VAN HORNE — Seeking its first playoff victory since 1980, fourth-ranked Benton Community found itself in a dogfight early against No. 10 ranked Greene County.
In a 10-0 hole at the end of the first quarter, the Bobcats (9-1, 4-1 2A-7) needed a spark. They certainly found one in “pony” Matt Davis, who led Benton to a 45-20 first-round victory.
“Matt’s been a pony all year,” Benton Coach Kal Goodchild said. “He’s been a four-year varsity player. I can’t say enough about him.”
Early in the second quarter, a beautiful punt by Dylan Spina pinned Greene County (8-2, 4-1 2A-9) at its own 1. On the Rams’ first offensive play, Davis broke into the backfield and forced a safety.
Davis later broke loose for a 49-yard TD run, breaking several tackles along the way. Jack Shaw punched in the 2-point conversion, and just like that the game was tied at 10 apiece.
“We needed something because we were kind of flat,” Davis said. “We needed something to boost our confidence, so that safety definitely helped.”
Davis’ score sparked the Bobcats, as the offense continued to explode when quarterback Clayton Krousie burst through a hole and sprinted to the end zone for a 52-yard TD, giving Benton its first lead at 17-13.
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Turner Schroeder then intercepted Greene County quarterback Brent Riley at the Rams 17. The Bobcats were able to convert on a crucial fourth-and-7 on Greene County’s 14 as Krousie found Davis on a screen pass that Davis ran untouched into the end zone. Davis’ second score gave a Benton a 24-13 which it took into half.
As impressive as his first half was, his second half was far more impressive.
Davis scored from 69 yards out to give Bobcats a bigger cushion at the start of the second half. On Benton’s next possession, Davis took it 79 yards for another score
Benton will host West Liberty next Friday in next week’s quarterfinals.