Bulldog mistakes end any Gleason hope for a win
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
The Halls Tigers (1-1) took advantage of the Bulldogs' errors to take a 32-27 victory over host Gleason (0-2) Friday night at Parks Edwards Field.
Offensively, the Bulldogs hurt their own cause with turnovers in the red zone and too many penalties. Defensively, the host Orange and Black again gave up big play after big play on third and fourth downs. In the first two games of the season, the Gleason defense has allowed 88 total points and 720 total yards.
Even with those miscues, the Dawgs regained the lead with 7:41 left in the game. The GHS defense came up with a big stand thanks to defensive end Ben Sumner storming into the Halls backfield on two of three plays and forcing a punt. Sumner had a huge game, batting down four passes, sacking Halls QB Craig Davis for an 11-yard loss, tackling four ball carriers behind the line for a total loss of 21 yards and blocking a PAT.
Trailing 26-19, Gleason set up its go-ahead scoring drive thanks to a 34-yard punt return by Zach Wallace to start the Bulldogs at the Halls 40-yard line. Shadow Roney, who had a big game for Gleason both rushing and receiving, ran around the left end and fought off Tiger tacklers for a 21-yard gain. Cody Ezell ran for 3 and then caught a swing pass good for 10 yards to set up first-and-goal from the 6. Fullback Alex Verdell roared forward for five yards and then dove over the goal line from the 1 for six points. Trailing 26-25 after Verdell's second touchdown of the game, Ezell took a handoff and raced around the right end to convert the two-point try and give Gleason a 27-26 lead with 7:49 left in the game.
It appeared the GHS defense would make the slim lead stand up, shutting down the Tigers to force a fourth-and-17 at the HHS 49-yard-line. Instead, Davis lofted a pass down the sideline that fell into the hands of David Davidson in between Dawg defensive backs Wallace and Nicky Spain. Davidson split between them and raced the final 20 yards all alone to the end zone for his third TD of the game and a 32-27 HHS lead with 5:15 remaining. Davidson's first score covered 21 yards to give Halls a 6-0 lead with 7:27 left in the first quarter. His second score converted a third-and-11 and ranged 64 yards to put the Tigers in front 26-19 in the final minute of the third quarter.
Gleason's final two drives ended with an interception and a turnover on downs a yard short of a first down with 16 seconds left in the game.
After Halls' first TD, Gleason answered with a Roney 41-yard rushing TD and an Ezell 6-yard scoring run in the first quarter.
Halls trimmed the GHS halftime lead to 13-12 on a 3-yard run to paydirt by Cory Walker.
Davis put the Tigers on top, 20-13, in the third, turning a fourth-and-2 into a 51-yard TD run and added the two-point run.
Halls 6 6 14 6—32
Gleason 13 0 6 8—27
HHS — David Davidson 21-yard pass from Craig Davis, (kick failed), 7:27.
GHS — Shadow Roney 41-yard run, (Zach Wallace kick), 4:46.
GHS — Cody Ezell 6-yard run, (kick failed), 00:07.
HHS — Cory Walker 3-yard run, (run failed), 1:10.
HHS — Davis 51-yard run, (Davis run), 4:09.
GHS — Alex Verdell 2-yard run, (kick failed), 1:55.
HHS — Davidson 64-yard pass from Davis, (kick failed), 0:54.
GHS — Verdell 1-yard run, (Ezell run), 7:41.
HHS — Davidson 51-yard pass from Davis, (run failed), 5:15.
First Downs 9 21
Rushing yards 91 229
Passing yards 192 130
Comp-Att-Int 9-18-0 9-13-1
Punts 5-37.8 2-26
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 3-3
Penalties-yards 9-70 8-60
Rushing — Halls, Cory Walker 5-39, Craig Davis 6-36, Grant Dew 1-8, Steven Cessac 8-8, Kenya Brown 2-5, Tahj Barlow 1-(-5); Gleason, Shadow Roney 11-119, Alex Verdell 14-69, Cody Ezell 14-53, Nicky Spain 1-5, Zach Wallace 8-(-17).
Passing — Halls, Davis 9-18-0 — 192; Gleason, Wallace 9-13-1 — 130.
Receiving — Halls, David Davidson 4-143, Dew 1-24, Barlow 2-20, Cody Curran 1-5, Cessac 1-0; Gleason, Roney 3-78, Verdell 3-22, Spain 2-20, Ezell 1-10.
Records — Halls 1-1, Gleason 2-0.
Next Game — Halls will visit Fayette Academy with kickoff at 7:30 on Friday night, while Gleason will entertain the rival Greenfield Yellowjackets with play slated to start at 7 on Friday evening.