Glenelg has sent a strong message to its future Howard
Seeking their second straight playoff appearance, the Cavaliers improved to 3-0 after yesterday's 14-6 win over South Carroll.
In topping South Carroll, Glenelg used the same grind-it-out system that has become a recent team trademark. The Gladiators rushed on 42 of 47 plays for 120 yards, pounding the ball at the Cavaliers primarily with 6-foot-3, 195-pound James McKenney (19 carries, 81 yards,) and 5-8, 195-pound Mike Deming (11, 31).
"This was a big win for us to go 3-0 out of county," said Glenelg running back Chris Cordisco, who ran for a first-period touchdown. "It shows the type of game we play -- smash-mouth football. We're going to grind teams out the way we have been with the domination of our line."
"It was all McKenney and Deming, run, run, run," said South Carroll coach Gene Brown, who was disappointed with his team's mental errors and turnovers (three).
Glenelg's defense, though, applied the final stamp. Behind by the final margin, South Carroll (2-1) drove 42 yards for a third-and-one on the Gladiators' 11 with about 9:00 left. But linemen Ray Holter and Dan Ballentine and linebacker Dan Gardner stopped back Chris Lyerly for no gain. On fourth down, Glenelg's middle interior stuffed quarterback Jason Harich on a sneak to gain possession.
"I was expecting a lean or draw in the 'A' gap [up the middle]," Holter said of the fourth-down play. "We knew the they were going to run it up the middle, we just played a yard off the ball."
Glenelg led throughout, scoring on its first possession, a 16-play, 75-yard march aided by a 15-yard roughing-the-kicker call on South Carroll. The Cavaliers' defense forced a fourth-down after eight plays. With Glenelg's Matt Moraye lined up to punt, the snap sailed over his head. He retrieved the ball, kicked it, but was knocked down and the Gladiators restarted the drive on South Carroll's 40.
The Gladiators ran on seven of the next eight plays, the finale being Chris Cordisco's 4-yard touchdown on a misdirection off left guard. Pierre Yues converted for a 7-0 game with 5:36 left in the quarter.
In converting two fourth-down plays, the Cavaliers answered early in the second period. During an eight-play, 53-yard drive, back Greg Mihalko (12 carries for 56 yards) ran nine yards on a fake reverse to keep the drive alive the first time. Later, on fourth-and-seven, tight end Jeremy Esworthy turned quarterback Tom Luster's swing pass into a 28-yard score. A two-point conversion failed and Glenelg led, 7-6.
One play after lineman Brian Conners recovered a fumble on South Carroll's 10, McKenney scored off left tackle on the third period's last play.
"We shot ourselves in the foot," South Carroll running back Ryan O'Neill said. "We didn't execute on clutch plays and we didn't get that extra push that we've had in the last two weeks [wins over Wilde Lake and Centennial]."