May 21, 2024
Paoli Rams vs Eastern Greene Thunderbirds IHSAA Football 2023 SISN

As the cool breeze of autumn sweeps over Paoli High School, a football spectacle unfurled on Friday night, with the Paoli Rams delivering an old school masterclass against Eastern Greene. In a match laden with exhilarating runs, powerful tackles, and tactical acumen, the scoreboard read a convincing 57-27 in favor of Paoli by the final whistle.

From the outset, the Paoli Rams showcased their offensive prowess, led by their dynamic rusher, Trey Rominger, who was seemingly unstoppable, galloping for a whopping 293 yards on 30 carries and reaching the end zone on four separate occasions. Notably, Trey’s average of 9.8 yards per carry not only underlined his offensive dominance but painted a vivid picture of Eastern Greene’s defensive struggles when he ran the ball.

At the conclusion of this game, Rominger has 1,177 rushing yards this season, which should put him as one of the top five rushers in Indiana going into week 7. Rominger also becomes the only back in Paoli’s history to have 4 seasons of 1,000+ rush yards.

On the other side of the ball, Eastern Greene had moments of brilliance, punctuated by James Lewis’ scintillating 64-yard touchdown run and Evan Ferkingstad’s impressive 34-yard sprint to the house. However, Paoli’s defensive unit remained resolute for much of the game, with Ian Drake leading the charge, registering a commendable eight tackles.

James Lewis now has 1,045 rushing yards for the season, and sits within the top-10 of the state.

One of the game’s standout moments was Dane Padgett’s electrifying 88-yard kickoff return, a play that encapsulated Paoli’s unwavering spirit and drive. In the passing game, though Paoli was limited to just 18 yards, their two completions were clinical. A highlight was a 10-yard strike from Fletcher Cole to William Baker, signaling the Rams’ diversity in their offensive plays.

Eastern Greene tried to mount a comeback with Jonas Hawk orchestrating the offense, throwing two touchdown passes in the second half. Still, interceptions and failed conversion attempts dented their momentum and chances of a genuine fightback.

As the Paoli Rams stampede forward in the season with a promising 5-1 record, Eastern Greene will need to regroup and recalibrate for their cross-state clash against Red Hill. The world of Southern Indiana football is alive with action, drama, and stories of resilience, and as this week’s games demonstrated, the heart of the season is beating stronger than ever.

SISN Play by Play

1st Quarter

Paoli won the coin toss and opted to receive. Zac West from Eastern Greene kicked the ball 20 yards down to Paoli’s 40-yard line. These short kicks would become a theme for the Thunderbirds, trying to get the ball back after a potential Paoli miff. There were a couple close calls, but Paoli never coughed it up on the kickoff.

The Rams’ Tyler Hannon caught the short kick off and managed a return of three yards before being brought down by Kendall Britton and Evan Rogers, placing the ball at the Rams 43.

An early error by Eastern Greene, an encroachment by Nathan Burks, gave the Rams an additional five yards. Trey Rominger made a 3-yard dash across half field to the 49. The Rams continued to push forward. Fletcher Cole’s 12-yard dash took them further to the Eastern Greene’s 37, earning a fresh set of downs. This momentum was then furthered by Dane Padgett, who made a significant 23-yard run bringing the ball to the doorstep of Eastern Greene at their 14.

Rominger then took the ball 5 yards closer to the end zone, followed by another 5-yard drive that would have placed the Rams on the 4. However, an ill-timed face mask penalty by Ty McKnight of Eastern Greene gave the Rams an even closer shot at the end zone.

The Rams were not to be denied. Despite Trey Minton’s halted attempt, Fletcher Cole found his way to the end zone, rushing for a 2-yard touchdown. As the cherry on top, Trey Rominger successfully executed the rush attempt for the extra points, putting Paoli ahead 8-0 after just over two minutes of play. The Rams had clearly stated their intent, covering 57 yards in seven plays.

Paoli’s Tyler Hannon then delivered a 40-yard kickoff, landing it near Eastern’s 20 yard line. James Lewis IV of the Thunderbirds wasted no time, making an impressive 26-yard return to almost midfield, bringing the ball to the 46. The last line of defense was Trey Minton, who made the clutch tackle, stopping the possible touchdown return.

Eastern Greene’s drive started strongly. On their first down, Lewis made a 4-yard run, pushing the ball to midfield, but was stopped by William Baker and Ian Drake of Paoli. The Thunderbirds were determined to get the ball to Lewis, who took the ball another 5 yards closer to the Rams’ territory, ending up at the Paoli 45-yard line.

