Gla­di­a­tors stay fo­cused in rout

Stung by mem­ory of close losses to Hawks, Glenelg dom­i­nates through­out

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Tim Schwartz

With Glenelg lead­ing host River Hill14-0 af­ter one half of foot­ball, Gla­di­a­tors coach Butch Schaf­fer re­minded his play­ers of the re­cent one-sided his­tory of the Howard County ri­valry.

“We’ve had many op­por­tu­ni­ties and we’ve played them ex­tremely tight six of seven times and have come up on the short side,” Schaf­fer said. “We brought up the his­tory. So we said we didn’t want it to come down to that. Our kids took that to heart.”

In fact, the Hawks (1-1) en­tered Fri­day night hav­ing won14 of the past 15 meet­ings, and five of the past six were de­cided by a touch­down or less. But Schaf­fer and the Gla­di­a­tors (2-0) weren’t about to let this one slip away, and a 28-point third quar­ter turned the game into a lop­sided 49-7 vic­tory.

“We’ve had a lot of chances to win a cou­ple games up here, and some­how they slipped by us,” Schaf­fer said. “For us to fi­nally come through and make it hap­pen, it feels good for these kids. I’ve been on this side of a lot of heart­break­ing losses to River Hill, and I’m re­ally proud for our kids. I’ve seen the up­set looks on their faces many, many times.”

In to­tal, Glenelg ran just two of­fen­sive plays in the third quar­ter — a 52-yard touch­down run by sopho­more run­ning back Wande Owens and a 9-yard scam­per by se­nior Noah Wil­liamson af­ter a blocked punt — but not be­fore Gar­rett Mills re­turned the open­ing kick­off 82 yards up the mid­dle for a touch­down that made it 20-0.

Se­nior Con­nor Stan­ley in­ter­cepted River Hill quar­ter­back Luke Cham­pion’s pass and re­turned it 67 yards for a touch­down to end the Hawks’ first series of the half. Glenelg fol­lowed it with the runs by Owens and Wil­liamson on its next two drives to force the run­ning clock with a 42-7 lead.

“That’s the best quar­ter we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Schaf­fer said. “It’s a tes­ta­ment to those guys re­ally putting in the work on all as­pects of the game on of­fense, on de­fense and on spe­cial teams. I’m re­ally proud of their ef­forts.”

Owens, who led the way with 130 yards and an 8-yard touch­down run in the sec­ond quar­ter on 12 first-half car­ries, ran the ball once in the sec­ond half to fin­ish with 182 yards rush­ing.

“We just pound the foot­ball,” said Owens, who had gains of 44 and 40 yards in the first half and set up his sec­ond-half score with a 28-yard kick re­turn. “I wanted to re­turn the kick, but once we scored, we were all hyped. We were all hyped up for this game. This is the most pumped I’ve been for any game I’ve ever played.”

River Hill coach Brian Van Deusen said his team sim­ply was worn down by the size of Glenelg’s of­fen­sive line.

“You’ve got to give them a ton of credit,” he said. “They’re huge up front. That’s the key to the game; it doesn’t take a rocket sci­en­tist to fig­ure that out. They’ve got a guy go­ing to Syra­cuse [Dakota Davis] and an­other guy go­ing to Di­vi­sion I, and we’ve got line­men weigh­ing 200 or 180 pounds. We hung in there as long as we could.”

BRIAN KRISTA/BAL­TI­MORE SUN ME­DIA GROUP

Wande Owens ex­tends the ball over the goal line at the end of a 52-yard run for a Glenelg touch­down in the third quar­ter. Owens fin­ished with two touch­downs.

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