’Dogs get payback in opener
Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 12:02 pm
Gleason made the first stop on its revenge-and-advance tour through the Class 1A football playoffs Friday night with a 19-12 win over South Fulton.
Now winners of three straight games, the Bulldogs improve to 6-5 overall and will visit West Carroll in the second round this weekend. Kickoff in Atwood will be 7 p.m.
Like SF, West Carroll will serve as a revenge game of sorts for Gleason. The ’Dogs were unimpressive in losses to both those teams during the regular season.
In reversing the outcome from that 35-6 loss to the Red Devils on Sept. 23, Gleason stepped up its play in several areas.
“The first game, we played with zero emotion and intensity on both sides of the ball,” Bulldog head coach Noah Lampkins “This game, we played intense and carried over the momentum from the previous two games. We also turned the ball over multiple times in the first game and did not tackle well at all. We had zero turnovers and gang-tackled in this game.”
The strategy going in, according to Lampkins, was three-fold.
“We felt like if we did not turn the ball over, stopped (Cody) Tatum and could find an inside run game, that we could have a chance,” the coach said. “We completed all those tasks.”
Gleason held Tatum to just 48 yards on 12 carries while grinding up the Red Devil run defense for 252 yards on 50 attempts, an average of five yards per carry. Neither team, it turned out, was guilty of a turnover.
SF managed to take a 12-7 lead into the fourth quarter on short TD runs by J.P. Fowler and Tatum.
Gleason’s score came in the second period, Chase Ezell’s three-yard run followed by Conner Verdell’s point-after kick giving the Bulldogs a 7-6 lead.
After a scoreless third, Gleason turned up its play with one score early in the period and then put the game away with another TD late.
“We talked about stepping up our intensity, finishing drives and keeping them from beating us with the deep ball,” Lampkins said.
David Spellings scored on an eight-yard run with 11 minutes remaining for a 13-12 Gleason lead and then finished a 12-play, 72-yard drive with Verdell’s two-yard TD run at 1:12.
Zach Mileski led the Bulldogs with 87 yards rushing on 18 carries, while Austin Perry posted eight tackles.
Published in The WCP 11.8.11