Jackets limit Gleason's big play strikes in 20-12 win
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
The Greenfield High School Yellowjackets' defense limited the host Dawgs to three plays of 15 yards or more and just two touchdowns in earning a 20-12 victory over Gleason on Friday night at Parks Edwards Field.
"We used a bend but don't break philosophy. We gave up a lot yards, but when it counted, we put the clamps on them," Jacket head coach Jason Rodehaver raved. "I'm ecstatic. Gleason has a heck of a team with lots of speed and we were able to stop the big play. That was one of our keys to win."
Both teams scored in their opening possessions. The Jack-ets (2-1, 1-0) took the opening kickoff and methodically marched 63 yards mixing Tyler Dunning runs with passes from quarterback Ty Smithson over 14 plays. The Jackets twice converted fourth down situations, once on a 29-yard completion to Daniel Ricketts to set up a first-and-goal scenario at the 9. Three runs by Dunning put the first points on the board. An incomplete pass on the conversion try left Greenfield in front, 6-0, with 4:37 left in the quarter.
The Dawgs then used 8:51 of the first half to cover 68 yards in 17 plays. Gleason (0-3, 0-1) alternated the powerful runs of fullback Alex Verdell with runs around the ends. Verdell's 2-yard push into the end zone knotted the score at 6-all with 7:46 left in the half. Greenfield's Chase McMullen broke through to block the PAT kick.
The teams traded punts before Greenfield took over at its 44 with 3:16 left in the half. The Jackets picked up two first downs on rushes by McMullen and Dunning. One big play in the drive was a beautiful Smithson pass to tight end Steven Johnson on a post route good for 22 yards to convert a fourth-and-6 and set up a first-and-goal at the 5 with 13 seconds to play in the half. After a timeout, Smithson lofted a ball into the end zone and Ricketts out-jumped his defender to haul in the touchdown pass. Houston Brunmeier, in his first game in a Greenfield uniform, ran in the two-point conversion for a 14-6 Yellowjacket halftime lead.
Gleason's first drive of the third reached the Jacket 32 before Ricketts came over from his safety spot to pick off a Nicky Spain pass intended for Zach Wallace at the goal line.
Deep in their own territory, the Jackets twice had big runs by McMullen called back for penalties and eventually called on Steven Johnson to punt.
Starting at their own 44, the Dawgs called Verdell's number five times on the 11-play drive which ended with Spain running 7 yards to the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter.
On the two-pointer, tight end Ben Sumner tripped and couldn't haul in Spain's pass leaving the Jackets ahead 14-12.
The Gleason defense allowed one Jacket first down before forcing a punt to give its team another opportunity.
The Dawgs were moving the ball before a backwards pass to Wallace hit the turf and was recovered by Greenfield junior Jonathan Benson.
The Dawg defense again forced a punt, but Johnson boomed a 48-yarder to pin Gleason at its own 11 with 5:37 left to play.
Four plays later, the Dawgs turned the ball over on downs, giving it to the Jackets at the Dawg 12. However, a Smithson pass was picked off by Cody Ezell to give Gleason new life.
With Wallace now lining up at QB in the shotgun, Gleason's short drive ended on fourth down with another Ricketts interception at the Dawg 41.
On the second snap, McMullen broke through for a 34-yard TD rumble and a 20-12 Jacket lead.
The quick score left Gleason 1:17 to work with. Two Wallace passes to Ezell and Spain moved the ball from the Dawg 25 to the Jacket 30, but three incompletions and a penalty resulted in a fourth-and-15 and were too much for Gleason to overcome giving the Jackets a 20-12 win.
Gleason will take a week off to regroup, while the Yellowjackets will entertain the Halls Tigers in non-region action with kickoff set for 7:30 on Friday night at Harris Field.
Greenfield 6 8 0 6—20
Gleason 0 6 0 6—12
Gre — Tyler Dunning 2-yard run, (pass failed), 4:37.
Gle — Alex Verdell 2-yard run, (kick failed), 7:46.
Gre — Daniel Ricketts 5-yard pass from Ty Smithson, (Houston Brunmeier run), 00:008.
Gle — Nicky Spain 7-yard run, (pass failed), 11:55.
Gre — Chase McMullen 34-yard run, (kick failed), 1:17.
First Downs 11 15
Rushing yards 128 153
Passing yards 91 74
Comp-Att-Int 7-14-1 5-13-2
Punts 4-35.3 1-31
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1
Penalties-yards 6-40 5-30
Rushing — Greenfield, Chase McMullen 11-67, Tyler Dunning 18-59, Ty Smithson 3-2, Houston Brunmeier 1-0; Gleason, Alex Verdell 16-68, Zach Wallace 13-33, Shadow Roney 5-26, Nicky Spain 5-14, Cody Ezell 4-12.
Passing — Greenfield, Smithson 7-14-1 — 91; Gleason, Wallace 2-8-1 — 45, Spain 3-5-1 — 29.
Receiving — Greenfield, Daniel Ricketts 3-43, Steven Johnson 2-30, Ben Woods 2-18; Gleason, Wallace 3-29, Spain 1-33, Ezell 1-12.
Records — Greenfield 2-1 (1-0 Region 7-A), Gleason 0-3 (0-1 Region 7-A).
Next Game — Greenfield will host the Halls Tigers on Friday night with kickoff set for 7:30, while Gleason takes a week off before traveling to take on the Lake County Falcons on Sept. 19.