GREENVILLE, Ill. -- The Greenville College football team (2-3, 1-0 UMAC) christened the new sod on Francis Field Saturday with a 10-9 win over Martin Luther.
In a tightly contested battle, the Panthers found just enough offense to hold off the stingy Martin Luther (2-3, 1-2 UMAC) defense. Once again it was senior running back Anthony Ambers carrying the Greenville offense with 22 carries for 182 yards and one touchdown. Freshman kicker Luis Diaz accounted for the only other Greenville points, making the game winning field goal from 19 yards out.
The Panther defense played with an energy and determination that held the Knights to only seven offensive points. The unit was led by junior linebacker Kiso Faletufuga with six tackles, one sack and three tackles for loss. Senior Jumaane Bey helped keep the explosive Knight offensive at bay with his seven tackles for loss. The safety combination of juniors Andy Lozano and John Smith combined for 10 tackles and one tackle for loss.
Offensively, the Knights were led by senior quarterback Greg Holzhueter and his 137 yards of total offense. On the defense, senior linebacker Matthew Rothe led the Knights with eight tackles and one tackle for loss.
Martin Luther controlled the ball the majority of the first quarter with two drives over 10 plays long. The Panther defense made the Knights work for every yard and pounced on the opportunities they were given. A fumble on the 7 yard line recovered by freshman defensive lineman Justin Coleman ended Martin Luther's second drive.
The fumble recovery set up the Knights for the first score of the day early in the second quarter. On third down and nine yards to go on their own 8 yard line quarterback Joel Lira was sacked in the end zone for a safety. The second half ended with Diaz missing a 38 yard field goal keeping the score 2-0 Martin Luther.
The third quarter was just as uneventful for the Panther offense as the first two. Martin Luther on the other hand started to roll. With their third drive of the quarter, the Knights put together a seven-play 84 yard touchdown drive that was finished off with a 7 yard run by sophomore tight end Mike Voss.
The fourth quarter began with the Panther offense looking at a third down and five yards to go from the Martin Luther 19 yard line. Ambers lined up at quarterback and scored the first Greenville touchdown of the day.
After stopping the Knight offense on a crucial fourth down, Greenville looked to take the lead. Ten plays and 59 yards later, Greenville was facing a fourth down on the Martin Luther 2 yard line with 5:47 left in the game. Head Coach Ordell Walker didn't hesitate to bring in the freshman Diaz to seal the win. After the made field goal, Greenville had their first lead of the day 10-9.
The Greenville defense stopped the Knights desperation pass attempts and held on for their first UMAC victory of the season.
"It was a great game by the defense today and hopefully next week we can help them out a little more," said offensive coordinator Robbie Schomaker.
Next week the Panthers continue UMAC play by traveling to the College of St. Scholastica (3-2, 2-1 UMAC) in Duluth, Minn., at 3:30 p.m.