Glenwood evens its record, beats Morgan Academy
Sept. 28, 2017

By Ronald Frazier

After losing two games by two points, the last thing that you need is to fall behind by two touchdowns in the first quarter against Morgan Academy- the team that pummeled you the previous year.

That’s what happened to Glenwood on Sept. 22 in Selma. But it didn’t matter. The Gators scored the next 24 points of the game to take a 24-14 lead and outscored the home standing Senators 31-7 the rest of the way to even their record to 3-3 with the 31-21 victory.

“Our guys laid it on the line out there. We made some mistakes but there was no lack of the effort on the field,” said Glenwood coach Jason Gibson after the victory.

“We ran the ball well-I think we had about 200 yards rushing and any time you outscore the other team 31-7, you are doing something right,” he added.

The Gators were eyeing a 14-0 deficit as the Senators star halfback Sam Bracken got behind the secondary for a 48-yard touchdown pass reception and Hardin Utsey ran for another Morgan Academy score for the 14-0 lead.

That’s when Glenwood got back into the game. Thomas Camacho’s field goal in the first quarter cut it to 14-3 and then Kayleen Bonds ran for a touchdown to make the deficit to 14-10 at halftime.

Bryce Valero came back from a tough first half that saw one drive stall and another stopped with an interception. He hit star receiver Cameron O’Neil for a 10-yard touchdown that gave Glenwood the lead for good at 17-14 in the third quarter and later with the score 24-14, capped another drive with a three-yard plunge to make it 31-21.

While Valero was heating up the offense, the Gator defense also began to assert itself after the first period. They shut out the Senators in the second quarter and Navy Harris provided the highlight of the game in the third.

With the score 17-14 Gators, Harris stepped in front of a Peyton Egbert pass and with a convoy of Glenwood players went 94 yards for a Gator touchdown and made the score 24-14.

“That is a big play for the defense and it is what we want our players to do, make plays,” said Gibson of his team.

“We played hard and I feel that we had a hard practice week and that hard work validated the team’s effort on Friday,”Gibson added.

Valero’s TD run offset a Morgan’s final score in the fourth period and then David Copeland, who defended two passes earlier in the game, had a big play with an interception that gave the ball back to the Gators under the three minute mark. 

The Gators kept the ball on the ground with Bonds and John Burnett, getting first downs and holding the ball until Valero’s kneel down on the final play of the contest.

“I said before, we are a passing team but in high school football, you have to run the ball to be successful and we have the players to do that,” Gibson explained of his offense. “Any time you can do both things, it gives your opponent something to think about.”

The Gators evened their mark at 3-3 with the non-region contest and will now return home to play Pike Liberal Arts, who is 4-2 on the year for the Gators’ homecoming contest. 

This is also a rematch of a team that defeated the Gators last year in Troy, 34-28.

Gators bite Knights in 56-7 win

Aug. 30, 2017

By Ronald Frazier

On paper, the Aug. 25 game between Glenwood and Calvary Christian may have been a close contest. But Kayleen Bonds rushing, Navy Harris’s exciting kickoff return and the Gator defense turned the game into a rout by a 56-7 score.

Bonds used his inside running prowess to score three touchdowns in the first half as the Gators leaped out to a 28-0 halftime advantage. Meanwhile, the Gator defense was turning the visiting Knights into a one-dimensional attack and forced four big turnovers.

“We have a strong defense and right now they are ahead of our offense,” said Glenwood coach Jason Gibson. “Kelsey Allen at linebacker is almost unstoppable. I know we can’t block him in practice.”

“That defensive effort was with Gaige Williams because he is lost for the season. He tore his ACL against Monroe Academy and is out for the year. He is a senior and the defensive captain, but he will be on the sidelines, even on crutches,” Gibson reported.

While Bonds was running for TDs, the defense was doing the job as they held Calvary to minus eight yards total rushing and forced three turnovers in the first two quarters.

Any hope for a second half comeback was quickly extinguished when Gator defensive back Navy Harris took the opening second half kickoff and ran 75 yards for a Gator touchdown and a 35-0 lead. The difference in the Knights sideline was obvious.

“That was an outstanding run by Navy. I have to figure out ways to get him the ball on offense. That was a huge play for us in the second half,” said Gibson after the contest.

“I feel that this team has come farther along that last year’s team. We have some things to work on but there was certainly improvement from last week. Our passing game is getting there but it’s not where it needs to be. And our “O” line did a better job. When you have five new starters and only one senior on that front, it is going to take time to work as a unit,” Gibson was quick to point out.

“Last year we had an outstanding group of senior players but now our juniors are seniors and are stepping up. That’s what needs to happen,” he added.

Christian Clausell got the Gators going in the right direction when he grabbed an interception of a Kasen Andrews pass in the first period. Eight plays later, Bonds scored his first touchdown on a three-yard run and the rout was on.

In the first half, Bonds would score again on a 34-yard run and a 27-yard run while Cameron O’Neil beat a defender on a one-on-one outside move and score on a 10-yard TD pass from Bryce Valero.

O’Neil also had a 51-yard punt return and scored another touchdown on a 38-yard pass from Valero before heading to the sidelines.

“In my opinion, he’s the best receiver in AISA,” said Gibson of his wide out.

John Burnett, who had a fumble in the first half that the Knights recovered, made up for that with a 44-yard rumble up the middle for another Glenwood touchdown. 

Lawrence Vinson came in as he did in 2016, provided a running spark with three runs of 47 yards and a touchdown. He had three touchdowns coming off the bench last year.

“Trevor Cisco and Austin Downey also come off the bench and they are ready to play and BJ Snellgrove, he’s only a freshman and he made a great tackle on the kickoff in the second half,” said Gibson of his bench players. 

The Gators evened their record to 1-1 while Calvary Christian fell to 1-1. Glenwood’s next contest will be at home as the Gators host Northside Methodist of Dothan, who is 0-2.Northside so far has lost both games by a combined score of 88-10.