By Chris McCarthy/Editor
Glencoe High head football coach Lee Ozmint said that for the most part, the Yellow Jackets did not use last year’s overtime loss as additional motivation for Friday’s game against Etowah County rival Hokes Bluff.
“All I did was show them the last play of that game on Monday, and I asked them how it made them feel,” he said. “It wasn’t a revenge thing. We were a young team last year, and it seemed that when it got to crunch time, instead of finding a way we found an excuse in certain situations.”
There were no excuses 12 months later, as Glencoe (3-2, 1-2) rolled past the Eagles to the tune of 49-20 in the 69th meeting of the Etowah County rivals.
In three quarters of action, Glencoe junior quarterback Dylan Stone amassed 288 combined rushing and passing yards. He ran 13 times for 180 yards and two touchdowns and completed 12-of-8 passes for 108 yards and two scores.
Junior halfback Thomas Ozmint almost matched Stone’s rushing total, running for 176 yard and two touchdowns on a workhorse-like 28 carries.
The hosts stormed out to a 21-0 lead after one quarter and a 42-7 advantage at halftime.
The Yellow Jackets compiled 512 total yards – including 404 via the rush – to Hokes Bluff’s 271.
After the visitors drew within 14 points in the second quarter on Cole Williams’ 39-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Ward, Glencoe scored touchdowns on its next five possessions. Hokes Bluff (0-5, 0-4) notched a pair of second half touchdowns after the game was essentially out of reach.
The Yellow Jackets were 8-for-12 on third down conversions while limiting the Eagles to 2-of-11.
“I’m proud of this bunch, because in spite of some failures along the way, they’ve continued to work hard,” said Ozmint. “We’ve got a long way to go and a lot of games left, but I’m proud of the out intensity, our effort and our focus. They’ve played their hearts out every Friday night.”
Houston Word led Glencoe in tackles with 12, followed by Mason Brown with 10 and Andrew Willis and Chance Duncan with eight each.
“They just lined up and whipped us,” said Hokes Bluff head coach Mike Robertson.” We just couldn’t tackle their quarterback. We came out a little bit flat, and we had a couple of breakdowns in the kicking game. But our kids hung in there, and I appreciate that. I’ve got to give Glencoe credit; I thought they played well. We’re a little banged up right now but we’ve to to get well, because it doesn’t get any easier.”
A pair of big plays on special teams staked Glencoe to a 14-0 lead.
After turning the ball over on downs at the Eagle 2-yard line on the game’s initial possession, the hosts forced a punt.
Grant Griffin burst through the line and blocked the kick, setting up the Jackets at the Hokes Bluff 12.
Thomas Ozmint ran it into the end zone on the drive first play, and the first of Joseph Bright’s seven extra points made it 7-0 at 5:51 of the opening quarter.
Thomas’ younger brother Pace got into the action in the closing seconds of the period, returning a punt 55 yards for a touchdown at 0.7.
On Glencoe’s next series, Thomas Ozmint zigged and zagged his way through the Eagle defense for a 55-yard TD run, making it 21-0 at 8:51 of the second quarter.
The visitors answered four plays later on the Williams-to-Ward scoring pass, but the Yellow Jackets quickly responded with Stone’s 20-yard TD run at 5:21.
Stone accounted for every one of Glencoe’s ensuing 71-yard drive, first with a 24-yard scramble and then with his 56-yard touchdown run, which made it 35-7 with 1:54 left in the quarter.
With just under a minute left in the first half, the hosts drove 49 yards in seven plays to pay dirt. Stone had runs of 15 and 25 yards before lofting a 15-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Nunnally with 4.7 on the clock, sending the Jackets into the break up 42-7.
The opening series of the second half ended after three plays on Will Parker’s interception of a Hokes Bluff pass.
The Glencoe offense turned that big play into points when Stone polished off a 60-yard, six-play possession with a touchdown pass to Jamon Phillips at 6:17 of the third frame.
The Eagles tacked on a pair late scores on Williams’ 46-yard TD pass to Ward with under a minute left in the third and Williams’ 23-yard touchdown run with 8:53 left in the game.
Williams was 6-of-14 in passing for 166 yards, while Ward had four catches for 148 yards.
Chase Beggs paced the Eagle on the ground with 70 yards on 21 attempts.
Noah Click had 14 tackles, while Chase Pope had 10.
“To me, this is a character game, and I’m proud of our kid’s character,” said Lee Ozmint. “It’s not about a win or a loss. I just want our kids to play at their highest and best level, and they did that tonight.”
Both teams resume region play this week. Glencoe visits Saks, while Hokes Bluff travels to Cleburne County.