Gladiators end Lions’ county winning streak dating to 2013
RB Owens scores on 6-yard run with 5:24 remaining
Glenelg football coach Butch Schaffer has been around long enough to know how much the Howard game means to the community.
He was getting phone calls and emails all week from alumni asking him to bring the Elgard Trophy back home and end the Lions’ 33-game Howard County winning streak that dated to Oct. 11, 2013.
On Friday night on their home turf, the Gladiators mauled No. 5 Howard from start to finish and raised the trophy after a 25-20 victory.
“Our kids know the history of this and we got a lot of phone calls from people in the past saying to end the streak, and our kids bought into it,” Schaffer said.
The key for Glenelg (7-2) was its offensive line, a massive group of upperclassmen who set the tone early and often. Running back Wande Owens took advantage, finishing with 40 carries for 186 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning score on a 6-yard run with 5:24 remaining, while quarterback Hunter Forsyth went 5-for-6 passing for 106 yards and a rushing touchdown.
“We challenged [the offensive line] all week,” Schaffer said. “We’re a senior-laden team up front and we put the onus on them. They stepped up and they knew this was likely the last chance they get to play here and we wanted to make it count.”
Howard (8-1) needed just four plays to go 45 yards for its first touchdown less than two minutes into the game, as running back Devin Dawkins found the end zone on a 1-yard plunge.
Glenelg answered, just as it would do all night. It went 72 yards on a methodical 12-play drive in which Owens carried the ball nine times for 56 yards and scored on a 3-yard run. The touchdown was the first the Lions have allowed in the first quarter all season.
Howard, though, scored on its following possession, as quarterback Robby Porter completed his second pass of the drive to Anthony Reid for a 26-yard touchdown.
The Gladiators weren’t done in the first half. They put together a 15-play, 86-yard drive that spanned the first and second quarters and took 9:07 off the clock. Owens finished the drive with an 8-yard run, but the extra-point try failed, and Howard led at the half, 14-13.
“They came out and they did what they had to do. My hats off to them,” Lions coach Bruce Strunk said. “Weknewit was going to be a tough game. We have a smaller line on defense and our biggest fear was that we couldn’t duplicate what they did all week in practice.”
Glenelg opened the second half and started to break off bigger plays, as Owens broke free for runs of 12 and 31 yards, while Forsyth had a 26-yard carry and the 1-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak to give his team a 19-14 lead after the conversion try failed.