Glencoe rallies past Walter Wellborn

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By Chris McCarthy/Editor

Glencoe High may require a bit of fine-tuning in terms of
execution, but the seventh-ranked Yellow Jackets are doing just fine so far in
the areas of grit and determination.

For the second week in a row, Glencoe (2-0, 1-0) rallied
from a second half deficit, in this case for a 27-26 victory over No. 8 and
Class 3A, Region 6 rival Walter Wellborn on Friday at GHS.

Trailing 26-13 midway through the third quarter, the Jackets
scored 14 unanswered points in the space of three minutes and 47 seconds in the
final period.

The comeback began with a big play on defense.

After Corri Tignor’s 21-yard touchdown run gave the Panthers
(0-2) a 13-point advantage at the 3:11 mark of the third quarter, the hosts
used eight plays and traveled 40 yards to get to the Wellborn 21 yard line.

But an illegal procedure penalty backed Glencoe up five
yards, and the Yellow Jackets failed to convert on a fourth down and 14.

Matters weren’t looking good for the hosts on the ensuing
Wellborn series when Landon Machristie and Derrick Rhoden hooked up for a
27-yard pass play that gave the Panthers a first down on the Glencoe 44.

On the next play, however, Luke Mackey recovered a fumble to
snuff out a potential Wellborn touchdown that almost certainly would have put
the game out of reach.

The Yellow Jackets took advantage of their good fortune, as
a 38-yard pass completion from Dylan Stone to Thomas Ozmint put the ball at the
Panther 1.

Stone punched it in on the next play, and Joseph Bright’s
PAT cut the Wellborn lead to 26-20 with 7:23 left in the game.

After allowing a 22-yard run on the next Panther possession,
the Jacket defense stiffened and eventually forced a punt.

Taking over at their own 33, Glencoe called Ozmint’s number
three straight times, and the senior back responded with runs of 21, eight and
nine yards.

A 14-yard run by Stone brought the ball to the Wellborn 15,
where Taylor Daugherty took it to the house to tie the game.

“I’m proud of [Daugherty] for getting to score in that
situation, but make no mistake about it – Thomas Ozmint took that game over in
the last quarter, and I’m very proud of him for that,” said Glencoe head coach Lee
Ozmint.

Bright tacked on the all-important extra point, giving
Glencoe their first lead of the game.

The visitors still had three minutes and change to work
with, starting at their own 32. It looked as if Hunter Nunnally’s interception
on a third and 12 iced the game for the Yellow Jackets, but the hosts were
flagged for defensive holding, and a 19-yard pass completion moved the ball
inside Glencoe territory.

Chance Duncan sacked Machristie on the next play, and Mason
Brown did likewise on third and 19.

Machristie’s pass attempt on fourth and 26 fell
incomplete, clinching Glencoe’s first 2-0 start to a season since the 2011
season.

Ozmint finished with 247 combined yards. He rushed 19 times
for 177 yards, and caught two passes for 70 yards.

Stone was 11-for-20 in passing for 176 yards while adding 43
yards rushing on 16 attempts.

Pace Ozmint had five receptions for 77 yards.

Brown had 13 tackles, followed by Duncan with 11, Daugherty
with seven and Grant Griffin and Evan Foreman with six each.

“[Wellborn] is a very well-coached and well-conditioned
team, but they had a lot of players go both ways tonight, and I think that was
a factor in the fourth quarter,” said Lee Ozmint. “But hats off to [Wellborn], because they
whipped our tails for three quarters. We really didn’t get our passing game
going tonight, and when that happens, it kind of closes doors on what we try to
do offensively. We made some critical mistakes tonight, but once again, we
played with enough heart to win.”

Wellborn had the upper hand early on, as the Panthers scored
touchdowns off three initial three possessions.

The Panthers’ opening drive featured 11 straight running
plays and ended on Machristie’s 3-yard TD keeper at 6:33 of the first quarter.

The hosts also hit paydirt on their initial possession, a
drive highlighted by Thomas Ozmint’s 44-yard run and capped by Stone’s 1-yard
touchdown plunge. The PAT failed, however, leaving the score at 7-6 at 4:12.

On the next play from scrimmage, however, Machristie hit
Tignor for a 65-yard touchdown and a 13-6 lead.

Following a Glencoe punt, Wellborn found itself pinned at
its own 13 on a third and 13. But Machristie found Robert Montgomery open over
the middle around midfield, and the latter outraced the Jacket defense to
the end zone for a 19-6 advantage 13 seconds into the second quarter.

The hosts answered with a 76-yard, six-play drive that was
extended by Stone’s 49-yard pass to Pace Ozmint. Pace’s brother Thomas finished
off the series with a 5-yard touchdown run. Bright’s PAT cut the deficit to
19-12 with 9:47 remaining before the half.

Both teams missed on respective field goal attempts later on
the period.

The Yellow Jackets’ opening possession of the second half
covered 42 yards and drained more than six minutes off the game clock but
fizzled out at the Panther 36 on a failed fourth down conversion attempt.

For Wellborn, Rhoden gained 110 yards on 11 carries. He also
caught three passes for 69 yards.

Machristie completed 6-of-12 passes for 241 yards but was
sacked four times.

“I’m proud of the way our kids keep fighting in spite of
everything going wrong,” said Lee Ozmint. “I’m just ready for us to win when
things go right for us. The conditioning, the heart and the character has
translated to Friday nights, but I’m ready for us to execute and make plays
when we need to.”

Glencoe continues region play next week with a trip to
Rainbow City to take on Westbrook Christian. 

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