No. 10 Glencoe hosts Sand Rock

The Class 3A Glencoe Yellow Jackets and 2A Sand Rock Wildcats step out of region play tonight for game at Wilson-Darnell Stadium in Glencoe.

Glencoe, who made its debut in the Alabama Sports Writers Association 3A poll this week at No. 10, is off to a 2-0 start this season with wins over region foes White Plains and J.B. Pennington.

Sand Rock, meanwhile, is 1-1 after opening the season with a 35-8 win over Pleasant Valley before falling 24-15 to region rival Ider last week.

Glencoe, as it has since sixth-year coach Lee Ozmint took control, hangs its hat on defense. The Yellow Jackets consistently have boasted one of the best defenses in the area and in 3A the past few years and is giving up 137 yards per contest in 2011. In last week’s 45-14 win over J.B. Pennington, the starting defensive unit allowed around 50 yards before exiting in the second half.

Daniel Warren, a member of the preseason Gadsden Times’ Dirty Dozen as one of the top 12 players in the area, keys the defense from the middle linebacker position. He has 26 tackles on the season. Dalton Reid has 22. T.J. Daugherty returned an interception for a touchdown last week, while Devonta Toles and Christopher Tinker also have picks on the season.

Offensively, the team is led by running back Austin Brown. Last week, the senior running back rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns, earning him Player of the Week honors as voted on at Brown is averaging nearly seven yards per carry this season and has scored three touchdowns. Thomas Ozmint also will get carries, as the freshman has scored two touchdowns on the season.

Harrison Bright triggers the offense, capably managing the team from the quarterback position. He has a 61 percent completion percentage this season and has thrown two touchdowns — both coming in a 42-7 opening week win over White Plains in his debut at quarterback.

Bright’s counterpart, Sand Rock sophomore quarterback Dylan Mackey, looks to lead the Wildcats to their first win over the Yellow Jackets in school history. Glencoe owns a 5-0 advantage in the series, including last year’s 42-14.

Mackey struggled a bit with accuracy last week against Ider, going 6 of 21 for 172 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. For the season, the lanky signal caller is 12 for 31 for 256 yards.

One of his top targets, especially last week, was Sean Wiley. The 5-foot-8 wide receiver showed his explosiveness with a 72-yard touchdown grab against Ider and set up another score with a 48-yard reception.

Chad Thompson and Matt Graham are other top targets for Mackey.

At running back will be Chad Thompson, who opened the season with a 200-yard, four-touchdown performance against Pleasant Valley. Austin Carver also will get carries.

Defensively, the Wildcats are giving up an average of 235 yards per game.

Chandler Mackey has 18 total tackles, Thompson has made 15 stops and Bryant Beard has recorded 1.5 sacks.