• 75°

Friday Night Hero: West Rowan’s Austin Greenwood

By Ronnie Gallagher
rgallagher@salisburypost.com
MOUNT ULLA ó Tim Dixon watched the play unfold and admitted he wasn’t thinking about a West Rowan victory.
The Falcons were winning 10-7 on Monday night as the final seconds of regulation ticked off the clock, but Lake Norman was snapping the ball on a third-and-goal from the West 1-yard line.
“I’m thinking it’s over,” said Dixon, a West assistant who works with the defensive backs. “I usually have pretty good faith, but I felt they could push it in on that deal.”
Lake Norman put the ball in the hands of Eric Manser. West head coach Scott Young explained what he saw:
“They had two lead blockers for him. They had our defensive front and linebacker guys blocked. It could have been a touchdown.”
That’s right, it could have been.
But it wasn’t because of Austin Greenwood.
The free safety sniffed out the play and made the initial hit, knocking Manser to the ground for a 2-yard loss. The Wildcats settled for a field goal to force overtime, but West won 23-17 in a very tense, second overtime period.
“Austin Greenwood perhaps saved the game for us,” Young said.
Greenwood, a 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior, has a way of saving the day for West.
Last year, when star back K.P. Parks sat out a first-round playoff game, Greenwood produced a 145-yard rushing game.
“Austin can play a lot of positions,” Dixon said. “He’s very athletic.”
Thankfully for West, Greenwood was on defense for the biggest play of the season.
“I just saw everything crashing in toward the middle,” he said. “I saw a hole opening up on the outside. I cheated up a lot. I knew it was a run up the middle because they had that big No. 44 (Dirqual Ellis) in.”
Greenwood saw Manser coming at him.
“I was like, ‘All right, this is it,’ ” Greenwood said.
That was it for Manser, who was pounded to the ground.
“We hit, and he went straight down,” Greenwood said with a smile.
Dixon said Greenwood was just doing his job.
“Austin was running the alley like a good free safety should,” Dixon said. “He fired up there and got a good lick on him. He has been making big plays all year.”
Greenwood expected he’d have to make some type of impact in the game.
“The coaches told us the offenses would have trouble because both defenses are pretty good,” he said.
Greenwood also made his fourth interception of the year when a pass bounced off a Lake Norman receiver.
“It was a fun game,” he said.
Said Young, “Overall, he was flying around making tackles. He has had a great senior year. He has played himself into being eligible for some postseason awards.”
Dixon said Greenwood is a quiet kid who made a very loud hit when it counted the most.
“I call him the ‘Silent Assassin,’ ” Dixon said.
Greenwood certainly buried Lake Norman’s chances at an upset of the only undefeated team left in the NPC.
“Everybody’s coming up to me talking about being a game-saver,” Greenwood said the following day.
No one was singing his praises more than his head coach.
“Austin Greenwood,” Young announced, “was a true hero.”

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s Dragon Boat race returns after year hiatus

Local

Marker commemorating Jim Crow-era lynchings in Rowan County, racial injustice required years of work

Local

Identified Marine was a Salisbury native, served in WWII

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees COVID-19 cases coming more quickly, remains in middle tier for community spread

Cleveland

Cleveland plans to build walking trail, community barn quilt mural

High School

High school athletics: Male Athlete of the Year Walker in league of once-in-a-generation players

Business

Young entrepreneur learns lesson of responsibility by raising quail, selling eggs

Lifestyle

Historic McCanless House sold, buyers plan on converting home into events venue

Lifestyle

Library’s Summer Reading Week 10 has virtual storytime, last chance to log hours

Coronavirus

Positive COVID test knocks DeChambeau out of Olympics

College

College football: North grad Delaney ready for next challenges at Johnson C. Smith

College

Fishing: Carson grad Bauer signs with CVCC

Business

Biz Roundup: City of Salisbury brings back in-person community resource fair

Nation/World

States scale back virus reporting just as cases surge

Nation/World

Wildfires blasting through West draw states to lend support

Nation/World

French protesters reject virus passes, vaccine mandate

News

State briefs roundup

Crime

Salisbury man arrested for robbery in Cleveland

Crime

Blotter: South Carolina man arrested after attempting to purchase dog with stolen credit card

Local

Carolyn Hurley remembered as giving person

News

Stay-at-home orders cut into commercial fishermen’s catch last year

News

Two bodies found after helicopter goes down off NC coast

Nation/World

Unlikely partners: Pelosi, Cheney team up for Jan. 6 probe

Crime

Uber driver charged with sexually assaulting customer near Knightdale