SESSER -- The ghosts of past postseasons came back to haunt Sesser-Valier/Woodlawn/Waltonville here Saturday.
Led by the one-man wrecking crew, senior running back Christian Moss, 10th-seeded Greenville upended the Red Devils, 39-20, at Carroll Kelly Field in a Class 3A first round playoff game.
Moss rushed 57 times for 274 yards, scoring four touchdowns.
"Coming into the game with both teams playing in closed conferences, we didn't know what to expect but we knew they were physical," said SVWW coach John Shadowens. "We hoped to stay toe to toe and maybe get a stop or two, but it wasn't in the cards. He (Moss) is one heckuva back."
It was another early exit from the postseason playoffs for the Red Devils. They have qualified for the playoffs five times in the last seven years, but failed to make it past the first round.
Greenville jumped out to a 12-0 first quarter lead. Moss scored on a 2-yard run on the Comets' opening possession. The opening drive covered 65 yards in 13 plays.
SVWW committed two penalties on its opening drive, forcing a punt.
A 43-yard run by Moss gave the Comets a first down at the Red Devils' 23. Facing a fourth-and-goal from the 6 following a penalty, Greenville scored its second touchdown when Brandon Hamel caught a tipped pass in the end zone.
Three minutes into the second period, Greenville fumbled. It took SVWW just four plays to find paydirt. Senior Lukas Gunter hauled in a 23-yard pass reception from quarterback Clayton Smith.
Greenville took a 20-6 lead on its next possession. Despite being penalized twice on the 73-yard drive, Moss scored his second touchdown on a 12-yard run. The Comets completed a pass for the two-point conversion.
SVWW cut it to 20-12 with 37 seconds to go in the half when Gunter caught a 58-yard pass from Smith. Gunter had three receptions and two TD's for 94 yards.
"Lukas Gunter did what he did all year, make plays," Shadowens said. "Smith made some plays and kept us in the game.
"We were in the game at halftime," he added. "If we could've put together a drive, it might've been different. We couldn't do it. I felt their front seven controlled the ball game."
Early in the third quarter, the Red Devils got burned on a 69-yard TD pass from quarterback Wil Harnetiaux to Hamel.
Moss essentially put the game away on Greenville's next possession after Smith was intercepted at the SVWW 42. Moss was responsible for every yard during the possession, including the 1-yard TD run as the Comets ate about 7 minutes off the clock.
Tanner Eubanks scored the Red Devils' remaining touchdown on a 49-yard pass reception on the first play of the fourth quarter.
"It surprised me. They were still playing zero coverage with a two-touchdown lead and no help over the top so we faked a bubble they were taking away, they gave it to us and we took it," Shadowens explained.
Smith was 7-of-17 for 190 yards. He was intercepted twice. Harnetiaux was 8-of-10 for 123 yards. Greenville had 397 total yards and held SVWW to 66 rushing yards.
Moss, whose team advances to the second round with an 8-2 record, got his fourth touchdown on a 5-yard run with 2:23 remaining in the game.
"If someone would've given us 8-1 and a home field playoff game we would've taken it in a heartbeat. Of course when you get to 8-0 you want more. This group reached their ceiling. They got every ounce out of their ability," Shadowens concluded.
The Red Devils completed their season with an 8-2 mark.