Gleason Bulldogs head football coach Noah Lampkins is aiming his team toward a strong finish to the regular season with hopes of making the playoffs for the second year in a row.
Turn the corner — Gleason senior Zach Wallace gets to the edge for a big gain in his team’s 52-0 win over West Carroll on Friday night. Wallace scored two TDs in the victory.
Friday night’s dominating performance against the visiting West Carroll War Eagles — a 52-0 victory — is the first step in the right direction.
“We came out and played like we are supposed to play. If we do that, we’ve got a good chance against anybody,” the Dawg leader noted.
The Gleason head coach had great praise for his defense, which limited the War Eagles to 127 total yards — 113 rushing and 14 passing — and just six first downs.
“We got good penetration with our front four and five. I was really pleased with the way Alex Verdell and Matt Mayo played tonight,” Lampkins said.
Offensively, the Dawgs didn’t commit the penalties and turnovers which have plagued them in their losses this season.
Granted, Gleason’s opponent hasn’t been setting the world on fire in 2008. The War Eagles are now 0-7 overall and 0-4 against Region 7-A foes. The Dawgs improved to 3-4 on the season and evened their record at 2-2 in regional action. The Dawgs will wrap up their regular season schedule against two of the top three teams in the region in upcoming weeks.
“We didn’t play down to our competition. We threw the ball effectively. We made plays on the ground. The line did a good job. It was a good start for our final four-game push,” the Gleason coach said.
The Dawgs needed just two plays to take a lead they would never relinquish. After forcing West Carroll to punt after three snaps, Zach Wallace took a pitch 38 yards and Alex Verdell followed that with a 32-yard run to paydirt. Shadow Roney fought his way into the end zone on the two-point try for an 8-0 Gleason lead with 9:17 still to play in the first quarter.
Wallace intercepted a third down pass by West Carroll’s Cody Nelson at midfield and returned it to the War Eagle 16. The Dawgs had to overcame a holding penalty to increase their lead. Facing fourth-and-13 at the 19, quarterback Nicky Spain rolled to his right and then threw back to Verdell along the left end of the line of scrimmage. Verdell got a key block from Matt Mayo and rumbled 19 yards in for the score. Verdell also bulled his way in for the two-pointer for a 16-0 advantage with 5:48 still on the clock in the first quarter.
A 33-yard kickoff return by West Carroll’s Avery Fuller pushed the ball into Gleason territory for the first time. A holding penalty slowed the War Eagles and GHS defensive end Ben Sumner swatted down a Nelson pass on fourth down to end the drive and give the Dawgs the ball at their own 49.
Gleason needed four plays to score. Verdell had a 24-yard rumble and Wallace scored, with Verdell leading the way, on a 25-yard run around the end. Spain kept the ball and scored the two-pointer to stretch the Dawgs’ lead to 24-0 with 1:45 left in the first quarter.
A short kickoff and a nice return again set up West Carroll with a short field to cover. Starting at their own 46, the War Eagles marched as deep as the GHS 26, but an incompletion on fourth down ended the drive.
Again the Dawgs struck quickly, needing only two plays to score. Verdell raced through the line and covered 45 yards before getting hauled down. Wallace again got the scoring honors, with a 29-yard run around left end that featured a sweet cutback move. Roney ran in his second two-pointer for a 32-0 lead with 10:47 left in the half.
Another WC three-and-out was followed by a Gleason scoring drive. The five-play, 71-yard march was highlighted by a 57-yard Spain completion to Sumner. The drive ended with Cody Ezell surging through the line on a 1-yard TD plunge. Wallace kicked the PAT for a comfortable 39-0 edge with 6:43 still to play in the half.
The Bulldog defense again forced a punt after three plays to give the Orange and Black offense one last shot at the end zone before halftime.
Starting at their own 40, Gleason got a boost from a War Eagle facemask penalty. A fumbled handoff was recovered by GHS but cost the Dawgs six yards and set up a fourth-and-seven at the WC 42. Gleason opted to go for it in an effort to seal up the win before halftime. Spain fired a beautiful pass down the left sideline and Wallace out-jumped the War Eagle defensive back for a 29-yard gain to convert the fourth down. On the next play, Verdell leaped over a defender and blasted his way 13 yards to the end zone. Wallace’s kick expanded the Gleason halftime lead to 46-0.
With the clock running continuously in the second half, many of the Dawg starters saw action in only the first drive of the third quarter.
The final Gleason score of the night culminated a 54-yard, four-play drive and occurred on the first snap of the fourth quarter. Dalton Teeter, who also had a 24-yard run in the drive, romped 11 yards and crossed the goal line for a 52-0 lead with 11:35 left in the contest. The run on the two-pointer was halted by the War Eagle defense.
The Bulldogs will next take a road trip to tangle with the Hollow Rock-Bruceton Tigers. West Carroll will next visit the McKenzie Rebels. Kickoff for both is at 7:30 on Friday night.
West Carroll-Gleason, Stats
West Carroll 0 0 0 0—0
Gleason 24 22 0 6—52
GHS — Alex Verdell 32-yard run, (Shadow Roney run), 8:17.
GHS — Alex Verdell 19-yard pass from Nicky Spain, (Alex Verdell run), 5:48.
GHS — Zach Wallace 25-yard run, (Spain run), 1:45.
GHS — Wallace 29-yard run, (Roney run), 10:47.
GHS — Cody Ezell 1-yard run, (Wallace kick), 6:43.
GHS — Alex Verdell 13-yard run, (Wallace kick), 1:31.
GHS — Dalton Teeter 11-yard run, (run failed), 11:35.
First Downs 6 19
Rushes-yards 30-113 34-329
Passing yards 14 104
Comp-Att-Int 2-12-1 4-5-0
Punts 4-30.8 1-25
Fumbles-Lost 2-2 1-1
Penalties-yards 2-25 1-10
Rushing — West Carroll, Colby Cooper 10-38, Carson Suite 6-31, Travis Myles 6-20, Nick Taylor 3-19, Cody Nelson 5-5; Gleason, Alex Verdell 8-130, Zach Wallace 8-96, Dalton Teeter 5-41, Shadow Roney 4-29, Cody Ezell 4-14, Nicky Spain 1-10, Conner Verdell 1-6, Dalton Andrews 2-0.
Passing — West Carroll, Nelson 1-10-1 — 5, Andrew Wainscott 1-2-0 — 9; Gleason, Spain 4-4-0 — 104, Conner Verdell 0-1-0 — 0.
Receiving — West Carroll, Taylor 1-9, Wainscott 1-4; Gleason, Ben Sumner 1-57, Wallace 2-28, Alex Verdell 1-19.
Records — West Carroll 0-7 (0-4 Region 7-A), Gleason 3-4 (2-2 Region 7-A).
Next Game — West Carroll’s War Eagles will visit McKenzie Rebels, while the Gleason Bulldogs will travel to take on the Bruceton Tigers in a pair of Region 7-A games with kickoff for both at 7:30 on Friday night.