Kroner's football semifinal storylines
Another record day?
Three years ago, Unity and Greenville played in a Class 3A football semifinal game. The two teams established an IHSA playoff scoring record (111 points) for their class, a mark that remains unbroken. Unity posted a 58-53 victory in the 2009 game.
There are indications that Saturday’s 1 p.m. game at Hicks Field could evolve into another shootout. Once-beaten Greenville has scored more than 40 points in nine of its 12 games. Unity (11-1) has hit the 40-point mark in seven games. Counting the 2009 loss to Unity, Greenville is 0-3 all time in the state semifinals. Unity’s semifinal record is 3-5.
Does size matter?
Greenville is the biggest team in the Class 3A division. The school has 570 students, an increase of 16 from the previous year. The smallest Class 4A playoff entry had an enrollment of 574 students.
Unity’s enrollment is 472 students, up from 455 in 2011. The Rockets have an edge in seniority. Unity has 20 seniors on its team this fall, and 15 start or play regularly.
Greenville has six seniors on its roster and three start, including rushing leader Cameron Walter (2,201 yards). “He’s a running back who has a combination of power, speed and good vision,” Unity coach Scott Hamilton said.
Similar offense, different means
Unity and Greenville have amassed more than 4,900 yards of total offense this season, but they have taken different paths on the way to 5,000. The Rockets have gained more than 75 percent of their yards (3,883 of 4,922) on the ground (1,245 by junior Conner Grace).
Greenville is much closer to 50 percent each way. The Comets have 2,634 passing yards to go with more than 2,300 rushing. “When you play a team with the balance they have, if you allow them to run, you’re in real trouble,” Hamilton said. “We’ll look to stop the run and get them in a situation where they are forced to throw.”
From the Unity notebook
If junior quarterback Justin Deters completes a pass, chances are good that he will reach the 1,000-yard mark this season. The junior has thrown for 998 yards thus far while completing 51.4 percent of his passes. ... Four Rockets have scored at least 10 touchdowns this year: Grace (15), Deters (14), Micah Johnson (12) and Mitch Negangard (10). Collectively, they have accounted for 51 of the team’s 61 TDs. ... Sophomore linebacker Colton Reed has been in on a team-high 12 sacks. ... Unity and Greenville have nine-game winning streaks. Each school lost Sept. 7 home games.