' Dogs start fast, fade
Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2011 8:49 am
By KEVIN WEAKS
Gleason made three big plays right out of the gate. West Carroll made all the rest.
Gleason was good on the opening possession of the game, but the War Eagles were better pretty much the rest of the way in a 31-15 WC win Friday night at Parks Edwards Field in Gleason.
“West Carroll came in ready to play, and we didn’t. It’s as simple as that,” said Gleason head coach Noah Lampkins, obviously upset, frustrated and in no mood to talk to the lone media representative seeking postgame comments.
The War Eagles looked helpless as Gleason took the opening kickoff and sprinted 71 yards in three plays for the early lead.
Zach Mileski, who electrified the crowd several times on kick returns, broke off runs of 13 and 19 yards, the second for the game’s first score just 51 seconds into the game. Those two plays sandwiched a 39-yard carry by David Spellings.
Conner Verdell’s point-after kick gave the Bulldogs a quick 7-0 lead.
Gleason then forced West Carroll to punt after three plays and looked to be in great shape again when Chase Ezell took the kick back 30 yards to the Eagle 29 followed by a 23-yard run by Verdell.
That, however, was the end of Gleason’s dominance in the game. The ’Dogs netted just one more yard on three plays, giving the ball up on downs.
Counting Verdell’s run to the West Carroll six, Gleason gained 94 yards on its first four plays with four first downs. After that, the Bulldogs managed just 164 yards and seven first downs on 32 plays.
The shift was almost immediate.
Going backward a net of 12 yards on its first three plays, West Carroll went forward for 450 on its next63. Carson Suite churned up the middle of the field for 195 rushing yards on 27 carries, while Jamal Glenn and Jacob Wynn each carried 13 times, Wynn with 81 yards and Glenn with 72.
West Carroll finished with 24 first downs and never punted again after its opening 3-and-out series.
The War Eagles immediately embarked on a 95-yard journey the other way, twice converting on fourth down with the scoring play coming on a 4th-and-6 as Glenn hit Joey Patterson on a slant over the middle for 15 yards at 8:06 of the second period.
The TD capped an 18-play drive that started just past the midway point of the first quarter.
Glenn’s two-point conversion try failed. Although West Carroll had taken the momentum, Gleason still had the lead at 7-6. Soon enough, though, West Carroll would take that, too.
The Eagles went 75 yards on 10 plays for a 12-7 lead with 56 seconds to play in the first half and then opened the second half with a 10-play, 62-yard drive for another score.
Glenn had both TDs, a 1-yard run in the second quarter and 7-yard roll-out to the left side in the third.
Glenn then recovered a Mileski fumble on Gleason’s first play, setting the War Eagles up for a 63-yard, six-play drive that featured Jacob Wynn’s 14-yard score on an option pitch at 3:04 of the third for a 25-7 WC lead.
West Carroll then recovered a fumble at its own two and needed 12 plays to cover the 98 yards, Glenn keeping on a roll to the right for 34 yards at 5:52 of the fourth.
Gleason had two interceptions in the fourth period but squeezed a TD between them, capitalizing on an Eagle fumble as Ezell swept to the right for a one-yard score with 2:56 to play in the game. He ran the same play for the conversion.