The Thunderbirds faced a small setback on their third down when Jonas Hawk’s pass to Ty McKnight ended up being a loss of 5 yards, thanks to a crucial play by Paoli’s Ian Drake, pushing them back to the 50-yard line. But the Thunderbirds, showcasing their resilience, converted on a critical fourth down. Hawk found Peyton Lewis with a precise 10-yard pass, earning them a fresh set of downs at the Paoli’s 40.

The Rams’ defense tightened up. James Lewis made a 3-yard run, but was stopped in his tracks by Coy Busick. This was followed by two more attempts by Lewis, but Paoli’s defense held strong. The last, a 4th and 4 attempt, saw Lewis being stopped dead on the Paoli 34 by a combined effort from Ian Drake and Trey Rominger.

The Thunderbirds’ drive, which had shown promise, ultimately stalled after 8 plays and 20 yards, consuming a significant 4:38 off the clock.

Starting their second drive of the game, the Rams took over at the 05:16 mark.

The drive began on the Paoli 34-yard line, with Trey Rominger making a modest 2-yard run, which was promptly halted by Jackson Reeves of Eastern Greene. Next up was Fletcher Cole, who tried to find some space but managed just a single yard before being met by a combination of Nathan Burks and Lane Clark, setting the ball on the Paoli 37-yard line.

The Rams faced a significant challenge on 3rd and 7. In an attempt to get a first down, Fletcher Cole was caught off guard and sacked by the Thunderbirds’ James Lewis, resulting in a loss of 10 yards, pushing the Rams back to their 27-yard line.

But the Thunderbirds weren’t done yet. On the 4th down, as Trey Rominger attempted a punt, Eastern Greene’s defense made a game-changing play. Lane Clark managed to block the punt, and, adding to Paoli’s misfortunes, Clark also recovered the ball at the Paoli 21-yard line.

In just three plays, the Rams went backward by 7 yards and lost 1:48 off the clock. The momentum had clearly shifted towards Eastern Greene.

Building on their special teams’ success from the previous drive, Eastern Greene began their possession with favorable field position at Paoli’s 21-yard line, with 03:28 left on the clock.

The drive opened promisingly, with Lewis taking the ball and rushing 5 yards to the Paoli 16. Jaxson Reynolds of Paoli was right there to put an end to the run, the Rams were determined to defend their end zone.

On the following play, the Thunderbirds faced a significant setback. Looking to score, Jonas Hawk dropped back and attempted a pass. But the Rams were ready. Cooper Spires of Paoli made a key play, intercepting Hawk’s pass right at the goal line. Not content with just the turnover, Spires then sprinted 20 yards to bring the ball back to the Paoli 20-yard line, flipping the field and regaining some momentum for the Rams.

In just two plays, Eastern Greene’s potential scoring drive was halted, only gaining 5 yards. The Rams’ defense had made a clear statement.

Coming off the momentum of an impressive defensive stand, the Paoli Rams began their drive from their own 20-yard line.

The Rams opened their drive with a focus on the ground game. Trey Rominger taking charge, rushed for a solid 6 yards to the 26, with Lane Clark from Eastern Greene making the tackle. Rominger followed that rush up with another 6-yard run, pushing the chains to the 32 and a new set of downs. The dual effort of Clark and Evan Ferkingstad from Eastern Greene stopped him this time.

Continuing the drive, Rominger rushed for another 3 yards, but Paoli varied their strategy, with QB Fletcher Cole, keeping the ball and making a 3-yard advance to the 38. A minor setback occurred when a false start penalty by Coy Busick pushed the Rams back 5 yards.

Unperturbed by this hiccup, Rominger took matters into his own hands, darting through the Eastern Greene defense for 9 yards to reach Paoli’s 42, ensuring another fresh set of downs for the Rams.

With the first quarter winding down and the score at 8-0 in favor of Paoli, Rominger added another 4 yards, bringing the ball to the 46 as the quarter concluded.

2nd Quarter

Starting the second quarter on a high, Trey Minton burst forth for a notable 14-yard run to the Eastern Greene 40. Following this, Dane Padgett added with a 4-yard rush. The highlight of the drive came when Rominger, once again showcasing his rushing prowess, exploded for a 35-yard run, stopping just a yard shy of the end zone at the 1-yard line. I have pictures of him crossing the line, but the refs marked him down.

