Revenge on Gleason’s agenda for Round 1
Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011 12:02 pm
Gleason is getting one of the two “do-overs” it had hoped for.
After a convincing 35-6 beating by South Fulton back in Week 5 of the regular season, the Bulldogs have a chance at both redemption and revenge when the two meet in a Friday night rematch in Round 1 of the Class 1A state playoffs.
The Red Devils (4-6) thoroughly dominated that first meeting, forcing four turnovers and doubling Gleason yardage-wise.
But Bulldog head coach Noah Lampkins, who will lead his program into the postseason for the fifth time in this, his 10th season at the helm, likes both his present club’s position and play the past two games heading into Friday’s second meeting.
“We’ve had a lot of emotion and played well the last two weeks, and if there were two games that I wish we could have back from the season, South Fulton would definitely be one of them,” he said.
“I think we’re better now than we were the first time we played them.”
The situation is exactly opposite of that from two years ago when Gleason posted a 31-21 triumph over SF, but was paired with the Redmen in Round 1 of the postseason and was beaten handily, 34-6.
Lampkins said he’s mentioned both that and the chance for payback for this year’s earlier loss.
“I guess I sorta like the revenge angle,” the coach said. “I think there’s a little more pressure on the other team in situations like this, because people expect them to do what they did the first time. It might be a little more difficult for them to focus the second time around.
“And I’ve mentioned that this week a time or two.”
The Bulldogs (5-5) will play just the second home playoff game in their program’s history against SF — the other coming in 1982 when a Bob Dilday-led squad lost to Middleton 13-6 at Parks-Edwards Field.
And more than the revenge factor, Lampkins likes the way his troops have played the past two weeks in back-to-back impressive wins over Scotts Hill and Bruceton, respectively.
Gleason rolled up more than 500 yards of total offense vs. SH with both Ian Legens and Blake Taylor running for more than 100 yards each and Conner Verdell throwing two touchdown passes to Thomas Fowler. Against Bruceton, the Bulldogs recorded three sacks while limiting the Tigers to less than 100 yards of total offense, and Verdell ran for two scores, threw for another and returned an interception for a fourth TD in an impressive 33-6 triumph.
“We played well against Scotts Hill and we played really well with a lot of emotion against Bruceton,” Lampkins said. “Putting together consecutive games in which we played well is important, I think, because we’ve had one-good, one-bad in the two months before that.
“I think we have some momentum, and we’ve gained some confidence. And you need some confidence and little swagger when you get into the playoffs.”
The winner of Friday’s game will advance to face second-seeded West Carroll (6-4), a team that beat both Gleason and SF earlier this season.
“We’re not looking ahead, but yeah, that’s the other one,” Lampkins admitted, when asked if the War Eagles were the other team he’d like a second chance at this season.
First things first for the Bulldogs. Published in The WCP 11.3.11