Run through — Gleason’s David Spellings runs through a tackle attempt by a Bruceton Tiger in the Bulldogs’ tough 20-19 loss in District 13-A action on Friday night. Photo by Sara Rachels
What began an offensive shootout in the first half of the Gleason Bulldogs’ visit to Bruceton to take on the host Tigers turned into a defensive struggle over the final two quarters. The deciding factor proved to be conversions after touchdowns.
This past Friday night, the District 13-A opponents met up in Carroll County and with all the points scored in the first half, Bruceton put together a two-game winning streak while Gleason dropped its third straight, 20-19. It marked the second time this season the Bulldogs’ deficit would have been covered by a conversion. Gleason lost to West Carroll, 20-18, in Week 2.
Gleason opened at the 35 and James Owen plowed up the middle for three yards. Dalton Teeter fell down three yards deep on a sweep play, but Conner Verdell turned a broken play from nothing into something with a 65-yard run down the right sideline and into the end zone. Verdell’s kick leaned to the right, but the Dawgs took a 6-0 lead with 10:36 left in the opening quarter.
In an attempt to keep its momentum going, the Bulldogs tried an onside kick and Zach Mileski recovered the ball, but Verdell fumbled back to the home team.
On the Tiger 45, Chandler Jordan took a handoff nine yards into Bulldog territory and Hayden Howell got the first down with a two-yard sneak. Jordan netted 29 yards on a pair of carries, Bishop Haynes took a handoff five yards and Jordan topped it off with a 10-yard run for Bruceton’s first score. Logan Batte’s kick was blocked and the game was tied, 6-6, with 7:31 remaining in the first quarter.
On the Gleason 35, Teeter was contained on a sweep for a single yard and Owen gained two up the middle. Verdell connected with Nick Poore for a 35-yard reception that put the Bulldogs at the Tiger 27. Teeter picked up two on a carry and David Spellings broke free for 13, but Gleason’s momentum slowed with a false start penalty. Owen gained five up the middle, Teeter swept right for three, Owen was good for seven and Spellings punched in the two-yard touchdown. Verdell’s kick made the score 13-6 in favor of the visitors with 2:31 left in the opening quarter.
The home team turned the ball over on downs on its next series, but Gleason was forced to punt.
Jammed deep in their own territory at the 3-yard line, the Tigers gained two on a Howell keeper to the five, but Jordan found a huge hole and sprinted down the left sideline and outran everyone for the 95-yard touchdown. The crucial two-point conversion run from Haynes put the home team up 14-13 with 10:14 left in the half.
Taking the ball at the Tiger 39, Spellings gained 37 yards on three carries. On the two, the Tigers were flagged for jumping offsides. Owen was stuffed at the line on his first attempt, but broke through on his second for the one-yard touchdown run. Blake Taylor was stopped on his conversion try, but Gleason regained the lead, 19-14, with 7:35 left in the half.
Bruceton started its next drive on its own 29. Haynes gained three up the middle and Jordan swept around the right for 20. Haynes’ next two carries netted three, a Howell pass to Haden Williams picked up 16 and the next three Tiger carries gained two each. On the Gleason 23, Central was twice flagged with false start penalties, but on fourth-and-long, Howell threw up a prayer and had it answered with a Jordan catch 34 yards downfield in the end zone. Batte’s kick missed the mark, but Central regained the lead, 20-19, with 2:35 left in the first half.
This would eventually become the final score, but both squads spent the duration of the second half trying to add to it. Punts and turnovers on downs dictated the tempo, but Gleason had a rare opportunity to score at the start of the fourth quarter. On fourth-and-three at the five, however, Haynes sacked Verdell for a 12-yard loss and neither team came close to the end zone again as the Tigers held on to win by one, 20-19.
Gleason and Bruceton are now 1-2 in District 13-A with Bruceton taking a 3-3 overall record and Gleason falling to 2-4.
Jordan had 221 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. He also had a 34-yard touchdown reception. Spellings led Gleason with 71 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.
Gleason will try to pick up a non-district win when it entertains rival Greenfield on Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7 that evening.
Gleason 13 6 0 0 — 19
Bruceton 6 14 0 0 — 20
GHS — Conner Verdell 65-yard run, (kick failed), 10:36 .
BHS — Chandler Jordan 10-yard run, (kick failed), 7:31.
GHS — David Spellings 2-yard run, (Verdell kick), 2:31.
BHS — Jordan 95-yard run, (Bishop Haynes run), 10:14.
GHS — James Owen 1-yard run, (conversion failed), 7:35.
BHS — Jordan 34-yard pass from Hayden Howell, (kick failed), 2:35.
First Downs 8 15
Rushes-yards 32-194 44-260
Passing yards 70 139
Comp-Att-Int 2-8-1 6-9-0
Punts 3-32.3 1-27
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 4-20 8-39
Rushing — Gleason, David Spellings 10-71, Conner Verdell 4-46, Dalton Teeter 8-44, James Owen 10-33; Bruceton, Chandler Jordan 22-221, Bishop Haynes 10-32, Hayden Howell 12-7.
Passing — Gleason, Verdell 2-8-1 — 70; Bruceton, Howell 6-9-1 — 139.
Receiving — Gleason, Nick Poore 2-70; Bruceton, Haden Williams 3-75, Jordan 2-43, Chance Ragsdale 1-11.
Records — Gleason 2-4 (0-3 District 13-A), Bruceton 3-3 (1-2 District 13-A).
Next Game — Gleason will host Greenfield on Friday night with kickoff at 7, while Bruceton will entertain Middleton on Friday evening with a start time of 7:30.