’Dogs feel other side of payback
Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 12:00 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Unfortunately for Gleason, what goes around comes around.
Having advanced to the second round of the state playoffs a year ago by avenging a regular season loss against South Fulton, the Bulldogs saw their 2012 season end in similar fashion Friday vs. Halls.
The Tigers got payback for a 27-6 setback suffered against Gleason in Week 3 with a 41-32 upset victory over the Bulldogs in Round 1 of the postseason at Parks-Edwards Field.
The loss ended Gleason’s season at 6-5 while the win — Halls’ first in the playoffs since 1990 — sends the Tigers (6-5) to Atwood for a Round 2 matchup against Quad 4 top-seed and sixth-ranked West Carroll (8-2) this week.
Four turnovers, a kickoff and fumble return for touchdowns, and early momentum gained by the visitors was Gleason’s undoing Friday night.
“I told the guys that we needed to come out and snatch momentum right off the bat and get them down and maybe they’d quit,” Bulldog head coach Noah Lampkins said after the setback. “We didn’t do that. I don’t know if us beating them earlier had anything to do with it, but the first half was the absolute worst exhibition of tackling I’ve ever seen.
“It’s tough. We’ve had a back-and-forth with South Fulton the last couple of years, we beat them in the playoffs last year after they just killed us in the regular season, and the year before, we beat them during the year and they beat us in the first round. Halls obviously had that revenge factor working for them tonight, but you’re certainly not going to beat very many teams with four turnovers.”
Halls scored on offense, defense, special teams and via trickery — never trailing in a contest that produced 41 points between the two teams in the first 8:19.
A 36-yard halfback pass from KJ Broadnax to T.J. Reed got the Tigers on the board, barely 21⁄2 minutes into the game.
Gleason immediately answered with Kyle Williams’ 95-yard TD sprint on the ensuing kickoff, but Halls matched that when Broadnax hauled the following kick 87 yards to paydirt. The first two of Victor Melo’s five consecutive point-afters had the Tigers up 14-6.
Ian Legens, operating out of a ‘wildcat’ set that the Bulldogs used extensively in the first half, had scoring keepers of one and a spectacular 41-yard scamper on which he broke three tackles to cap Gleason’s first two possessions with touchdowns.
A 57-yard touchdown dash in between those Legens’ TDs, though, kept the visitors in front.
Another long Cooper endzone run (44 yards) turned a slim one-point Halls lead to 28-20 early in the second period before Cooper then turned the first of the Bulldogs’ four giveaways into immediate points when he scooped and scored from 58 yards out after a Gleason fumble to make it 35-20 before the second period was half over.
A pretty 26-yard scoring hook-up between Tanner Trevathan and Chase Ezell narrowed the difference to 35-26 at the half.
Both Gleason second-half turnovers were damaging — on the plus-side of the 50 — the former a fumble and the latter Trevathan’s second interception with 10 minutes to play in the endzone after Halls had already expanded the lead to 41-26 on Bennie Moore’s four-yard dive.
Trevathan did engineer a 78-yard, 11-play scoring drive, completing six passes to Legens, Ezell and Austin Perry in the process. A 19-yard run by Chris Copeland set up Will Clark’s one-yard scoring plunge that drew the ’Dawgs within the final margin, though a senseless personal foul penalty set back an all-important two-point conversion play 15 yards and was ultimately no-good with four minutes to go.
Gleason did threaten one final time — reaching the Tiger four-yard line in the waning seconds, largely on a 37-yard pass play from Trevathan to Austin. The last play of the Bulldogs’ season, though, was a pass out of bounds as the clock expired.
“I’m just especially disappointed with our tackling, mainly in the first half. Thirty-two points should be enough to win a football game,” Lampkins added.
Gleason won essentially every statistical battle, other than the scoreboard.
Legens rushed for 116 yards, two TDs and also was Trevathan’s top receiver with six catches for 60 yards. Trevathan ended up throwing for 194 yards on 14-of-27 passing, with Austin accounting for 90 yards on five grabs for an offense that produced 410 yards — 150 more than Halls.
The 2013 Bulldogs will return many key players from this year’s squad that listed only seven seniors, including two-way standout Blake Taylor, who was injured midway through the season and missed the team’s last several games. Published in The WCP 11.6.12