Photo: Glencoe High’s Julian Bethel pulls away from West End’s Kaleb Arledge (7) during the Yellow Jackets’ 40-6 victory last Friday (Nov. 2). (Gary Wells)
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
A difficult football season for Glencoe High ended with a positive result last Friday (Nov. 2), as the Yellow Jackets stormed past West End, 40-6, at Wilson-Darnell Stadium.
Glencoe (1-9) led 13-0 late in the second half, but the visiting Patriots (1-9) scored on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Jones to Jeremiah Roberson to close the gap to 13-6 with 1:06 remaining until halftime.
On the ensuing kickoff return, Glencoe’s Andrew Massaro fielded the ball on his own 12-yard line and found a seam en route to an 88-yard touchdown to extend the lead to 19-6 with 51 seconds left in the second quarter.
The Yellow Jackets then dominated the second half as they earned their first victory of the season. The win gave first-year Glencoe coach Brian Alred his first victory with the school.
“It’s special to send the seniors out on a winning note,” Alred said. “It means a lot to them. They’re going to remember this game more and more than this whole season. That’s what we wanted to do. I’m proud of our underclassmen for fighting.
“I’m proud of our seniors for continuing to battle through this whole year. They’ve faced a lot of adversity but they’ve never wavered, they’ve never quit and they’ve kept good attitudes. That just goes to show you what type of character they have. I’m really proud of them.”
After forcing a three-and-out to start the game, the Yellow Jackets scored on their opening drive. Julian Bethel capped off a five-play scoring drive with a two-yard touchdown run to give Glencoe a 7-0 lead with 8:33 remaining in the first quarter.
Two possessions later, Glencoe running back Colton Stone broke free for a 54-yard touchdown on the second play of the drive to extend the lead to 13-0 with 9:57 left in the first half.
West End moved the ball into Yellow Jacket territory on its next drive, but quarterback Jacob Jones was intercepted by Glencoe defensive back Cam Harris.
The Patriots moved the ball well through the air for most of the night but the offense struggled inside the red zone. West End couldn’t get its ground game going, rushing for -8 yards on the night.
Glencoe added to its lead early in the third quarter after a 36-yard run from Stone. Bethel ran in the two-point try to extend the lead to 27-6 with 9:20 on the clock.
West End’s first two drives of the half ended in a turnover on downs in Glencoe territory, and the Yellow Jackets capitalized late in the quarter as Stone rushed for a 78-yard touchdown to put the game away with 52 seconds remaining in the third.
The Yellow Jackets carried a 34-6 lead into the final frame and added a late touchdown on a one-yard run by Hunter Gray for the 40-6 score.
West End earned its first win of the season last week in a last-second victory over Woodland. Head coach Kyle Davis said it didn’t seem like his team was ready to play entering the season finale.
“Maybe we felt like our season was accomplished by getting a win (over Woodland last week),” Davis said. “We came out tonight and played very flat. We played like we had other places to be. Our kids never got off the bus it seemed like.”
Glencoe outgained West End 445 to 292, and the Yellow Jackets rushed for 421 yards as a team. Davis said he felt like the Yellow Jackets had a good game plan on both sides of the ball.
“(Glencoe) held our receivers all night and we couldn’t get open. Give it to them. They had nothing to lose and they got after it and played aggressive. Our guys didn’t get off of them. (Glencoe) wanted it more than we did. We didn’t tackle well. We didn’t play our assignments well. We have a long way to go. Nobody wants to finish a season like that. We just weren’t ready to play.”
Stone had the best performance of the night as he rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns on only 10 carries for Glencoe.
“We worked hard all season and had a tough schedule ahead of us,” Stone said. “It’s just great to have a win under our belt finally. I know these guys are happy, as well as me. I don’t know how to describe it.”
Gray carried the ball 13 times for 83 yards and a score, while Bethel added 75 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. Massaro rushed for 45 yards and scored on the 88-yard kickoff return.
Jones threw for 258 yards on 20-for-41 passing. Roberson caught 13 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown, while Kaleb Arledge snagged four passes for 108 yards. Eli Pearce added three catches for 49 yards for West End.