GREENWOOD — Greenwood’s student section had rock and roll night on Friday.
The football team definitely followed suit.
The Bulldogs rocked in every way and rolled to a 45-14 win against Van Buren to open 7A/6A-Central play at Smith-Robinson Stadium.
Greenwood (4-0, 1-0) got points from the defense, from special teams and, of course, from the offense which didn’t even punt in the first half.
"When the defense makes a play that’s huge," Greenwood head coach Rick Jones said. "We’re supposed to pick each other. That’s the way things work. We made the play in the kicking game and that was huge."
Van Buren (2-2, 0-1) threatened mildly on the opening drive of the game and ran six minutes, 25 seconds off the clock, playing keep away from Greenwood’s potent offense.
"We couldn’t get off the field," Jones said. "It’s frustrating when your offense is going pretty well and you can’t get out there. Our guys made some adjustments."
After that, though, the Bulldogs were unstoppable.
Luke Hales hit Ryan Padilla on three straight plays, covering 33 yards, and Jordan Green covered the final 30 yards on two plays, including a 16-yard touchdown run on a 7-play drive that took 85 seconds.
Hales threw a two-point pass to Devin Gilbert for a quick 8-0 lead.
Greenwood’s defense forced Van Buren to punt three plays later, and Jax Burgess crashed through the line, blocked the punt and covered it in the end zone for a touchdown.
"Statistically, a blocked punt is the worst thing that can happen to you," Van Buren head coach Greg Werner said. "That was a killer for us."
Jarrod Cooper’s extra point booted Greenwood up 15-0 with 3:37 left in the first quarter.
Van Buren threatened again, getting to Greenwood’s 4 before a bad snap and two straight incomplete passes thwarted the drive.
Greenwood drove to Van Buren’s 8 but lost a fumble.
On Van Buren’s first play, linebacker Grant Morgan tackled Jaylynn Dye in the end zone for a safety and a 17-0 lead.
‘It’s good to have all three phases involved in the scoring," Jones said. "That doesn’t happen too often."
Greenwood’s offense struck for three touchdowns to end the quarter.
"We talked a lot this week about surviving the storm, and we didn’t survive the storm early on," Werner said. "We had two really good drives and didn’t do anything with it. If we can cash in there, we can stay in the game a little bit longer at least."
Connor Noland hit Padilla on a 18-yard touchdown pass, Jordan Green scored on a 5-yard run, and Noland hit Drew Dundee on a 28-yard yard touchdown pass for three touchdowns in off less than six minutes.
"When we get in rhythm we’re pretty decent," Jones said. "We usually can find some ways to move the ball."
Greenwood finished with 406 yards of offense, spurred by 231 yards on the ground.
Green led the Bulldogs ground game with 71 yards with Kenny Wood adding 66.
Hales and Noland combined to throw for 175 yards with Padilla snaring eight passes for 94 yards.