Green 14 - Hoover 10
November 5, 2021
Green football is all grown up: Bulldogs knock off North Canton Hoover in OHSAA regional quarterfinal
Josh Weir, Canton Repository
NORTH CANTON — A little over a year ago, an injury-plagued Green High School football team limped over to North Canton’s Memorial Stadium for one of those weird, playing-out-the-string regular season games late in the 2020 COVID-19 campaign.
Down a dozen starters, Green got demolished by Hoover.
Before Friday night’s regional quarterfinal back in North Canton, Green head coach Mark Geis made his Bulldogs look around and take stock of how far they’ve come.
“They’ve become a group of men in that locker room,” Geis said.
They played like it Friday night.
No. 7 seed Green took a lead late in the third quarter, then turned away No. 2 Hoover on four straight possessions to hold on for a 14-10 win, snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Vikings.
The Bulldogs (9-3) move on to a Division II, Region 7 semifinal next week to face No. 14 Wooster (7-5) at a site to be determined.
For a program that’s wandered in the wilderness for years and taken its lumps since joining the Federal League in 2015, Friday night was one of its biggest moments in decades.
The five-wide, high-scoring Bulldogs went toe-to-toe with a brutally physical Hoover team — which beat them 17-7 only three weeks ago — and defeated the league champion in its type of game.
This is the first time in 20 years Green has won multiple games in the same postseason.
“It’s insane,” senior quarterback Trevor Van Horn said. “It’s great to get out here and get a win like this and get some respect for our program that we’ve been trying to earn all year.”
Van Horn stood tall against Hoover’s pressure and played well, completing 18-of-27 passes for 228 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He also ran for a TD and averaged 43 yards on his five punts, a significant number in a field-position game such as Friday.
Hoover outgained Green 295-282 (with Luke Roach going for 179 yards on 28 carries) and had the ball a whopping 30:46 Friday night thanks to its run-heavy offense.
Green bent, but it didn’t break much. Whether it was a Jacob Reed tackle for loss, a CJ Dawson sack or Trey Martin blitzing to make a play, the Bulldogs did just enough.
With Hoover in desperation mode around midfield and out of its comfort zone, Luke Budziak intercepted Carson Dyrlund on the game’s final play.
“Obviously, we’ve learned how to play defense in Green, Ohio, too,” Geis said.
A key moment happened midway through the third quarter. Hoover, up 10-7, took the second-half kickoff and ate more than eight minutes of the clock on a long drive.
Facing a fourth-and-3 from Green’s 19, the Vikings went for it and were dropped just short to turn it over on downs.
“That’s the game winner right there,” Geis said. “You don’t know it at the time.”
Despite kicker Robby Smart having plenty of leg and having already made a 37-yard field goal in the first quarter, Hoover head coach Brian Baum said Green blocking a 51-yard Smart try on the final play of the first half “shied” him away from trying what would’ve been a 36-yard attempt.
“We’ve got to finish there,” Baum said.
Green moved the ball quickly down the field, with Van Horn finding Quinn Simmer for big chunks.
The Bulldogs converted a fourth-and-1 from the Hoover 22 when they lined up Trey Martin at running back and gave it to him. On the next play, Van Horn was hit as he threw by Hoover’s Drew Logan and his fluttering pass found Martin’s freshman brother, Antonio, for a 20-yard game to the 1.
“The only thing I could see in my line of vision was a black jersey on the other end of it,” Geis said. “I thought it was going to be picked off.”
Instead, Van Horn plowed in for a 1-yard touchdown on the next play and Green led 14-10 after Eli Noirot’s point-after kick.
It was Trey Martin starring on Green’s first TD of the night back in the second quarter. After Van Horn was sacked on third down by Hoover’s Mike Shimek, the Bulldogs faced a fourth-and-20 from Hoover’s 22.
Van Horn threw it toward the back corner of the end zone and Martin skied over a Hoover defender to bring down the 22-yard touchdown with 7:16 left in the half.
“We motioned away from it and set Trey up 1-on-1,” Van Horn said. “I dropped back and once I threw the ball I got hit by Drew and Mike (Shimek). I was on the ground, I stood up and it was a touchdown.”
Hoover’s only TD of the night quickly answered the Martin score. Set up by a 52-yard Roach run, Logan scored on a 3-yard run to put Hoover back in the lead at 10-7 with 3:59 left in the second quarter.
But not enough of Hoover’s offensive work resulted in points. The Vikings completed five passes for 41 yards and absorbed a couple of costly sacks.
Friday’s loss snapped an eight-game winning streak by the Vikings (9-3), who had given up only 43 points in that stretch.
There were plenty of tears as Baum talked to his team, which overcame the loss of senior quarterback Cade Henne to a knee injury days before the season opener to win its first outright league title in 13 years.
“I’m really proud of our seniors,” Baum said. “They played their hearts out. This season could’ve went a different way and they went out there and met the expectations and then some. This is a disappointing loss, but I’m really proud of them.”
Simmer, who missed the first Hoover game because of injury, caught four passes for 83 yards to lead Green’s deep receiving corps. Antonio Martin caught five passes for 57 yards, Jack Schaal three for 48 and Trey Martin six for 40.
Games in North Canton always will feel strange for Geis, a 2001 Hoover graduate who started on the offensive line for Don Hertler Jr.
Geis walked over and hugged his dad, Gary, over the fence as his current team celebrated with the student section. He couldn’t help but think of his dad sitting on the opposite side all those years, up in the corner of the covered grandstands, during his games.
The North Canton community always will have a special place in his heart.
“But like I told my guys before the game,” Geis said, “I wouldn’t want to walk out here with anybody else.”
GREEN 14, HOOVER 10
Division 2, Region 7
Green – 0 – 7 – 7 – 0 — 14
Hoover – 3 – 7 – 0 – 0 — 10
H—R.Smart 37 field goal, 4:17
G—T.Martin 22 pass from Van Horn (Noirot kick), 7:16
H—Logan 3 run (R.Smart kick), 3:59
G—Van Horn 1 run (Noirot kick), :15
GRE — HOO
First downs: 13 — 20
Rushes-Yds: 19-54 — 53-254
Passing Yds: 228 — 41
Comp-Att-Int: 18-27-0 — 5-12-1
Punts-Avg.: 5-43.0 — 4-41.3
Fumbles-Lost: 1-1 — 0-0
Penalties-Yds: 5-40 — 4-25
Time of Poss.: 17:14 — 30:46
PASSING—Green, Van Horn 18-27-228-0. Hoover, Dyrlund 5-12-41-1.
RUSHING—Green, Van Horn 13-36, Simmer 5-16, T.Martin 1-2. Hoover, L.Roach 28-179, Dyrlund 16-35, Baxter 4-30, Logan 3-8, Ashby 1-2, Bugara 1-0.
RECEIVING—Green, Simmer 4-83, A.Martin 5-57, Schaal 3-48, T.Martin 6-40. Hoover, Reed 1-15, Hackett 2-13, Bugara 1-12, Ashby 1-1.
Records: Green 9-3; Hoover 9-3.
Source: Canton Repository