By Chris McCarthy/Editor
Lee Ozmint was pleased that his team had a plus-2 margin in turnovers on the way to a 29-12 victory over against Westbrook Christian on Friday (Aug. 30).
It was the 7-to-5 ratio that the Glencoe High head football did not have in mind.
“Five turnovers is not acceptable,” he said. “That was a hard-fought ballgame, but you can’t trade turnover for turnover. We had around 70 offensive snaps, and that’s a lot, but we were in very good condition and for the most part our kids were fresh and able to play hard. It’s kind of a scorched-earth offense in that we want to run a lot of plays. We had a few breakdowns in key places. There’s no such things as an ugly win We’ve certainly got some things we’ve got to work on.”
Using a hurry-up offense for much of the game, the Yellow Jackets (1-0) produced 441 yards of offense to Westbrook’s 259, including a 320 to 63 advantage on the ground. Glencoe was sharp in the red zone converting 5-of-6 scoring opportunities inside the Warrior 20-yard line.
After taking a 19-6 halftime lead, the hosts seemed poised to put the game away when Mason Brown recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff of the second half.
The ensuing Glencoe drive lasted all of one play when the Warriors’ Dalvin Lewis pounced on a loose ball 12 seconds into the third quarter.
The Jackets got the ball back a few minutes later on an interception by Logan Guest, but Ozmint lamented the missed opportunity.
“It seemed that just when we were about to put our foot on the gas, we turn [the ball] over. We have a chance to put the dagger in right there and we weren’t able to do it.”
Indeed, Guest’s bug play went for naught when Chris Underwood picked off a Glencoe pass. Six plays and 53 yards later, the visitors pulled within 19-12 on Jake Kilgo’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Noah Hunt on a fourth down and 17.
The Warriors, however, got no closer.
The Yellow Jackets subsequently put together an eight-play, 67-yard drive that was highlighted by Dylan Stone’s 36-yard pass to Pace Ozmint on a third-and-20, a completion that set up Glencoe at the Westbrook 3.
Thomas Ozmint took it in the end zone on the next play, making it a 26-12 advantage with 5:21 l remaining in the third.
The hosts had chance to ice the game near the end of the quarter after Pace Ozmint’s interception and Stone’s 49-yard pass to Hunter Nunnally moved the Yellow Jackets to the Warrior 10.
But Glencoe fumbled three plays later, and Hunt’s recovery kept the visitors within striking distance with under a minute left in the quarter.
But once again the Warriors could not hang onto the ball, as Will Parker’s fumble recovery cut short the series.
The Yellow Jackets finally iced the game on Joseph Bright’s 33-yard field goal with 5:24 left in the fourth quarter.
Stone and Thomas Ozmint both eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark. Stone gained 174 yards on 20 carries, while Ozmint rushed 23 times for 116 yards and three touchdowns.
Stone completed 9-of-20 passes for 121 yards. Nunnally, Ozmint and Jacob Bradley each caught two passes.
Brown finished with 14 tackles, followed by Parker with nine and Grant Griffin with seven.
Westbrook head coach Tony Osborne pointed to inexperience at the skill positions as a major factor in his team’s uneven performance. The Warriors also were flagged 12 times for 65 yards.
“We’re young at quarterback and running back, and those things are going to happen. I told the kids before we came in that you’re not going to play perfect in the first game. But you have to give Glencoe credit. They had a good plan and were well-prepared and really controlled the line of scrimmage. Hopefully we’ll learn from this and we can do a little better next week.”
A pair of early Westbrook helped Glencoe take a 12-0 lead.
Pace Ozmint’s interception midway through the first quarter set up Thomas Ozmint’s 10-yard touchdown run at 5:39. Two plays into the next Warrior possession, Parker recovered a fumble at the Westbrook 33. Three plays later, Thomas Ozmint scored from 11 yards out for a 12-0 lead at 4:33.
Westbrook quickly responded. On a third and 11 from the Westbrook 19, Kilgo and Brien Welch hooked up for an 81-yard touchdown, drawing the visitors within 12-6 with 3:09 left in the opening quarter.
But the turnover-plagued Warriors surrendered the ball on Guest’s interception at 4:41 of the second period. Taking over at the Westbrook 46, the Jackets drove 45 yards in five plays to the Westbrook 1, where Stone took it in for the score.
With Bright’s PAT, Glencoe went into the half ahead 13 points.
Kilgo completed 14-of-34 passes for 196 yards. Welch, Hunt and Chris Underwood each had three receptions. Kilgo led the Warriors in rushing with 36 yards on 14 carries.
Lewis had 12 tackles, while Dylan McClain had 11 and Tyler Lowery nine.
“You improve most between Week 1 and Week 2, and I’d be worried if we didn’t have things to improve on,” said Lee Ozmint. “But I’m excited because this is a great bunch of kids to coach, even in spite of all the mistakes tonight. It makes my job a lot more fun when you have kids who throw their hearts and souls into it.”
Both teams kick off region play on Friday, with Glencoe visiting Weaver and Westbrook hosting Fyffe.