It was close but Greenbacks get the big W, 21-19 over Kingman on homecoming night Friday.
The Greenback football team topped rival the Kingman Eagles at the Pratt homecoming game on Friday, October 4 with a final score of 21-19.
The Greenbacks pulled ahead in the first quarter, scoring a touchdown and the extra point. They continued to secure the lead in the second quarter, scoring another two touchdowns. Kingman was able to score one touchdown in the second quarter, ending the first half with a score of 21-7 in Pratt’s favor. In the third quarter, the Eagles scored two touchdowns, but missed the extra points, and neither the Greenbacks nor the Eagles scored in the final quarter.
Being their first win of the season, the Pratt players and coaches were excited to get a win under their belt, especially against their rival and on homecoming.
“I’m really happy for our kids,” Hoelting said. “They have worked really hard, so for us to finally end up on the right side of the scoreboard was a great feeling.”
Senior player Jarrett Bates pointed out that this win against Kingman would most likely be the last one for a long time, since Kingman will be bumping down to the KSHSAA 2A division and will no longer be facing Pratt in football.
“It always feels good to beat a rival, especially since we won’t play them again for a long time because they are dropping down to 2A,” Bates said.
Coach Hoelting felt the team had a great start, which he thought helped them gain some momentum early in the game.
“We did a good job of coming out and setting the tone early,” said Hoelting. “I thought the early turnover we caused was big because we were able to score off of it.”
Along with the beginning, Bates said there were other moments that helped Pratt win.
“Derek Roadhouse’s forced fumble in the 2nd quarter and Devon Weber’s pick in the 4th quarter were some really big plays since Kingman was driving the ball on us,” Bates said. “Those plays shifted the momentum of the game in our favor.”
Hoelting thought the team did a good job on the offensive side of the game.
“I thought our offensive line played really well as a whole,” Hoelting said. “They were able to get a push and really move some defenders off the ball.”
Hoelting has seen improvement in the team since the beginning of the season.
“Our line did a great job of handling shifts and stunts tonight,” Hoelting said. “We have leaders stepping up and being more vocal as the season has progressed, that has been nice to see.”
For the next game, Bates hopes to fix some of the smaller details.
“There are a lot of little things that need improvement,” Bates said. “We need to do a better job of moving the ball through the air and not turning the ball over and putting our defense in bad positions.”
Though the team has faced adversity in that there have been numerous injuries, Bates said it has brought them closer together.
“I feel like we played together more as a unit. We had a lot of people step up,” Bates said.
“We may have had a few hiccups here and there and some adversity to overcome, but overall I feel like we have gotten closer as teammates which makes us work harder together come game time.”
Hoelting was happy with the win on Friday, and he thought the team did a good job of handling the conditions of the game.
“Kingman is always a big game for our program, and with it being homecoming, our kids did a great job of minimizing distractions and being ready to play.”
The Greenbacks head to Hugoton on Friday, Oct. 11 to face the Hugoton Eagles.