There is never a dull moment when a City Championship game is occurring and Friday night was no different as the Glynn Academy Red Terrors came from behind to seal a 22-15 overtime win over Brunswick High.
Battling through the toughest moments, a fumble on the opening kickoff and a fumble on the first play from scrimmage, the Glynn Academy defense kept their hands in the turf and battled through the stacked odds to keep the game at 12-0 through one half of play.
From then on, the momentum wave shifted towards the Red Terrors.
After allowing a Landon Ethridge field goal to boost the Pirates’ lead to 15-0 early in the third quarter, Glynn Academy took control of the game.
Glynn’s running back Greg Peacock opened the drive with a 3-yard rush, and after two consecutive incomplete passes, it seemed as if the Pirates would have their way with their rivals. But, back-to-back offside calls on an antsy punt block unit for the Pirates gave the Terrors a fresh set of downs on their own 33 and a new face at quarterback.
Jayden Ellis replaced Ryan Schueneman at the quarterback position — for more than the few snaps he had in the first half — and the instant impact was felt with the ball in his hands.
Keeping the Pirates’ defense guessing whether Ellis would keep the ball or pitch it to Peacock, the Terrors offense found themselves in a goal-to-go situation.
Taking the snap out of the shotgun formation, Ellis made his way down the left half of the line and barreled his way into the end zone to put Glynn on the board.
“We’ve been working him in there, he is a really good athlete and it wasn’t anything against Ryan we just wanted to kind of turn a switch on and that gave us some juice over,” said Glynn Academy head coach Rocky Hidalgo. “Jayden is a great kid, he’s a hard-nosed kid and he is as good of a player as anyone on this field. He can do some things and we will keep bundling some of that stuff in there and keep developing Ryan. Ryan hasn’t done a whole bunch of this, Ryan is a work in progress and he does a lot of good things that people don’t see sometimes, a lot of little small stuff and he is still in our hands with what we are doing.”
Down 15-7 with plenty of time to go, in an ever-lasting game, Glynn’s defense stood firm as the unit caused fits for J.R. Elkins all night long and forced a turnover on downs.
Trading punches in the game, Glynn’s special teams unit created an opportunity to seize the moment. Punter Tuck Tucker punted an end-over-end ball that had plenty of movement and with the ball bouncing off the chest of Brunswick returner Taivon Gadson, Glynn’s Bruce Edwards dove his way to the loose ball to give the offense a chance to tie the game.
Trading turns with the rock in their hands, Peacock and Ellis marched down the short field to a goal to go from the Pirates’ 2-yard line.
As Brunswick called a timeout, Hidalgo put Schueneman back in at quarterback to give Ellis a rest after the repeated blows he took. Stuffed on both first and second down goals and the ball sitting at the one, the Terrors ran a never-failing fullback dive to Mike Torello who ran out of the pile with the football in his hands, and the Terrors down 15-13.
Going for two, Glynn ran a motion from right to left, and instead of giving the ball to T.Y. Chisom, Schuneman had a naked bootleg and a wide-open Peacock in front of him. Making the catch and keeping his balance, Peacock dove into the end zone to tie the game. Peacock finished the game as the Offensive Player of the Game with over 100 total yards of offense.
Brunswick had its chances to win the ball game as the offense stayed out for a 4th-and-8 from the Terrors 21 and failed to find anybody available for the catch.
Glynn’s offense struggled and after the special teams unit helped the team, it almost cost them the game after Tucker sent a punt downfield after he had crossed the line of scrimmage. The refs made the decision that it would not only be the Pirates ball on Glynn’s half of the field but it would be half the distance from the spot of the foul.
Thus, giving the Pirates the ball on the Terror 9-yard line and 2 minutes to go.
Running its Wildcat package of Grant Moore and Heze Kent in the backfield, Glynn kept the Pirates’ offense at bay and forced the Pirates to send out the field goal unit with 40 seconds left.
As Ethridge lined up to possibly give the Pirates its fourth consecutive win over their rivals, Defensive Player of the Game Ryan Young blocked his second field goal of the night and put the game into overtime at 15.
