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Bulldogs’ better play not seen in score

Bulldogs’ better play not seen in score

Posted: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 12:03 pm

Two teams turned in two entirely different performances at McKenzie Friday night.
Gleason delivered an inspiring effort, McKenzie a pedestrian offering. But the Rebels found a way to turn back a pesky pack of Bulldogs for a 19-13 District 13A victory.
McKenzie all-state linebacker Colin Vison picked off a pass and returned it 76 yards for a touchdown with 1:24 to play to break the tie and essentially seal the deal for the Rebs.
Truth be told, however, Gleason controlled the tempo of the game, dominated play up front and, but for a couple of bad breaks and penalties, should have won the game. The Bulldogs outgained the Rebels 319-292 and had 186 yards through the air. When the Bulldogs needed a big play in quarters 1, 2 and 4, they got it, just not enough of them.
Both Gleason coach Noah Lampkins and McKenzie coach Wade Comer were rather reticent after the game. Lampkins was obviously disappointed and Comer evidently frustrated.
“I feel like we had opportunities, but we couldn’t come away with the win,” said Lampkins. “We’ve played them and been intimidated in the past and that usually cost us 21 points right off the bat, but I felt like we matched up with them speed-wise and we weren’t intimidated.”
With the game tied at 13 and just over two minutes to play, it appeared that Bulldog defender Conner Verdell had picked off a pass for a touchdown to give Gleason its first victory over McKenzie since 1987, a 14-13 setback at Rebel Field.
But the play was nullified by a block-in-the-back call. As a result, Gleason set up at the Rebel 30. On the next play, Vinson stepped in front of a pass, exploded off a block from fellow senior Rebel Michael Chadwick and dashed all the way to the end zone to edge MHS in front 19-13.
Gleason had 84 seconds with which to try to tie the game or take the lead. The Bulldogs moved the ball to the Rebel 39 when Austin Chapman picked off a pass, McKenzie’s third of the game.
McKenzie appeared on the verge of taking control of the game when a fumble ended the Rebels’ first drive in two plays. The two teams traded punts when Gleason broke through with a 41-yard scoring sprint by Zach Mileski with 11:48 to play in the second quarter. Verdell hit the PAT and Gleason led 7-0. Mileski had 10 carries for 127 yards to lead Gleason.
Gleason ended the half after taking possession on an interception from Austin Perry. The Bulldogs marched to the Rebel 20 when time ran out.
When McKenzie received the second-half kickoff, it appeared rejuvenated and journeyed 67 yards on 11 plays when quarterback Luke Robertson hit Robert Taylor for a 20-yard TD pass. Braxton Rider’s kick tied the game at 7.
The Bulldogs rolled down to the Rebel 9 and went for a fourth-down conversion with 2:53 to play in the third. McKenzie stopped the incursion and took possession there. After a holding penalty negated the first play and moved the ball back to the 5, Robertson heaved the ball perhaps 60 yards down field, where a streaking Taylor caught up with it and took it to the house for a 95-yard TD pass-and-catch. The kick failed, but it appeared McKenzie had the momentum.
Taylor had two catches for 115 yards and two TDs. He also led the Rebels on the ground with five carries for 55 yards. Robertson was 3-for-10 with two picks and two TDs.
Gleason tied the game late in the fourth when Verdell, who finished 7-for-19 with three interceptions and a TD, hit David Spellings for a 71-yard TD. Spellings had two catches for 80 yards to lead the Bulldogs.
Perry led Gleason’s defense with six tackles, an interception and fumble recovery. Gabe Lowrance had five stops, Conner Verdell had four tackles and a pick, Sam Cosby had four with a pass break-up and Cole Verdell had four stops, one for loss. Published in The WCP 9.20.11

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