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Young's field goal pushes Reservoir football past Glenelg, 10-7, for first region title

Young's field goal pushes Reservoir football past Glenelg, 10-7, for first region title

It was only two weeks ago that Reservoir lost a game, 7-6, to Marriotts Ridge because coach Bryan Cole didn't have the confidence that his team could kick the extra point.

What a difference two weeks makes.

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The score tied, 7-7, with just under eight minutes remaining in the Class 3A East region championship game against visiting Glenelg on Nov. 20, senior running back Josh Young stayed on the field and kicked a game-winning 31-yard field goal that put the Gators up 10-7 and into the state semifinals for the first time in program history.

"Who would've thought?" Cole said. "We may not have been good at field goals, but we could kick them. We practice them all the time. Sometimes, man, when you have a senior like Josh Young, a three-year starter and a great kid and just a beast for us, sometimes you go with the player, not a play. ... I think we all think it's pretty funny, but sometimes in the moment, it's just making the play in the moment."

"Everyday at practice I would get out there and kick," Young said. "... I believed in myself. I was confident in what I was doing. I wanted to prove my doubters wrong and do it for my team."

The Gators (9-3) have Howard County's longest active playoff streak at four consecutive years, but they had never been able to get past the region championship game – until now.

"I've been waiting for three years to get this thing," Young said holding up the region championship plaque. "It feels great. I can't believe it was off a field goal. ... It feels great to hold this. We're in the books."

Glenelg (7-5) got the ball back after the field goal, but on its own 43 Reservoir's Kyle Fehr stripped freshman Wande Owens, who broke out for a three-touchdown game against Chesapeake last week, and the Gators' Uwaila Omororgbe recovered the loose ball with 6:01 remaining.

The play before the fumble, the referees gave Glenelg a first down after a play that looked to be a yard short of the line to gain. Cole sensed that the "football gods" took over from there.

"It was clearly a yard short. Sometimes, karma is bad," he said. "I appreciated the karma. Sometimes you get lucky ... sometimes the football gods swing your way after a bad call, and it did that time."

With the ball and the lead, Young said his team could sense a few first downs would push his team further than it has ever been.

"We definitely felt the moment," Young said. "We just knew we needed to keep the ball high and tight and run hard."

That's exactly Reservoir did next, as it rode its horse. Young picked up three first downs and carried the ball eight times in an 11-play drive that forced Glenelg to use all of its timeouts.

Though the drive resulted in a turnover on downs, the Gladiators got it back with only 1:18 left and threw four incomplete passes. The Gators took a knee to ice the game.

"That's what we work for all year long – to finish a game like that," Cole said.

For the second time in as many games against Reservoir, Glenelg turned its first drive into points. On Owens' first carry of the game, he broke through the right side and scored on a 30-yard run to put his team up 7-0.

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Two Gators' possessions later, they knotted the score after completing a 10-play, 60-yard drive. Young finished it off with an 8-yard run early in the second quarter, and Cole said it was a different run than what they had been running up to that point.

"They were doing some things to stop us from running power," Cole said. "They were overplaying one side. ... We caught them."

Reservoir had a chance to put more on the board on its next drive, as quarterback Jaris Foreman found Barry Carter for a 25-yard completion that made it first and goal from the 8. The Gators, though, couldn't get much going after that and the drive stalled at the Gladiators' 4 yard line.

Glenelg opened the second half with a commanding 17-play drive that included two fourth-down conversions and took almost eight minutes off the clock. But with star running back Trey Davis on the sidelines because of an ankle injury he suffered before last week, the drive ended with a fumble by quarterback Elijah Darden that was recovered by Reservoir at its own 12.

The Gladiators got the ball back, though, as Eric Gruber intercepted a Foreman pass, but Glenelg followed it up with a three and out, setting up the 10-play Gators drive that ended in Young's field goal. Young set up the game-winner with a 35-yard run that put his team at the Glenelg 20, and the kick was snapped at the 14. It was the first field goal Reservoir made all season.

Young finished with 26 carries for 122 yards and both scores, while Carter pitched in with nine rushes for 70 yards on the ground and a catch for 25 yards.

The Gladiators failed to defend their region championship, but coach Butch Schaffer is proud of the way his team battled in this game and throughout the season.

"I'm proud of our kids. They played hard every week and gave everything they got," he said. "We played a tremendous football team and we wish them the best next week. It was a great football game, and unfortunately we came up a little bit short."

Davis managed to get 28 yards on 10 carries, pushing his county record to 2,129 yards on the ground this season. The future looks bright, though, as Owens finished with 21 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown in the contest.

Reservoir will travel to face either Damascus (12-0), which beat Seneca Valley, 45-3, in the Class 3A West championship game, or Dundalk, which beat two-time defending state champions Franklin, 20-14, for the North region title. The Hornets defeated Glenelg in a state semifinal game last season, but no matter the opponent Cole is just excited to be at this point and making school history.

"It's exciting to be where I am right now," he said. "New territory, but my expectations are to see a great football team."

Reservoir (9-3) – 0 7 0 3 – 10

Glenelg (7-5) – 7 0 0 0 – 7

First quarter

G: Wande Owens 30-yard run (Brett Wasson kick) [0-7]

Second quarter

Re: Josh Young 8-yard run (Young kick) [7-7]

Fourth quarter

Re: Young 31-yard field goal [10-7]

Other score:

Howard won its second straight Class 4A North region title with a 34-14 win over Sherwood. Click here to read a story about the game on Nov. 20.

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