With the touchdown in sight, Fletcher Cole tried to bulldoze his way in but was stopped with no gain. However, Rominger would not be denied, as he made the final push, rushing for a 1-yard touchdown, extending Paoli’s lead to 14-0 after an unsuccessful rush attempt for the extra points by Cole.

In an 11-play drive, the Rams covered 80 yards in just 1:43, solidifying their dominance in the early phase of the game.

Eastern Greene started their drive from their own 34-yard line, determined to get some points on the board.

It started with Jonas Hawk connecting a pass to Peyton Lewis, who managed a 7-yard gain before being tackled by Paoli’s William Baker. The Thunderbirds continued to feed the ball to their workhorse, RB James Lewis. On the next two downs, Lewis showed his capability, rushing for 2 yards and then another crucial 5 yards, earning a fresh set of downs and moving the ball to the EG48.

Maintaining their ground-centric strategy, Lewis carried the ball again for a 4-yard push into Rams territory, ending up on Paoli’s 48. Demonstrating his agility and skill, he followed this with an impressive 19-yard rush to the 29, bypassing Paoli’s defense before being halted by Cooper Spires.

In a surprising change-up, Evan Ferkingstad took the subsequent handoff but was met with resistance from Paoli’s defense, led by Trey Rominger and Ian Drake, resulting in a loss of 2 yards. Not deterred, Hawk found Peyton Lewis again, this time for a substantial 15-yard gain, setting up the Thunderbirds on Paoli’s 16-yard line.

With the end zone in sight, the Thunderbirds continued to rely on James Lewis. On his next two runs, he managed a combined gain of 4 yards, bringing the ball closer to the Rams’ goal line. However, adversity struck on the subsequent rush. Ian Drake from Paoli made a key play, forcing a fumble from Lewis. Isaiah Apple of the Rams was right there to pounce on the loose ball, recovering it at the Rams 15.

Eastern Greene’s drive, which had started promisingly, came to a premature end after 9 plays, covering 51 yards in 4:11. Another impressive stand by Paoli’s defense, emphasizing the importance of turnovers in the game.

Following the momentum of a crucial fumble recovery, the Paoli Rams began their drive from their own 15-yard line at 06:06, eager to further extend their lead.

The drive began modestly, with Trey Rominger rushing for a single yard, only to be quickly stopped by Eastern Greene’s Colten Adams at the 16-yard line. On the next play, Dane Padgett showcased his speed by darting for 9 yards, earning a fresh set of downs and advancing the ball to the PAO25, with Ferkingstad from Eastern Greene making the tackle.

With the chains moved, Rominger once again took the spotlight. In an explosive play, he charged through a gap in the Thunderbirds’ defense, sprinting for a substantial 47 yards, bringing the Rams deep into Eastern Greene territory at the 28. McKnight and Reeves from Eastern Greene combined their efforts to halt Rominger’s breakaway run.

The Rams, sensing an opportunity to strike, continued their relentless ground attack. Trey Minton added 6 yards, pushing the ball to the 22. Not to be outdone, Rominger, in another display of sheer determination and skill, dashed for 22 yards, breaking through tackles and reaching the end zone for a touchdown, extending Paoli’s lead further.

Rominger, the star of the drive, added the cherry on top by successfully converting the rush attempt for the extra points.

With a statement-making drive, Paoli further established their dominance, covering 85 yards in just 5 plays and using only 1:28 of the game clock. The score now read: Paoli 22, Eastern Greene 0.

After the Rams’ commanding touchdown, they looked primed for an easy win, but it wasn’t over yet. Tyler Hannon of Paoli sent the ball sailing 39 yards on the kickoff to the Eastern Greene 21-yard line. EG’s Brayden Campbell caught the ball and produced a decent 15-yard return, positioning the Thunderbirds at their 36. Dane Padgett and Isaiah Apple combined for the stop.

Starting their drive at the 04:38 mark and significantly trailing in the game, the Thunderbirds needed a spark, and James Lewis delivered spectacularly. On the very first play from scrimmage, Lewis found a hole and showcased his speed and agility, rushing for an astounding 64 yards all the way to the end zone for a touchdown. In just 14 seconds, the momentum of the game shifted slightly, hinting at a possible comeback.

Zac West of Eastern Greene added the extra point, successfully converting the kick. The score now stood at Paoli 22, Eastern Greene 7, reminding everyone that the game was far from over.

Just when it seemed like Eastern Greene was gaining some momentum with their touchdown, Paoli responded in grand fashion.