“We are good on defense,” Hidalgo said. “We gave up 15 points tonight, it was turnover we had on the long play and we can’t give up long plays and easy scores. We have a lot to fix but defensively our kids play hard and they play their tails off. Brunswick has a good football team, I’m not taking anything away from them. Our kids played their tails off.”
Getting the ball first, Glynn had a 3rd-and-7 from the 12-yard line and once more the Most Valuable Player of the City Championship game made magic.
Dropping back to pass, Ellis felt the clock tick in his head to make a play and he did. As he rolled out to his right with no defender near him, Ellis found luck when a possible fumble from his carry bounced right back into his hands and the junior Swiss-Army knife went in untouched to put Glynn Academy up 22-15.
“It’s crazy about that because I won a quarterfinal playoff game against Valdosta up in Atlanta when I was the defensive coordinator and they called it ‘The Ghost of Radier Valley’ We had a running back break a long run and a guy from Valdosta came and punched the ball out and literally kicked, kicked and bounced right back up and he ran it in,” Hidalgo said of the fumble that bounced back into the hands of Ellis. “It reminded me of that. Sometimes God just smiles on you and I’ve been a good boy for most of my life. He rewarded me on that one right there.”
With the crowd on its side and a defense playing lights out once more on the season, the dark side shut down its rivals.
After a Terry Mitchell rush for one yard, Elkins was sacked on a second-down dropback by Quay Evans and Gavin Wells. Once more the senior quarterback was sacked on third down, this time by Da’Vontae Lang to put the Pirates on a 4th-and-24 and needing to get to the 5-yard line.
Coming out the time-out, Glynn’s senior nose tackle Camden Wilson made a play he will never forget.
Going head-to-head with a former teammate in Jack Hunt all night long, the last battle of the night went to Wilson as the senior pushed through Hunt and made his way to Elkins. As Elkins tried to fight off Wilson to find a receiver the nose tackle kept ahold of the white jersey before his defensive unit finished the deal for the 22-15 victory.
Letting the emotions out and seeing his teammates storm the field as the Terrors snapped a three-game losing streak to its cross-town rivals, Wilson couldn’t have drawn it up any better.
“The center transferred from us last year after we lost and it was just me on him and I don’t know man, just getting through him and making the sack on him just makes it so much better,” Wilson said as he fought back tears of joy. “I love my team so much and for somebody to up and leave like that just makes the emotion just so much better. And in overtime and it being a walkoff, it is the greatest feeling in the world.”
As for Hidalgo, he had full confidence in his group getting the win once the game went into overtime.
“When we went to overtime I knew we were going to win this game, I knew we were going to win this game. We had all the momentum and all the energy you could tell by everybody’s body language in this place. The Red Terrors walking out here a winner and I had no doubt when we went out and shook hands, it didn’t matter what was going on I was confident with our kids that they were going to come away with a win. It was literally just one play, ‘Hey men we go out and talk about it all the time, money downs man. That is where you earn your money. Let’s go to it.’
Letting out his emotion and embarking on his seventh City Championship win and a 1-0 record in Region 2-6A play, Hidalgo said the losing streak to Brunswick was much deeper than just the scoreline from the three losses.
“We are 7-3 in the last decade,” Hidalgo said. “We have put more kids in college in the last decade than they have. We have great kids and nobody cares about the young men in their football program more than the coaches and the community around Glynn Academy. I love our kids … and them having faith in me and my coaching staff to come out here and play their tails off.
“That said this is what is important right here, what you saw our kids do tonight where nobody wants to build anything and nobody wants to hang when it’s tough. The kids I coach they will get their hands dirty, they are tough-minded kids and they showed it out here tonight.”
https://thebrunswicknews.com/sports/local_sports/glynn-academy-stands-tall-in-22-15-city-championship-win-over-brunswick-high/article_1d214d1d-4e1c-5bf7-ae6c-7dc05df8c40c.html Source: Sebastian Emanuel/The Brunswick News