Jacob Oberlin-Scott scored three touchdowns in the game, including a 1-yard run with 2:41 left in the contest, and also caught a pass for the 2-point conversion that provided the winning margin.
Those late heroics were made possible by some timely defense. The Greyhounds stoned Western on fourth down and goal to go twice in the second half.
“Our defense got tough in the end, when we needed to,” ER coach Craig Benton said. “They made the right plays at the right time.”
Jared McDaniel completed 17 of his 28 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown for the Greyhounds, including a 6-yard TD strike to James Cruz that gave his team a 7-0 lead.
Oberlin-Scott had 103 yards rushing on 17 carries to lead the ER ground attack, and Kyle Sawyer’s 71 yards rushing and 91 yards receiving helped Eaton Rapids amass 461 yards of total offense in the game.
Benton said that everything came together for his team’s offensive output.
“We were clicking on all cylinders,” Benton said. “Finally, we had some nice weather, so we could throw the ball and run our routes. Our line was blocking and we were getting good yardage from our running backs, so it was a combination of everything.”
The team has something of a new look and a new attitude, thanks not just to the win. Three senior starters have left the team, two before the 49-0 loss to Waverly on Sept. 21 and one immediately after. Benton said that the situation was addition by subtraction.
“We have little bit of a different make-up now,” he said. “The nucleus we have now are kids that want to be here. The bad attitudes and the laziness and things like that we’ve been trying to get rid of, and it’s a different atmosphere. Last week and the first half of this week in practice has been a whole different mind-set with the kids.”
Despite the first win coming so late in the season, Benton said that the program has turned a corner, and is bullish on the future.
“It’s coming,” Benton said. “If we can finish on a strong note, we have good things to come.”
The Greyhounds will host Jackson Lumen Christi in their last CAAC Gold contest of the season this week, on Friday, Oct. 12.