Zac West from Eastern Greene delivered a solid 48-yard kickoff, sending the ball to Paoli’s 12-yard line. Dane Padgett, determined not to let the Thunderbirds’ touchdown go unanswered, caught the ball and weaved his way through the approaching defense. With remarkable speed and agility, Padgett sprinted 88 yards untouched to the end zone, completing a stunning kick return touchdown. In just 10 seconds, Paoli had provided a clear response.

Adding to Eastern Greene’s woes, Trey Rominger was successful in his rush attempt, securing the extra points for the Rams.

With that swift and dynamic play, Paoli demonstrated they would not falter. Without even running an offensive play, they added another 8 points in just 20 seconds, taking the score to Paoli 30, Eastern Greene 7. The Rams took back control.

Following Paoli’s electrifying kick return touchdown, Eastern Greene sought to mount another scoring drive to close the gap.

Tyler Hannon executed a 34-yard kickoff, which was fielded by Brayden Campbell on the EG26. Campbell made an 11-yard return to the 37. However, a holding penalty against Kendall Britton pushed the Thunderbirds back, placing the ball on the 22 to start their drive.

From the get-go, Eastern Greene leaned on their star rusher, James Lewis. He opened the drive with a 10-yard rush, securing a new set of downs. Over the next few plays, Lewis consistently chewed up yardage, with rushes of 5, 4, and then another 4 yards, methodically moving the chains and bringing the ball to their 45.

Pushing into Paoli territory, Lewis continued to showcase his ability, rushing for 9 yards, and nearing another first down. After a brief timeout, Lewis once again took charge, rushing for 8 more yards and securing another fresh set of downs at Paoli’s 38.

Jonas Hawk attempted to mix things up with a pass, but his attempt to connect with Kasen Cullison fell incomplete, thanks to a defensive play by Paoli’s Cooper Spires. Hawk, undeterred, found Lane Stephens on his next throw for a gain of 4 yards, moving the ball to the 34.

With the clock ticking, and after a couple of strategic timeouts from both sides, Evan Ferkingstad delivered a highlight. Seeing a gap in the defense, Ferkingstad bolted for a stunning 34-yard touchdown run, breathing life back into the Thunderbirds’ offense.

Zac West’s kick was successful, further closing the gap in the score. The scoreboard now read: Paoli 30, Eastern Greene 14.

The Thunderbirds’ 9-play drive, covering 78 yards in just over three minutes, signaled their determination to stay in the game. The subsequent kickoff from West traveled 25 yards to the PAO35, with William Baker from Paoli fielding it without a return.

With just under a minute left in the first half, the Paoli Rams began their drive from their 35, hoping to extend their lead before halftime.

They wasted no time in moving the chains. Trey Minton took the first handoff and dashed for 13 yards to their 48. But the play didn’t end there. A personal foul by Brody Teague from Eastern Greene added another 15 yards to the Rams’ drive, placing them in a promising position at the EG37.

William Baker then got the call and carried the ball for a modest 2 yards to Eastern’ 35. Following a  timeout, Fletcher Cole took charge with a 5-yard rush to the 30. Another quick timeout by Paoli set the stage for Trey Rominger’s 4-yard push, earning another first down for the Rams.

Cole then shifted tactics, attempting a couple of passes. Though his first two throws fell incomplete, on third down, he connected with Trey Minton for an 8-yard gain, positioning them just outside the red zone at the 18. Rominger then took matters into his own hands, converting on a critical 4th down with an 8-yard run, landing the Rams into the redzone.

Cole went back to the air. After an incomplete pass, he spotted a window of opportunity, finding William Baker open. He delivered a 10-yard pass to Baker, who secured the touchdown with only two seconds remaining in the half. Rominger added the finishing touch by converting the rush attempt for the extra points.

The halftime whistle approached as Tyler Hannon sent a 28-yard kickoff to the Eastern’s 32, fielded by Kasen Cullison who was immediately halted without gaining any yardage. With only a single tick on the clock, Eastern Greene wisely chose to kneel, ending the first half.

At the halftime break, the scoreboard at Paoli High School displayed a commanding lead for the home team: Paoli 38, Eastern Greene 14. The Rams, with their offensive versatility and defensive sturdiness, had set the tone for the match.

3rd Quarter

Starting the third quarter, the Eastern Greene Thunderbirds were eager to reduce the scoreboard gap. They received the ball at their 30 after a 30-yard kickoff by Paoli’s Tyler Hannon. Brayden Campbell took the return, moving the ball a further 10 yards.

