Plagued by penalties and facing a 6-6 tie game after one half of play, the Gleason Bulldogs exploded on offense and out-scored the visiting Middleton Tigers 31-0 in the second half to take the 37-6 victory in football action Friday night in Gleason.
Rumbling — Gleason’s Alex Verdell fights through an attempted tackle during the Bulldogs’ win over the visiting Middleton Tigers Friday night. Verdell rushed for 144 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s victory.
Penalty yards pushed the Dawgs away from the end zone in the first half of play, but they regrouped in the over the final two quarters and found paydirt four times thanks to two rushing touchdowns from Alex Verdell, one from Shadow Roney and one from Dalton Teeter. The Dawgs poured on 488 rushing yards to Middleton’s 124.
Starting on offense, the Tigers converted two first downs, but gave the ball back to Gleason when a Brian Hodge pass was intercepted by Zach Wallace.
The Dawgs (2-3, 1-0 Region 7A) went to Alex Verdell on first down and he powered ahead for 13 yards. Wallace kept the ball for 12 more yards and the Dawgs were helped additionally by a facemask penalty flagged on the visitors. Wallace picked up 9 yards on a carry and Alex Verdell gained another 7 yards before Roney ran in the 24-yard touchdown. Alex Verdell’s kick was blocked, but with 5:42 left in the first quarter, Gleason took a 6-0 lead.
Middleton (1-4, 0-1 Region 8A) was forced to punt on its next series, and Gleason took over and, with a 49-yard run from Roney, found itself on the Tiger 6-yard line. Three straight penalties pushed the home team back to the 31-yard line, however, and the Dawgs turned the ball over on downs.
Middleton took over and picked up short ground gains from Clayton Hoyle and Justin Jones. Looking at first-and-goal on the 5-yard line, Hoyle gained 2 yards and Hodge snuck in for the 3-yard touchdown. The kick failed, but with 5:16 left before the half, Middleton tied the score, 6-6.
Gleason fumbled the ball away on its next possession, but forced Middleton to punt. On their last possession before the half, the Dawgs were able to pick up big gains including a 43-yard run from Wallace, but penalties again stopped the momentum and a Nicky Spain pass was tipped and intercepted near the goal line by Hoyle to end the first half of play.
In the third quarter, the Dawgs came out with a vengeance. Roney started off the opening drive with a 17-yard run and Alex Verdell gained 4 yards on a carry. Roney was pushed back a yard, but picked up 9 yards and a first down on his next carry. Wallace gained 14 yards on a keeper and Alex Verdell finished off the drive by bulldozing his way up the middle for the 9-yard touchdown. Spain ran in the conversion and with 9:28 left in the third quarter, the Dawgs took a 14-6 lead.
Middleton was forced to punt on its next series and Gleason put together a 65-yard scoring drive capped off by an Alex Verdell 5-yard touchdown run. Roney ran in the conversion and with 2:58 left in the third quarter, Gleason increased its lead, 22-6.
In the fourth quarter, the Dawgs found the end zone again when a 29-yard run from Cody Ezell set up a 5-yard touchdown dash from Roney. Alex Verdell ran in the conversion and with 9:46 left in the game, the Dawgs went up 30-6.
The final Gleason score came on an 8-yard run from Dalton Teeter. A Wallace kick gave the Dawgs the 37-6 lead with 4:39 left in the contest and the home team held on to make it a final.
The Dawgs were led by a trio of rushers eclipsing the 100-yard mark — Roney with 169 yards and two touchdowns, Wallace with 144 yards and Alex Verdell with 115 yards and two scores. Jones had 61 yards for the Tigers.
Middleton will next take on Trinity Christian and Gleason will host McKenzie in Region 7A action. The Middleton game will kick off at 7:30 and the Gleason game will kick off at 7 on Friday night.
Middleton 0 6 0 0—6
Gleason 6 0 16 15—37
GHS — Shadow Roney 24-yard run, (kick blocked), 5:42.
MHS — Brian Hodge 3-yard run, (kick failed), 5:16.
GHS — Alex Verdell 9-yard run, (Nicky Spain conversion), 9:28.
GHS — Alex Verdell 5-yard run, (Roney conversion), 2:58.
GHS — Roney 5-yard run, (Alex Verdell conversion), 9:46.
GHS — Dalton Teeter 8-yard run, (Zach Wallace kick), 4:39.
First Downs 10 26
Rushes-yards 25-124 53-488
Passing yards 8 12
Comp-Att-Int 1-8-1 1-4-1
Punts 4-24.3 0-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 4-1
Penalties-yards 4-45 10-95
Rushing — Middleton, Clayton Hoyle 10-59, Justin Jones 6-61, Brian Hodge 1-5, Tyler Johnson 1-0, Jesse York 7-(-1); Gleason, Shadow Roney 12-169, Zach Wallace 14-144, Alex Verdell 15-115, Cody Ezell 6-36, Dalton Teeter 3-18, Austin Sullivan 2-16, Nicky Spain 1-0.
Passing — Middleton, Hodge 1-8-1 — 8; Gleason, Spain 1-4-1 — 12.
Receiving — Middleton, Jordan Lawson 1-8; Gleason, Alex Verdell 1-12.
Records — Middleton 1-4 (0-1 Region 8-A), Gleason 2-3 (1-0 Region 7-A).
Next Game — Middleton will entertain Region 8-A foe Trinity Christian Academy at 7:30 on Friday night, while Gleason will host the McKenzie Rebels in Region 7A play with action slated to start at 7 on Friday evening at Parks Edwards Field.