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Bulldogs dominate Bruceton

Bulldogs dominate Bruceton
With tough regional games ahead in the final two weeks of the 2008 season, the Gleason Bulldogs refused to overlook their Week 8 opponent, the winless Bruceton Tigers.
Gleason notched three first-quarter touchdowns and raced to a 51-7 victory over the host Tigers Friday night in Bruceton.
The Dawgs improved to 3-2 against region foes and evened the season record to 4-4. Bruceton falls to 0-8 and 0-5.
The Dawgs’ success was almost immediate. Gleason needed just 29 seconds to light up the scoreboard. Quarterback Zach Wallace whipped around the left end and scampered down the sidelines to the end zone covering 54 yards on the run. Alex Verdell bashed his way over the goal line on the two-pointer for a quick 8-0 lead.
The GHS defense did its part on Bruceton’s first possession. The Dawgs recovered a Bruceton fumble just 24 yards from the end zone.
A personal foul penalty hampered the Dawgs’ second drive, but only temporarily. Shadow Roney took the same path down the left sideline that Wallace used to score initially. Roney’s scoring run covered 39 yards, and for the second time Verdell carried in the two-pointer for a 16-0 cushion with 8:34 still to play in the first quarter.
The Orange and Black defense came up with another big play on the second Tiger possession. Defensive end Ben Sumner sacked quarterback Hayden Howell bringing out the Tiger punting unit.
Taking over at midfield, the Dawgs utilized Wallace’s legs again. The speedy senior rushed 38 yards around the left end for his second touchdown of the night. Roney took the two-point honors to bump the Gleason lead to 24-0 with 3:21 still on the clock in the first quarter.
The third Tiger march also failed to move the chains, resulting in another punt.
After burning Bruceton with its running game, Gleason took to the air with Nicky Spain lining up at quarterback and firing a 35-yard completion to Wallace to the Tiger 44-yard line. Cody Ezell picked up 10 yards on a run before Roney sprinted down to the 1-yard line on the last play of the first quarter.
On the second play of the second quarter, Verdell extended the Gleason lead with a 1-yard scoring run. Wallace split the uprights on the point after kick to give the Dawgs a 31-0 edge.
Two more Tiger punts after failures to earn first down were followed by big-play Gleason touchdowns.
On the first play after the fourth Tiger punt, the Dawgs used trickery to post points. Wallace again lined up at QB and pitched the ball to Spain in the backfield. Moving to his right, Spain fired a pass to Wallace which turned into a 62-yard touchdown strike. The Dawgs again successfully kicked the PAT for a 38-0 lead with 8:58 left in the first half.
The last long score of the half came when Roney ripped around the right end and rambled through the Bruceton secondary for a 69-yard touchdown run. In spite of a personal foul flag moving the spot back 15 extra yards, Wallace was true on his extra point kick for a 45-0 cushion with 6:45 to play in the half.
The 45-0 score remained on the board as halftime arrived.
Gleason scored its final touchdown on another long run. Verdell had the extended run, bursting through the line and rumbling 64 yards to paydirt. The PAT kick was blocked, but the Dawgs’ lead was already well out of reach of the Tigers.
Bruceton managed to avoid the shutout. Following the final GHS score, the Tigers got a 33-yard kickoff return by Derek Grooms to set up the drive start at their own 45. The Tigers converted a third-and-long and a fourth down on the march. Bishop Haynes eventually scored on a 3-yard run with 1:52 to play in the third. Ryan Ernsberger booted the PAT to conclude scoring in Gleason’s 51-7 victory.
Gleason can now turn its full attention to a road game at South Fulton, while Bruceton will visit Greenfield’s Yellowjackets.

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