Homecoming doesn't distract Dawgs from taming Tigers
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
Gleason scored on its first possession and never looked back in blasting the visiting winless Bruceton Tigers, 41-6.
"We came out and did what we wanted to do. We executed the offensive game plan pretty well, and we were very aggressive on defense. We didn't let (homecoming) affect us," GHS head coach Noah Lampkins said.
The win bumped Gleason's record to 4-2 overall and 1-2 in District 13-A. The Tigers fall to 0-6 and 0-3 in the district.
A 23-yard kickoff return by Nicky Spain gave the Dawgs excellent field position at the Gleason 42 for the game's first snap. Fullback Sam Cosby then blasted through a wide hole up the middle for a 25-yard gain, the first of his four carries for double-digit yardage in the game. Cosby then added runs of six and four yards, part of his team-high 84 yards rushing.
"Cosby really had a good game. He ran hard tonight," Lampkins praised.
Senior Cody Ezell took over from there, taking the pitch from quarterback Conner Verdell and dashing around the left end behind the leading block of Matt Mayo for a 23-yard touchdown romp. Mayo booted the extra point through the uprights for a quick 7-0 Dawg lead with just 1:47 gone off the clock.
The teams then swapped a pair of punts each before Gleason got another good Spain return for 26 yards. The officials tacked on 15 yards for a Tiger facemask, allowing the Dawgs to start a drive at the Bruceton 35.
On the third snap, Ezell raced 31 yards with Ben Sumner and Mayo clearing the way down the left sideline to paydirt. Mayo again split the uprights for a 14-0 Gleason advantage with 2:38 still to play in the first quarter.
In the next Tiger drive, QB Hayden Howell twice threw for 10-yard gains, finding Chandler Jordan and Bishop Haynes.
It appeared a block in the back flag would stall the drive, but Howell found Ryan Crouch on a passing route for a 26-yard gain to the GHS 29. A fourth-down completion and three Dawg penalties gave the Tigers a first-and-goal from the 4. Haynes needed one run to cover the distance to paydirt. Logan Batte's PAT was wide, leaving the lead at 14-6 with 7:18 to go in the half.
The Dawgs answered. Spain's 27-yard kick return got things rolling. Starting at the GHS 39, Gleason picked up four first downs on four consecutive snaps — a 13-yard Spain run, an 11-yard Ezell ramble, a 20-yard completion to Ezell and Spain's 17-yard hard run to the end zone. Mayo was good on the kick, and Gleason led 21-6.
Mayo made a big hit on the next kickoff to the Tigers, and three plays later, BHS punted.
"Mayo and Hunter Morse at defensive tackle really disrupted their offense," Lampkins noted.
The Dawgs used five plays to cover 52 yards with Cory Frye catching a 10-yard Verdell pass at the goal line. Mayo's kick was good for a 28-6 halftime lead.
The first three drives of the third quarter ended with Bruceton throwing an interception and fumbling sandwiched around a Verdell interception.
Gleason settled down and put together a 45-yard drive capped by a 15-yard Cosby scoring run. Mayo's kick gave GHS a 35-6 lead with 5:06 left in the third.
The Dawgs' final scoring drive in the fourth quarter was capped by Morse's 11-yard run to paydirt. Blake Taylor's PAT kick was wide, leaving the final margin at 41-6 in Gleason's favor.
The Dawgs will next take on county rival Greenfield at the Yellowjackets' home field with kickoff at 7:30 on Friday night.
Bruceton 0 6 0 0—6
Gleason 14 14 7 6—41
GHS — Cody Ezell 23 run, (Matt Mayo kick), 10:13.
GHS — Ezell 31 run, (Mayo kick), 2:38.
BHS — Bishop Haynes 4 run (kick failed), 7:18.
GHS — Nicky Spain 17 run, (Mayo kick), 6:02.
GHS — Cory Frye 10 pass from Conner Verdell, (Mayo kick), 1:58.
GHS — Sam Cosby 15 run, (Mayo kick), 5:06.
GHS —Hunter Morse 11 run, (kick failed).
First Downs 10 17
Rushes-yards 37-78 31-249
Passing yards 67 57
Comp-Att-Int 7-16-2 3-6-1
Punts 4-34.3 1-24
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-yards 8-80 8-48
Rushing — Bruceton Bishop Haynes 6-10, Chandler Jordan 5-18, Trezden Tharpe 12-11, Douglas Wortham 3-9, Watson 6-9, Hayden Howell 4-8, Clay Thompson 1-3; Gleason, Sam Cosby 9-84, Cody Ezell 5-72, Nicky Spain 6-52, Hunter Morse 4-27, Austin Sullivan 1-8, Dalton Teeter 3-4, Conner Verdell 1-1, Blake Taylor 1-1, Anthony Eaton 1-0.
Passing — Bruceton, Howell 7-13-2 — 67, Jordan 0-3-0 — 0; Gleason, Verdell 3-6-1 — 57.
Receiving — Bruceton, Ryan Crouch 1-26, Jordan 3-23, Haynes 2-12, Taylor Rich 1-6; Gleason, Cory Frye 2-37, Ezell 1-20.
Records — Bruceton 0-6 (0-3 District 13-A), Gleason 4-2 (1-2 District 13-A).
Next Game — Bruceton will next visit Middleton, while Gleason will travel across the county to take on the rival Greenfield Yellowjackets with kickoff at 7:30 on Friday night for both non-district games.