Green hits paydirt as running back for Coyotes

Reed City running back Jon Green (left) pulls away from Big Rapids' Jamison Green during the Coyotes' 39-26 victory over the Cardinals on Thursday. (Herald Review photo/Greg Buckner)
Reed City running back Jon Green (left) pulls away from Big Rapids’ Jamison Green during the Coyotes’ 39-26 victory over the Cardinals on Thursday. (Herald Review photo/Greg Buckner)

REED CITY — At a football program like the one at Reed City, the expectation is when the team graduates players or loses someone from the roster, the next man will step up.

After losing Garrett Benson and Jordan Straub to graduation this offseason, Coyotes running back Jon Green knew he was the next man up for Reed City this season.

If the Coyotes first game of the season against Big Rapids on Thursday, a 39-26 victory, is any indication, Green is more than ready to lead the Coyotes’ rushing attack after piling up 191 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries on Thursday, with most of that damage coming in the first half of the game.

“It’s always good to win, especially against Big Rapids,” he said. “You can’t go in there thinking you’re going to kick someone’s (butt), but you have to go in with the mentality that you’re going to win.”

Reed City coach Monty Price said he was impressed with the work both Green and the Coyotes’ offensive line did on Thursday night.

“Jon Green will get the accolades in the paper, but our offensive line did a tremendous job, especially opening up our trap game,” he said. “Jon ran hard and the offensive line gave him the creases he needed and he just kept fighting. That was a huge part to us establishing our run game.”

Green shared Price’s assessment of the Coyotes’ offensive line.

“They did a great job,” he said. “Like every play, there was nobody around. I wouldn’t have gotten those touchdowns (Thursday) without my offensive linemen.”

Despite the Coyotes’ running game not looking the greatest in practice leading up the Thursday’s game, Green said he and his teammates knew they would have a better showing on the ground once game time came.

“I think it was just a lack of discipline in practice,” he said. “Not everyone was going hard in practice because it’s practice. When we step out on the game field, you have to have a different mentality.”

With one strong showing under his belt, Green said he wouldn’t have been set up to succeed this season without all of the offseason work he and his teammates did during summer workouts.

“Weightlifting was the biggest thing I worked on,” he said. “I did a lot of strength training to get stronger and run faster.”

Green will attempt to continue his strong start to the season on Friday when the Coyotes (1-0, 1-0) head to Morley Stanwood.