James Lewis the 4th, Eastern Greene’s prolific rusher, began the drive with a 3-yard gain to their 43. Quarterback Jonas Hawk then took to the air, completing a pass to Ty McKnight for another 3 yards. On a crucial 3rd and 4, Hawk found Kasen Cullison, with a 5-yard reception, earning a new set of downs at Paoli’s 49.

The Thunderbirds continued their balanced attack. Lewis made another 6-yard dash to Paoli’s 43. Hawk then connected with McKnight again for an 11-yard gain. However, Eastern Greene faced a setback when a holding penalty against Darrel Burton nullified a successful 13-yard pass play. This put the Thunderbirds in a challenging 2nd and 20 situation.

Undeterred, Hawk found Lane Stephens with a precise throw, who made an impressive 19-yard reception, positioning them at the 23. The subsequent play saw Evan Ferkingstad make the necessary rush for a fresh set of downs to the 22 yard line.

With momentum on their side, Hawk aimed for the end zone. After an incomplete pass, Hawk’s perseverance paid off as he found McKnight, who found space through Paoli’s defense for a 22-yard touchdown reception.

Zac West added the extra point, bringing the score closer at Paoli 38, Eastern Greene 21. Eastern Greene’s 10-play drive, covering 60 yards in just over four minutes.

Re-energized by their recent touchdown, Eastern Greene was looking to capitalize when they kicked off to Paoli. Zac West’s kick traveled 23 yards to Paoli’s 37, where William Baker managed to field the ball but was pushed out of bounds without any gain.

Paoli seemed poised to maintain their offensive rhythm. Fletcher Cole took the ball first, making a small 1-yard rush before he was halted by Brayden Campbell of Eastern Greene. On the next play, the Rams handed the ball to their reliable rusher, Trey Rominger, who managed to gain 3 yards, taking the ball to their 41. However, the Eastern Greene defense, led by Evan Ferkingstad and Lane Clark, limited his advance.

Facing a 3rd and 6 situation, Paoli hoped Trey Minton could make the necessary yardage. However, the Eastern Greene defense showed their resilience. Jackson Reeves forced a fumble on Minton, and Evan Rogers of Eastern Greene was quick to recover it at Paoli’s 35.

The sudden change of possession was a nod to Eastern Greene’s tenacity to stay in the game. Paoli’s drive, lasting only three plays and resulting in a loss of 2 yards, was cut short after just 1:20 on the clock.

Buoyed by their recent defensive play, Eastern Greene started their drive in a promising position at Paoli’s 35-yard line. A touchdown would significantly bridge the gap in scores and apply pressure on the Paoli Rams.

However, fortune had a different plan. On the very first play, quarterback Jonas Hawk looked to move the ball through the air, but his pass was intercepted by Paoli’s Cooper Spires at Paoli’s 10-yard line. Spires managed to secure the ball with an impressive athletic leap.

In a swift turn of events, Eastern Greene’s promising drive was cut short after only 7 seconds, with Paoli reclaiming possession and stifling Eastern Greene’s momentum. The Rams showcasing their resolve and ability to respond every time it seemed Eastern Greene would get the momentum.

Starting deep in their own territory at the 10-yard line, Paoli showcased a masterclass of running plays that left Eastern Greene chasing shadows.

The Rams put their trust in Trey Rominger, who wasted no time by immediately dashing for a 12-yard gain, giving them some breathing room and a new set of downs. This seemed to be a prelude of what was to come. Rominger continued his ground assault, registering rushes of 9 and another 9 yards, consecutively, each time tearing through the heart of the Eastern Greene defense.

Quarterback Fletcher Cole then took the reins, proving he could be as elusive with a 3-yard gain followed by a 10-yard rush, crossing into Eastern Greene’s territory with determination.

Rominger wasn’t done. He clocked in another 8-yard rush, demonstrating his agility and vision. With the defense reeling, Dane Padgett contributed with a 3-yard push, earning yet another fresh set of downs for the Rams.

The nail in the coffin was inevitable. Rominger, with runs of 7 and 15 yards, brought the ball within striking distance. And then, with Eastern Greene’s defense stretched thin and gasping for breath, Fletcher Cole saw his opening. He took the ball 14 yards, finding the end zone, and putting the Rams further ahead.

Although Dane Padgett’s attempt for the extra points failed, the message was loud and clear: Paoli led 44-21. The Rams, in a 10-play drive, covered 90 yards in under five minutes, demonstrating a potent blend of strategy, strength, and speed. The gap had widened, and the Rams would not back down.

