Glenelg senior running back Nick Crabill wasn’t sure how his team would respond on Monday.
After all, he and his teammates had to wait nearly three full days to get back on the field after the Gladiators’ game against visiting Mt. Hebron was postponed on Oct. 20 due to lightning.
“I didn’t really know how we would react because after waiting that long of a time, you kind of lose a feel for the game,” Crabill said. “So we wanted to come out, take over the game and extend the lead.”
Glenelg had a 12-0 advantage with just over four minutes left in the second quarter when the game was called, and it didn’t take long for the Gladiators to pick right back up where they left off. Quarterback Mark Darden scored on his second touchdown run of the first half as time expired and the Gladiators rolled to a 29-12 victory.
“After we scored that touchdown before the half, I knew that we had it as long as we kept playing like that,” Crabill said. “The line was opening up holes and we were running hard.”
Glenelg started the game with a six-play, 75-yard drive that was set up by Jared Jacoby’s 59-yard run down the right sideline on the second play from scrimmage. Darden capped the drive with a one-yard sneak.
After the defense forced the Vikings (5-3) into a three-and-out, the Gladiators were on the move again. This time, Crabill sealed a drive with a touchdown run of 30 yards to give Glenelg a 12-0 lead.
“I was a little worried because we have a lot of things going on and we were on a different schedule, but our kids came back out here and played really hard,” Gladiators coach Butch Schaffer said.
The game resumed with Mt. Hebron facing a second-and-four from its own seven-yard line. The Vikings defense had just made a goal-line stand on the prior drive to swing the momentum. But another three-and-out gave the ball right back to Gladiators (5-3).
Crabill took a toss play 20 yards, and six plays later Darden called his own number to increase the lead to 19-0 at halftime.
“I knew they would adjust to what we were running, so we put in extra offenses,” Darden said. “We scored before halftime and that really gave us a boast. We were really excited to get back on the field.”
Mt. Hebron broke through in the third when receiver Dillan Solo ran a go-route down the right sideline, caught the ball at its highest point, and broke a tackle to complete a 53-yard touchdown pass from Malik Gilmore to make it 19-6 with 4:52 left in the quarter.
Glenelg promptly responded with a 13-play drive that took 5:43 off the clock. Kicker Luke Brister booted a 25-yard field goal to increase the lead.
Later in the fourth, Crabill scored on a one-yard dive up the middle to seal the game.
The Gladiators defense, which allowed an average of 15 points per contest, was ready to slow the Vikings’ offense. They brought constant pressure to disrupt Mt. Hebron's timing passes. Crabill and Nole Mathabel each had an interception, and Jordan Alexander led the way with 2.5 sacks.
“Coach told us that he wanted us to play four quarters,” Alexander said. “We wanted a shut out. We didn’t get it but we still did our job. We played our responsibilities and stayed home on defense.”
In the closing seconds, the Vikings’ Justin Chen recovered a fumble for a touchdown but it was too late. The Vikings have now dropped their last three games after beginning the season with a 5-0 mark.
“Glenelg’s kids are tough and they get after you,” Mt. Hebron coach Phil Zacharias said. “Even though they may feel like their season has gotten away, they haven’t stopped playing. That’s what football is all about; you don’t stop playing until it’s over.
“We’re going to look back and we’re going to be upset because we’ve let a great opportunity get away from us. Yes, our schedule was tough, and we still have two tough games left. Now, we’re back to our goal of a winning season, which can be a good accomplishment but it will not equal what we could have done.”
MH (5-3) 0 0 6 6 - 12
G (5-3) 12 7 0 10 - 29
G: Darden 1 run (kick failed), 9:02. [0-6]
G: Crabill 30 run (conversion failed), 3:52. [0-12]
G: Darden 1 run (Brister kick), 0:00. [0-19]
MH: Solo 53 pass from Gilmore (kick blocked by Salandra), 4:52. [6-19]
G: Brister 25 field goal, 11:09. [6-22]
G: Crabill 1 run (Brister kick), 3:22. [6-29]
MH: Chen 1 fumble recovery (conversion failed), 1:29. [12-29]
MH: Gilmore 11-53; Nicholas 5-16; Team 20-62.
G: Crabill 17-115, 2 TD; Jacoby 12-85; Brookhart 7-55; Team 48-296, 4 TD.
MH: Gilmore 9/20, 143, TD, 2 INT.
G: Darden 5/8, 73.
MH: Solo 4-119, TD.
G: Brookhart 3-26; Paul 1-46; Crabill 1-1.
Around the league
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