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Junior Dawgs overcome slow start

Junior Dawgs overcome slow start
Junior Dawgs overcome slow start | Gleason Junior Bulldogs, Reece Montgomery, Ian Legens, Will Clark

Crunch — Gleason Junior Bulldog defenders (clockwise, from bottom) Reece Montgomery, Ian Legens and Will Clark stop a visiting South Fulton ball carrier during Gleason’s 28-20 season-opening win on Thursday night at Parks Edwards Field.
Limited on offense in the first quarter, the Gleason Junior High Bulldogs used big plays for the remainder of the game to make sure the visiting South Fulton Red Devils didn’t spoil their home opener.
The Devils took a 6-0 lead after one quarter of play and held the Bulldogs to just seven yards of offense, but the Dawgs took an 8-6 lead into the break, ran up a 22-6 advantage after three and held off a late South Fulton surge to win, 28-20.
South Fulton controlled the clock and the yardage in the opening frame. Taking first possession, the Devils relied on the strength and speed of their running back and halfback to quickly put them deep into Gleason territory. Choosing to go for it on fourth-and-one at the 5, the Devils were stopped at the line and turned the ball over on downs.
Taking over on offense at their own 5-yard line, the Dawgs picked up four yards on first down from Will Clark. Quarterback Tanner Trevathan was stopped for no gain and when Chase Ezell was limited to a single yard on his carry, Gleason was forced to punt. Trevathan’s kick from the 7 only made it to the 12-yard line, so South Fulton took over on offense with the end zone in clear view.
After the quarterback was dropped for a 1-yard loss, the visitors were pushed back 5 yards on an illegal procedure penalty. The halfback picked up three and the Devils ran the final 15 yards on a sweep to score the touchdown. The Dawgs stopped the conversion, but SF took a 6-0 lead at the end of one.
Gleason was forced to punt to start the second quarter, but Spencer Stewart recovered a fumble on South Fulton’s next possession. The Dawgs were held again and though South Fulton found the end zone for the second time, the touchdown was called back on a holding penalty and Gleason took over.
The Dawgs were flagged with a delay of game penalty, but picked up 5 yards on a carry from Ian Legens. After a Trevathan incompletion on a pass to Ethan Terrell, Legens took the ball 67 yards past the defense for Gleason’s first score of the game. Clark ran in the conversion and the Dawgs took an 8-6 lead at the half.
Gleason had possession to start the second half and though Chris Copeland was pulled down for a 7-yard loss, Legens came through again, picking apart Devil defenders for an 86-yard touchdown run. The conversion failed, but the Dawgs increased the lead, 14-6, with 6:49 to go in the third.
South Fulton produced nothing on its next possession and gave the ball back to the home team. Copeland gained 9 yards on first down and Trevathan netted a first down on a 4-yard keeper. Clark was stopped at the line and Legens was dropped for a 4-yard loss, but on third-and-long, Copeland took the handoff 47 yards for the touchdown. Legens tacked on the conversion and Gleason enjoyed a 22-6 lead.
South Fulton gained momentum on its next series and started the fourth quarter on the Gleason 2. The quarterback punched in the TD and added the conversion and with 7:56 left in the contest, the Devils cut the lead to 22-14.
The Dawgs were forced to punt on their next possession, but Archie Rich recovered a Devil fumble and Gleason was quickly back on offense. Clark picked up a couple of yards, but the Dawgs were pushed back 5 yards on an illegal procedure call. Ezell gained 2 yards and Legens finished off the drive with a 30-yard touchdown run. The conversion failed, but the Dawgs doubled the lead, 28-14.
South Fulton put another TD on the board just before the expiration of the clock, but Gleason took a knee and a win, 28-20.
Altogether, Gleason netted 250 yards on the ground with Legens owning 184 of the yards and three touchdowns and Copeland taking 41 yards and a score of his own.
Gleason will take on Bruceton next at 6:30 on Thursday night in Bruceton.

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