But neither would the Thunderbirds.

Starting from their own 48-yard line, the Thunderbirds sought to narrow the margin against the dominant Rams. They kicked off their drive with a decisive 20-yard dash by Jonas Hawk, demonstrating that they weren’t done just yet. The sudden burst down to Paoli’s 32-yard line certainly raised some eyebrows.

Eastern Greene then handed the ball to Colten Adams, who managed a modest 4-yard gain, testing the waters of Paoli’s defense. A failed pass attempt by Hawk to Kasen Cullison kept the tension alive. However, Adams displayed a burst of speed, covering 21 yards and putting the Thunderbirds within striking distance of the end zone.

4th Quarter

With the fourth quarter ringing in, the pressure was palpable. Eastern Greene was a mere 7 yards away from narrowing the gap. The Rams’ defense held strong initially, with Fletcher Cole deflecting a pass intended for Ty McKnight. An additional 2-yard gain by Adams kept the Thunderbirds’ hopes alive.

But the Rams were a tough nut to crack. They repelled yet another pass by Hawk, this time with Isaiah Apple preventing Ty McKnight from securing the ball.

Facing a make-or-break 4th down, Jonas Hawk found his mark, connecting with Peyton Lewis in the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown. The resilience of the Thunderbirds was evident. However, their attempt to add to the score was thwarted as Colten Adams’s rush fell short.

Eastern Greene managed to carve out a 27-point tally against the robust Rams, who still led with 44. The 8-play drive spanning 52 yards in just over two minutes exhibited glimpses of the Thunderbirds’ capabilities, even as the game’s pendulum swung largely in Paoli’s favor.

Following the Thunderbirds’ touchdown, they opted for a short kickoff. Zac West’s 10-yard kick landed right at midfield, but Paoli’s Tyler Hannon wasn’t content to let it sit. He launched into action, weaving through the Eastern Greene defense to return the ball a whopping 34 yards. The stellar return placed the Rams in a prime position, just 16 yards from the end zone.

Taking charge from there was none other than Trey Rominger. On the first play, he showcased his reliable rushing prowess with a 6-yard gain, swiftly moving the ball to the 10-yard mark. Eastern Greene’s defense, notably Evan Ferkingstad and Peyton Lewis, scrambled to contain him.

However, Rominger wasn’t to be held back for long. On his next run, he tore through the defense for a full 10 yards, finding his way to the end zone for another Paoli touchdown. The clock read 10:18, and the Rams had increased their lead to a comfortable 23 points.

The subsequent two-point conversion attempt saw Fletcher Cole take charge, but the Thunderbirds managed to prevent the addition. Nevertheless, the scoreboard displayed a commanding lead for Paoli at 50-27. The Rams had asserted their dominance once again, requiring just two plays and 45 seconds to add to their tally.

The Thunderbirds kick-started their offensive from their 36-yard line. Jonas Hawk, the quarterback, weaved through the Rams’ defense for a notable 20-yard rush, showcasing his agility and playmaking abilities. However, their drive soon sputtered out, and after a sequence of small gains and missed passes, Hawk’s last-ditch pass to Ty McKnight only gained a single yard, halting their progress.

Capitalizing on their good fortune, Paoli launched their attack from their 37-yard line. Their main offensive weapon, Trey Rominger, consistently pierced through the Thunderbirds’ defense, making substantial gains and pushing forward. QB Fletcher Cole also had his moment, dashing for a critical 13-yard rush that granted them a new set of downs. Rominger capped off the drive with a powerful 27-yard rush that found him in the end zone, further widening the score gap.

Eastern Greene, starting from their 36-yard line, showed resilience. Adams Colten led the charge, making steady gains on the ground, followed by Evan Ferkingstad who managed a couple of notable rushes that brought the Thunderbirds closer to the end zone. However, the Rams’ defense stood tall. Despite Ferkingstad’s efforts, Paoli managed to hold the line, culminating in Jonas Hawk’s incomplete pass on a 4th-down attempt, effectively ending their drive.

With the clock ticking down and a substantial lead, Paoli took a knee, signaling the end of the game.

In a game filled with dramatic rushes, some exciting passing plays, and moments of sheer skill, the Paoli Rams emerged victorious over the Eastern Greene Thunderbirds with a final score of 57-27.

