LEXINGTON — The Minutemen needed a spark and Alex Green provided it.
The Richland Bank Athlete of the Week, Green rushed for 168 yards and one important touchdown as seventh-seeded Lexington stunned No. 2 Tiffin Columbian 31-21 in the opening round of the Division III, Region 10 playoffs Friday at Frost-Kalnow Stadium.
Lex was clinging to a 24-14 lead late in the third quarter and the offense was sputtering deep in its own territory. On second-and 16 at the Lexington 14 yard line, quarterback Jake Depperschmidt turned and handed the ball to Green and, 86 yards later, the Minutemen had some breathing room.
“It was an (isolation) play. We weren’t expecting it to go anywhere. We were backed up into our own red zone,” said Green, who has taken on an even bigger role since Kaydan Berry was lost to an injury. “Our line, they just had heart. We got through there and popped one big.”
While Green might have been surprised to see the play result in a touchdown, teammate and All-America candidate Cade Stover was not.
“He’s one of the fastest dudes I’ve ever been around,” said Stover, who rushed for 170 yards and two touchdowns. “Once he gets the corner, there’s no looking back.”
By all accounts, Green is one of the fastest players in the area. He is a standout sprinter for the track team in the spring.
“We call him ‘AG’ because he’s too fast to say both his names,” Lexington coach Taylor Gerhardt said. “We always knew that Alex was that kind of player.
“There’s no kid with more spirit. He’s fearless. He’s infectious with his character," Gerhardt said.
Green came up with another huge play — this time on defense — in the fourth quarter. His interception near the Lexington goal line with less than five minutes remaining all but sealed the win.
“I don’t think we’ve played as good of a game (defensively),” Green said.
After staring the season 1-4, the Minutemen have won six straight games. Next up for Lex (7-4) is a regional semifinal showdown against Sandusky at Willard High School on Friday. The sixth-seeded Blue Streaks upset No. 3 Bay 34-14 in the regional quarterfinals.
“Now that we’re in this position, we’re letting it loose and going hard every play,” Green said. “Our expectations are to, obviously focus on (Sandusky), but we’d like to win the region.”