The Spartans (3-0) jumped all over crosstown foe Greenwood from the outset, steamrolling their way to a 43-7 blowout win at SWHS.
“I thought they came out with a lot of energy, and they executed early,” SWHS coach Brandon Smith said. “They’ve really done that the past two weeks. They’ve gained some momentum, gained the lead, and they didn’t let up.
“They really got stronger, and that’s a sign of a great team. I told them if they continue to do that, they can become a great team.”
South Warren, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A in the latest Associated Press prep poll, forced the KHSAA-mandated running clock with a 36-point lead with 8:30 left in the second quarter.
Before halftime, the Spartans racked up three rushing touchdowns, a punt return score, a blocked punt return TD and a touchdown on a fumble return.
South has outscored its first three opponents 128-25 this season.
“Our special teams and punt return, specifically, helped us out a lot,” junior quarterback Ryder Litten said. “Our defense just held Greenwood all night. You don’t have to do much on offense when your defense is scoring that much.”
South Warren went with a heavy dose of Litten to start the game. The dual threat finished with 132 rushing yards – all in the first quarter.
Litten lost a fumble after rushing for 36 total yards on the opening drive, but Greenwood sophomore QB Jackson Adams gave it right back with a lost fumble of his own after a 30-yard run to start.
Litten didn’t make the same mistake twice. He broke free for touchdown runs of 34 and 38 yards to make it 14-0 with 5:12 left in the first quarter.
Senior running back Devante Colton had a 40-yard TD run on the first play of the second quarter, and SWHS senior Bryan Cummings returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown with 10:05 to play in the half.
Things continued to unravel for the Gators (2-1), who came into the week ranked eighth in Class 5A.
“It just kind of snowballed, and the ball just kept getting bigger as it rolled,” Greenwood coach Chris Seabolt said.
South Warren senior Austin McElwain blocked a punt and brought it back 10 yards for a touchdown. The Spartans completed the two-point conversion with a Litten run to start the running clock.
Senior Kyle Bohr capped South’s scoring by returning an Adams fumble 10 yards to the end zone, making it 43-0 with 6:27 left in the half.
Adams scored Greenwood’s first touchdown ever against South Warren in the third year of the series with 31 seconds left in the frame on a 2-yard run.
Adams, the area’s leading rusher coming into the week, notched two runs of at least 30 yards, but negative-yardage plays left him with 56 yards on the ground.