Key Statistics:

  • Total Offense Yards: Paoli had the edge in total offense yards with 430 to Eastern Greene’s 404. This slight advantage in yardage was instrumental in Paoli’s ability to keep the lead.
  • Rushing: Both teams favored the ground game. While Eastern Greene had a commendable 307 yards, Paoli outdid them with an impressive 412 yards, with a staggering average gain of 7.8 yards per rush compared to Eastern Greene’s 7.5. Moreover, Paoli secured 6 touchdowns from rushing compared to Eastern Greene’s 2.
  • Passing: Passing wasn’t a significant part of either team’s strategy. Eastern Greene attempted more passes (12-22) and managed 97 yards, but they also suffered 2 interceptions. Paoli, more conservative in their passing game (2-5), gained only 18 yards but secured a passing touchdown.
  • Points off Turnovers: Paoli showcased excellent defensive capabilities by capitalizing on Eastern Greene’s mistakes, scoring 20 points off turnovers. This was crucial in establishing a dominant lead.
  • Possession Time: Eastern Greene had control of the ball for a longer period (26:34) compared to Paoli (21:26). However, the Rams showcased efficiency by making the most of their possession time.
  • Third and Fourth Down Conversions: Eastern Greene had a decent conversion rate on third down (7 of 12) but struggled on fourth down, succeeding only 2 of 5 times. Paoli, while not shining on third-down conversions (2 of 6), was perfect on their fourth-down attempts (2 of 2).
  • Red Zone Efficiency: Paoli showcased their offensive prowess in the critical red zone, converting all 5 of their chances into touchdowns. In contrast, Eastern Greene had three chances in the red zone, but only one resulted in a touchdown.
  • Special Teams: A key highlight was Paoli’s kickoff returns. With an average return of 25.0 yards and securing a touchdown, their special teams play was a difference-maker.

Summary:

The Paoli Rams, with their efficient play, dominated in key areas, especially in rushing and capitalizing on turnovers, which played a pivotal role in their victory. While Eastern Greene put forth a valiant effort, with commendable yards both in rushing and passing, their inability to protect the ball and capitalize on critical downs hindered their performance. The statistics underscore the importance of a strong defense, red-zone efficiency, and the ability to capitalize on opponents’ mistakes in achieving victory in football.

Box Score

Offensive Player Standouts

Eastern Greene:

  • Rushing:
  • LEWIS IV, JAMES: Dominated the ground game with 22 attempts, gaining 164 yards (averaging 7.5 yards per carry) and scoring a touchdown. His longest rush was a massive 64 yards.
  • FERKINGSTAD, EVAN: Contributed significantly with 10 carries for 62 yards, including a 34-yard rush for a touchdown.
  • ADAMS, COLTEN: Carried the ball 7 times for a total of 44 yards.
  • HAWK, JONAS: Demonstrated his versatility with 2 rushes, amassing 37 yards.
  • Passing:
  • HAWK, JONAS: Attempted 22 passes, completing 12 for a total of 97 yards. He threw two touchdowns but also suffered 2 interceptions.
  • Receiving:
  • MCKNIGHT, TY: Emerged as the top receiver, catching 5 passes for 32 yards and a touchdown.
  • LEWIS, PEYTON: Grabbed 4 receptions for 37 yards and a touchdown.
  • All-Purpose Yards:
  • LEWIS IV, JAMES: Proved to be a valuable asset, amassing a total of 190 all-purpose yards.
  • CAMPBELL, BRAYDEN: Contributed 64 yards, majorly from kickoff returns.
  • FERKINGSTAD, EVAN: A good all-around performance with a combined 62 yards.

Paoli:

  • Rushing:
  • ROMINGER, TREY: Had an outstanding game with 30 rushes for 293 yards, averaging 9.8 yards per carry. He scored a whopping 4 touchdowns with his longest rush being 47 yards.
  • COLE, FLETCHER: Rushed 13 times for a total of 51 yards, scoring twice.
  • Passing:
  • COLE, FLETCHER: Made 5 pass attempts, completing 2 for a total of 18 yards and one touchdown.
  • Receiving:
  • BAKER, WILLIAM: Secured a 10-yard touchdown reception.
  • MINTON, TREY: Made a single reception for 8 yards.
  • All-Purpose Yards:
  • ROMINGER, TREY: Stood out as the game’s MVP with a combined total of 293 yards, all coming from his dominant rushing.
  • PADGETT, DANE: Contributed with a combined 127 yards, with a significant 88 yards coming from a kickoff return.

