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Plum football team snaps 25-game losing streak

Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review
Plum's Nicholas Robb eludes Greensburg Salem's Devon Smith to return a first-quarter kickoff for a touchdown Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, during their game at Offutt Field.

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By George Guido
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 11:06 p.m.

After 25 consecutive defeats, the Plum football finally tasted victory Wednesday night — but had to wait until the waning seconds to secure the long-awaited win.

An interception by Nick Robb at the goal line with 11 seconds remaining ended a Greensburg Salem threat and gave the Mustangs a 30-22 victory in a Week 10 nonconference game at Offutt Field.

Robb also scored on a 78-yard kickoff return, and fullback Zach Martin had two touchdowns to lead Plum (1-9). It was the first Plum victory since Sept. 9, 2011.

The Golden Lions finished the campaign 3-7 in what was the 120th football season at Offut Field.

The Mustangs had fallen behind 22-20, but a field goal by Jake Chapla and a Martin touchdown with 1:59 to go in the fourth quarter gave Plum the final advantage.

“It's great to finally see us overcome that adversity,” Mustangs coach Matt Morgan said. “We shoot ourselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers, and we finally said enough's enough. Let's go finish this one.”

Martin and Greensburg Salem coach Dave Keefer agreed earlier this week not to play seniors. Underclassmen took advantage and showed what they can do.

Freshman Nicolas Coxon had 79 yards rushing for Plum, and sophomore Patrick Crossey caught three passes for 67 yards.

The Golden Lions were led by junior Lenny Grebeck, who scored three touchdowns. Grebeck ran for 150 yards and caught four passes for 80 yards.

“Matt and I have a pretty good relationship, and our objective was to try and build our teams and we felt it was a good situation,” Keefer said. “I think it went well.”

Zach Nolan recovered a Greensburg fumble on the third play of the game, and the Mustangs marched 42 yards in six plays. Martin scored on a 3-yard run.

The Golden Lions answered with a 50-yard scoring scamper by Grebeck.

On the ensuing kickoff, however, Robb found an opening and raced 78 yards to put Plum back on top.

The Mustangs added another touchdown on a 27-yard toss from Will Fuhrer to Crossey.

After Grebeck recovered a Mustangs fumble, the 5-foot-7, 175-pound running back caught a 55-yard scoring strike from Brady Mason and hauled in a two-point conversion pass from Mason.

Greensburg Salem took a 22-20 lead on Grebeck's 16-yard run and Mason's conversion scramble.

Early in the fourth quarter, Mason was in punt formation and the snap went over the junior's head at the Plum 19. The Mustangs couldn't move the ball, but Chapla's 38-yard field goal gave Plum a 23-22 lead.

Another low snap gave the Mustangs possession on the Plum 36. A 28-yard pass to Crossey on fourth-and-9 gave Plum the ball at the 7, setting up a 1-yard burst by Martin.

“This feels good,” Zach Martin said. “Hopefully, we can carry it into next year. We need to go into this season and work hard.”

The Golden Lions made it to the Plum 16 before Robb's interception. The ball was close enough to the goal line that Plum couldn't go into victory formation and had to run a play.

The Mustangs have won three of four games all-time against the Golden Lions.

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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