Green Oaks Giants opened district play with a back-and-forth 40-29 win over the Loyola Flyers on Friday night at Messmer Stadium.
The Giants went into the fourth quarter with a lead only to lose it late in the quarter. Green Oaks got its composure and marched down the field to eventually take the victory away from the Flyers.
Jaylon Carey compiled 294 yards and four touchdown passes to lead the Giants.
“It was back and forth all night long, basically they scored and we scored,’’ Carey said. “We couldn’t get down, we had to win another…we know we are young but we have been preparing and practicing all week. We came out ready to fight and stay with at as a team.”
Carey was also assisted by Cadarius White who put in 114 yards, including a 90-yard run for a touchdown.
“I’ve seen a tremendous growth in him this year,’’ Green Oaks coach Curts Evans said. “I’ve had him for four years and turning things around and trying to be a leader. He is a lot more responsive to coaching things now. He’s worked his tail off to be successful. He’s all about the team.’’
The third quarter was a defensive struggle as neither team could put points on the board. The fourth quarter was a different story. Green Oaks seemed to be in the driver’s seat to cruise for the victory as the Giants added to their lead with 19-yard pass from Carey to Tommy Jones to take a 26-14 advantage.
The momentum seemed to swing the Flyers’ way. The Flyers marched down the field and eventually gave it to Carter Windham for a 1-yard run to close the gap to 26-21. Green Oaks then fumbled the kickoff return and gave Loyola the ball back on 25-yard line. Loyola makes a crucial fourth down and Bishop George led the drive and allowed Loyola to take the lead 29-26.
Carey didn’t let his Giants team fall apart. Carey found Deonte Crawford for a 35-yard pass that allowed the Giants to retake the lead 34-29. Green Oaks then closed the door on the victory with an interception by Shannon Gilliam to end the game with a 40-29 win.
“We needed a drive to go ahead and offensively we came up and made the play,’’ Loyoal coach Alan Carter said. “Unfortunately, we couldn’t hold on. Green Oaks made the plays in the end.”
Green Oaks took a 20-14 lead into halftime. The Flyers started off the scoring as Windham bolted into the end zone from 10 yards to give the Flyers the early 7-0 lead. Green Oaks closed the gap with an air attack as Carey connected with Crawford for a 53-yard touchdown pass. Loyola then punted the deep into the Giants territory and left them on the 1-yard line. Carey looked like he was tackled in the end zone for a safety, but he was called him down on the 1-yard line.
White escaped the Flyer defenders to rocket down the field for 90 yards to give the Giants their first lead of the game. The Flyers didn’t let the Giant keep the momentum as George connected with Dylan Spillers for 58-yard pass which put the Flyers on the 1-yard line. George then muscled his way into the end zone to tie the game up. The momentum from the first quarter looked to spill over into the second quarter as Green Oaks quickly took the lead as Carey hit Gilliam for a 23-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-down conversion.
The defense then took control of the game. Green Oaks looked to be on another successful drive but was broken up with an interception from Jalen Peterson deep in Flyer territory. The defense kept the score to close out the first half at 20-14.