Key Takeaways:

  • Trey Rominger from Paoli demonstrated a remarkable performance, especially in the running game. His 293 rushing yards with 4 touchdowns undeniably fueled Paoli’s dominant offense.
  • For Eastern Greene, James Lewis emerged as a standout player, contributing both in rushing and returns. He had 22 carries for 167 yards and 1 touchdown.
  • In terms of passing, Eastern Greene attempted more passes, but Paoli was more efficient in terms of touchdown conversion.
  • Turnovers played a pivotal role. Both teams fumbled once, but Eastern Greene suffered from 2 interceptions which cost them crucial possessions.

Paoli’s ground game, spearheaded by Rominger, and their ability to capitalize on Eastern Greene’s mistakes were the difference-makers in this high-scoring clash.

Defensive Player Standouts

Eastern Greene’s Defense: Leading the charge for Eastern Greene was Evan Ferkingstad, registering 7.5 tackles, backed by Lane Stephens who added another 7. The duo was pivotal in trying to slow down Paoli’s powerful offense. Notably, James Lewis showcased his versatility by making 2.5 tackles and recording a sack for a 10-yard loss. The team’s collective defensive effort was evident with a total of 49 tackles, 1 sack, and 3 tackles for a loss, reflecting their resilience against a high-octane Paoli offense.

Paoli’s Defense: For Paoli, Ian Drake emerged as the standout performer, racking up 8 total tackles, with 1.5 of those resulting in a 6-yard loss for Eastern Greene. Trey Rominger, primarily known for his offensive prowess, demonstrated his all-round ability by contributing a significant 6 tackles to the team’s defense, 11 assisted. Moreover, Cooper Spires put up a noteworthy performance by intercepting the ball twice, totaling 20 yards in returns, and also breaking up two passes. The Rams’ defense was collectively formidable, tallying 56 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 6 pass break-ups.

Next Up: Paoli vs Crawford County

The Paoli Rams, fresh off their decisive 57-27 victory over Eastern Greene, will lock horns with Crawford County. This upcoming showdown is set for a 7 pm kickoff at Breeden Field.

The Rams, under the guidance of Coach Neil Dittmer, have built an impressive 5-1 record this season. Dittmer, in his 4th year with the Rams, boasts an impressive 26-12 record at Paoli. On the other side of the field, Crawford County is led by Tony Bell, who, despite his 2-28 record in 4 years with the team, brings a wealth of experience. Bell’s overall record stands at 18-43 over a span of 7 years.

Statistically, Paoli stands tall in the Sagarin ratings, ranking 118th overall and 13th in 2A, while Crawford County lags behind at 309th overall and 60th in 2A. Crawford County’s winless streak this season, reflected in their 0-6 record, was further emphasized in their latest 68-7 rout by Springs Valley. Comparatively, Paoli’s record against common foes stands at 2-0, while Crawford County’s record remains winless at 0-2.

History leans heavily in favor of Paoli. The Rams have dominated their clashes against Crawford County in the last 35 years, winning all 16 games. Their previous encounter in September 2022 witnessed Paoli decimating Crawford County with a score of 60-7.

Prediction: Given the current form, history, and statistics, the upcoming game looks like an uphill battle for Crawford County. Paoli, with its dominant offense and robust defense, is expected to maintain its winning streak. We predict a comprehensive victory for the Rams with an estimated scoreline of 56-7. Coach Dittmer’s squad will undoubtedly look to carry their momentum from the victory over Eastern Greene into this encounter, hoping to further solidify their position this season. Crawford County, on the other hand, will be hoping for an upset, aiming to turn around what has been a challenging season so far.

Eastern Greene Gears Up for Cross-State Challenge Against Red Hill

Following their 57-27 loss to Paoli, the Eastern Greene Thunderbirds are looking to bounce back in their upcoming matchup against the Red Hill Salukis of Illinois. Set to kick off at 7:30 pm ET at Red Hill’s home turf, this cross-state encounter brings intrigue as the two teams haven’t clashed in the past 35 years, adding a layer of unpredictability to the game.

The Thunderbirds, led by Coach Travis Wray, currently stand with a balanced 3-3 record. Wray, in his third year at the helm, has built a record of 11-15, molding a team that has shown sparks of brilliance, yet has room for improvement.

The Sagarin ratings show Eastern Greene at 223rd overall and 24th in 1A. This data provides some insights into their performance level, but the absence of historical matchups or data on Red Hill makes this game particularly challenging to predict.

As always, we’d like to thank Rominger Farms more making this coverage of Paoli Rams football possible! Stay tuned for complete photo gallery later this week.

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