Glencoe beats Cleveland in must win region game
Fri. October 11, 2013 at 11:55 p.m. | By John Davidson Staff Writer
Glencoe’s Dylan Stone breaks up a pass intended for Cleveland’s Emanuel Terry during Friday’s Class 3A, Region 5 game in Glencoe. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times | File)
GLENCOE — The Glencoe Yellow Jackets are now in control of the fourth and final playoff spot in Class 3A, Region 5 with its 28-26 win over Cleveland on homecoming.
It was a huge win for the Yellow Jackets (4-3, 2-3), allowing them to leapfrog Cleveland (4-3, 2-3) for fourth place in the region. Winning out in region play means that playoff spot is secured.
Glencoe head coach Lee Ozmint called the victory a “character win” for his team.
“We talked all week about character, about grit and about faith,” Ozmint said. “This was by no means our best game, but I think we played hard enough and made enough plays down the stretch to win.”
The game was a back-and-forth battle between two evenly matched teams and their fleet-footed quarterbacks. Despite huge plays on both sides of the ball, the game hinged on two extra-point attempts.
On the first drive of the fourth quarter, Cleveland scored on a Peyton Gilliland quarterback sneak from the 1-yard-line to bring it within one point, 21-20. Kicker Leon Doelle bounced his kick off the left upright for the point-after, and the score remained the same.
Glencoe answered the Cleveland score with a touchdown of its own on the next drive with quarterback Dylan Stone carrying the load and scoring from five yards out. The Yellow Jackets converted their PAT, giving them a 28-20 lead.
Cleveland was not done and would not go down easily, however. Gilliland continued to use his elusiveness and strong arm to lead the Panthers down the field. He scored on a 13-yard scramble with 1:14 left to play, bringing up a two-point attempt. Both teams used timeouts, building anxiety and tension.
The next play would decide the game.
Gilliland rolled left and looked for gargantuan receiver Emanuel Terry, who had already burnt the Yellow Jackets for 108 receiving yards, including a 70-yard pass where he showed off his height and speed. The pass went into Terry’s hands but immediately following the ball came Pace Ozmint, breaking up the pass and preserving the victory.
“That is, so far, probably the biggest play of the year,” Ozmint said.
Both teams were led by strong ground games. Glencoe’s Stone finished with 24 carries for 169 yards and a touchdown on the ground and threw two more through the air while going 3 for 7 for 49 yards. Thomas Ozmint had 13 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Cleveland’s Gilliland went 12 for 20 for 195 yards through the air with one touchdown and also gashed Glencoe for 81 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Coach Ozmint said he knows the situation his team faces. The Yellow Jackets have already lost to the three teams above them and know another loss could end their postseason hopes.
“We know we’ve got to win out,” Ozmint said. “If there’s ever been a team that I’ve coached that deserves to make the playoffs, it’s this one.”
But the playoffs are not something that is deserved, Ozmint lamented. A trip is earned and Glencoe will try to earn it at Susan Moore High School on Friday.
Cleveland will try to rebound Friday when they host White Plains.