SIDNEY — Sidney dominated Greenville to keep the Little Brown Jug for another year. The squad is quickly turning its attention to the next four weeks and a chance to earn another trophy.
The Yellow Jackets beat the Green Wave 49-7 to earn their third consecutive victory by a running-clock margin.
After a tumultuous few weeks in Miami Valley League play, Sidney is tied for first place in overall league standings with three other teams — all of which they’re set to face over the final four weeks.
The tough stretch starts this coming Friday at Tippecanoe (4-2, 4-1 MVL), which suffered its first league loss Friday night with a 24-19 loss at Vandalia-Butler.
Sidney (4-2, 4-1) accumulated 489 yards of offense against the winless Green Wave. The team did it without junior Julius Spradling, who had led the squad in rushing and receiving yards and in tackles the first half of the season.
Spradling plays at quarterback, running back, receiver and defensive back. He suffered a shoulder injury last week and is expected to miss several weeks.
“We did some really good things, but we’ve got some things we’ve got to clean up,” Sidney coach Dave Taynor said. “I was happy to see us function pretty well without Julius being in there. We were able to get in and out of some different offensive looks.
“Happy with what we did. We’ve just got to build on it and get ready for next week with Tipp.”
Sidney senior quarterback Tucker Herron completed 15-of-25 passes for 202 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. He also scored on a short TD run.
Junior Perry “Tank” Fleming caught three TD passes and had 90 receiving yards on eight catches; he ran for 74 yards on five carries. Ethan New caught three passes for 61 yards.
Isaiah Foster ran for 107 yards on 13 carries and scored one TD. Brice Hughes ran for 69 yards on 13 carries and caught two passes for 19 yards.
After scoring touchdowns on its first four possessions, Sidney struggled in the last two thirds of the second quarter.
But it quickly added two touchdowns in the third quarter to start a running clock.
“We started well and played the game the way it’s supposed to be played,” Taynor said. “We were physical up front. We had a little bit of a lull there in the second quarter where we were a little bit complacent. We didn’t finish the half, which I wasn’t happy with that.”
The second quarter struggles were capped by an interception in the last seconds, followed by an 80-yard touchdown run by Greenville senior quarterback Evan Manix with six seconds left on a run up the middle.
“The number one thing they’ve had their most big plays on this year …is a QB read power,” Taynor said. “We said, ‘We’re not letting the quarterback carry the ball, force him to hand the ball off.’ …We had a guy out, a guy who hasn’t taken a whole lot of reps was out there and jumped outside, and backside didn’t get across.”
Greenville managed 167 yards of offense and committed three turnovers.
Joel Lyons recovered a fumble and intercepted a pass for Sidney, and Mitchell Davis intercepted a pass. Senior linebacker Rylee Vestal led the team with 6.5 tackles (four solo, five assisted).
“We played really good defensive football except for one snap,” Taynor said. “… We’ve just to make sure we’re mentally locked in all the time. We’re on a good enough run right now that we need to have attention to the smallest details and continue to grow as a team.”
Greenville didn’t get a first down until late in the second quarter and punted on its first four drives. The Yellow Jackets built up a lead quickly.
Fleming caught a 4-yard TD pass from Herron with 9:19 left in the first quarter. Herron scored on a 1-yard run with 5:02 left, then threw a 20-yard TD pass to Fleming with 55 seconds left.
Dylan Kelly caught a 16-yard TD pass with 9:16 left in the second quarter to push the lead to 28-0.
After Sidney’s lull, the Yellow Jackets started a running clock quickly in the third quarter.
After Greenville went three-and-out to start the half, New caught a 24-yard TD pass with 7:16 left. After Lyons recovered a fumble in Greenville territory, Fleming caught a 25-yard TD pass with five minutes left to push the lead to 42-7 and start a running clock.
Foster capped off a long drive with a 2-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter to increase the final margin to 42 points.
Grady Mitchell made all six of his extra-point attempts for Sidney.
Sidney hasn’t lost since a 24-15 loss at Xenia in Week 3. The squad started its winning streak with a 56-6 win over Fairborn the following week. Xenia (4-2, 3-2) has lost twice since Week 3, including a 28-21 loss to Fairborn on Friday.
Aside from the Yellow Jackets and Tipp, Troy (5-1) and Butler (4-2) are each 4-1 in MVL play.
It’s the fourth straight year Sidney has beaten Greenville and claimed possession of the Little Brown Jug. The Yellow Jackets have won seven of the last eight meetings.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.