By Sara Reid
Dawg determination — Gleason’s Zach Wallace races upfield during the Bulldogs’ loss to Lake County. Wallace scored a GHS touchdown in a 21-18 loss, but Gleason failed to convert after all three scores. Photo by Sara Reid
Special to The Press
Though the Gleason Bulldogs had no trouble finding the end zone against region opponent Lake County, the Dawgs were unable to make good on any conversions, leading to a 21-18 loss in gridiron action last Friday night in Gleason.
Coming off a region defeat at the hands of county rival Greenfield two weeks ago, Gleason looked to get back on the winning track against the Lake County Falcons, a team who’d defeated the Dawgs 42-6 in last year’s contest. The Dawgs put the clamp on the Falcons’ spread offense early and jumped out to a 12-0 lead, but the failed conversions caught up with them and Lake County scored before halftime to jump within four points of the home team, 12-8. In the second half, the Falcons scored two more times and though the Dawgs tacked on six more points, it wasn’t enough to pull ahead of the visitors from Reelfoot Lake.
Gleason started the game on offense and quickly picked up a first down on an Alex Verdell 10-yard run up the teeth of the defense. Cody Ezell found a hole and gained 22 yards on a carry down to the Falcon 30-yard line. From there, Verdell and quarterback Nicky Spain got the Dawgs to the 17 and Shadow Roney carried the ball to the one yard line before Spain punched it in for the score with 7:52 left in the first quarter. Zach Wallace was stopped short on the conversion attempt, but the Dawgs led, 6-0.
Gleason forced the visitors to punt on their first offensive series, but the Falcons kept the Bulldogs out of the end zone and put them into punting formation to start the second quarter. The punt bounced down to the two-yard line and the Bulldogs held the Falcons to just five yards on the ground before Roney intercepted a Seth Hinson pass.
At the Falcon 23-yard line, Gleason picked up four yards on first down from Spain. Wallace nearly made another first down, but Spain picked it up on 3rd-and-short. Verdell netted eight yards on two carries and on 3rd-and-goal at the two-yard line, Wallace ran in the touchdown. The Dawgs were once again stopped short on the conversion, but they grabbed the two-touchdown lead, 12-0, with 7:06 left before halftime.
Starting on their own 32-yard line, the Falcons quickly entered Gleason territory sparked by a 16-yard rum from big senior back Jarvis Bogan. Lake County was penalized to set it back five yards, but a direct snap to Dominic Kimble picked up 20 yards and running back Trevor Blythe rain the final four yards to the end zone with 3:32 left in the third quarter. Bogan found Josh Bledsoe for the conversion and the Falcons pulled to within four points, 12-8.
Gleason fumbled the ball back to the Falcons, but forced the visitors to punt. Backed up at their own 17-yard line, the Dawgs went to Edward Torres on the ground and he delivered a quick first down. Torres picked up another five yards, but on second down, Blythe intercepted the Spain pitch back. The Dawgs held the Falcons and Hinson’s 40-yard field goal attempt fell short just before the half.
In the third quarter, both teams began by exchanging punts, but in their second series on offense, the Falcons, sparked by a 61-yard connection from Hinson to Kimble, found the end zone on a 20-yard hookup from the same duo with 2:53 left in the quarter. The extra point was blocked, but the Falcons took the lead, 14-12.
The final quarter began with the home team forcing the Falcons to punt. Back on offense, the Bulldogs picked up a first down on a 10-yard run from Ezell, but on second down, Spain’s pass was intercepted by Hinson and the Falcons went to work closing in on the end zone while eating up the clock. On 4th-and-6, Hinson faked a punt and picked up eight yards and the first down. From there, Lake County picked up short ground gains and a touchdown on a Hinson keeper with 4:11 left in the game. Hinson’s extra point split the uprights and gave Lake County the 21-12 lead.
On the kickoff, Ezell returned the kick 84 yards for the touchdown, but it was called back on a holding penalty. Back at its own 38-yard line, Gleason quickly found itself facing a 3rd-and-long situation, but converted the first down on a 26-yard pass from Wallace to Zack Browning. Wallace ran 14 yards and Ezell capped the drive with a four-yard dive into the end zone with 2:08 left to play. The PAT missed its mark, but the Bulldogs pulled to within three points of the Falcons, 21-18.
Forcing Lake County into a three-and-out, the Dawgs regained possession with seconds left on the clock, but on 2nd-and-long, Wallace’s pass was intercepted by Kimble to end the game.
The hard fought contest dealt scary moments for both teams as Gleason’s Joseph Crocker and Lake County’s Hinson each suffered concussions. Crocker left the field at the end of the game in an ambulance while Hinson was later airlifted with possible head and neck injuries.
Lake County will next face off against the Tigers of Halls, while Gleason will make the long road trip to take on Middleton. Both games are set for kickoff at 7:30 on Friday night.
Lake County-Gleason, Stats
Lake County 0 8 6 7—21
Gleason 6 6 0 6—18
GHS — Nicky Spain 1-yard run (conversion failed), 7:52.
GHS — Zach Wallace 2-yard run (conversion failed), 7:06.
LC — Trevor Blythe 4-yard run (Josh Bledsoe pass from Jarvis Bogan), 3:32.
LC — Dominic Kimble 20-yard pass from Seth Hinson (kick blocked), 2:53.
LC — Hinson 2-yard run (Hinson kick), 4:11.
GHS — Cody Ezell 4-yard run (kick failed), 2:08.
First Downs 15 16
Rushes-yards 42-142 42-214
Passing yards 117 35
Comp-Att-Int 6-9-1 2-4-3
Punts 5-36.8 2-44
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 8-55 2-10
Rushing — Lake County, Jarvis Bogan 16-85, Trevor Blythe 12-36, Dominic Kimble 1-20, Derrell Avery 3-5, Seth Hinson 10-(-4); Gleason, Alex Verdell 14-57, Zach Wallace 11-39, Shadow Roney 3-39, Cody Ezell 4-37, Edward Torres 6-26, Nicky Spain 4-16.
Passing — Lake County, Hinson 6-9-1 117; Gleason, Wallace 2-3-1 35, Spain 0-1-2 0.
Receiving — Lake County, Kimble 3-96, Austin Rivers 2-16, Josh Bledsoe 1-5; Gleason, Zack Browning 1-26, Roney 1-9.
Records — Lake County 2-2 (1-1 Region 7-A); Gleason 2-2 (0-2 Region 7-A).
Next Game — Lake County will travel to Halls and Gleason will travel to Middleton. Both games kick off at 7:30 on Friday night.
Weakley County Press Sept. 25, 2007