Glenelg stands up to Long Reach

Overmatched in size, No. 7 uses tough defense, late surge to prevail, 18-14


October 13, 2002|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Fewer turnovers, a staunch defense and the ability to make the big play under pressure were keys to Glenelg's 18-14 come-from-behind victory over visiting Long Reach yesterday.

The win kept alive not only Glenelg's 20-game Howard County league unbeaten streak, but its undefeated season and hopes for a Class 2A playoff spot.

"All everyone ever talks about is Wilde Lake and Long Reach," said Kevin Ganascioli, who scored the game-winning touchdown on a 6-yard run with 3:44 left. "This shows we're up there with the best."

After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, the No. 7-ranked Gladiators (6-0 overall, 5-0 league) rallied for two fourth-quarter touchdowns to defeat a physically dominant Long Reach team that self-destructed with fumbles, penalties and dropped passes.

"They had 60 to 70 pounds on each one of our linemen," said Ganascioli, who carried 14 times for 48 yards. "But everyone stepped it up five notches and we opened up our passing attack a little today."

Glenelg quarterback Tim Phelps completed six of 11 passes for 79 yards and one touchdown, and he scored on a 1-yard run.

Bryan Walsh caught three of those passes, including two for 16 and 12 yards on a crucial 60-yard, second-quarter Glenelg scoring drive that halted Long Reach's momentum.

"The pass in the flat was open all day," Walsh said. "They never shut it down."

Glenelg's defense made two impressive second-quarter stops, and another in the final two minutes after the Lightning drove to Glenelg's 20-yard line.

The Gladiators also pounced on four Long Reach fumbles, two in the third quarter that ended potential Long Reach scoring drives at Glenelg's 15 and 37.

Jay Stancil and Kevin Furlough made those recoveries, after Mike Hedlesky had made one on the game's first play. Hedlesky also made a key play recovering a Glenelg fumble at the 1-yard line toward the end of the Gladiators' first scoring drive.

But Ty Moyer made the biggest fumble recovery at Long Reach's 28 with 4:58 to play. A 20-yard pass to Ganascioli, a 2-yard run by Walsh and Ganascioli's 6-yard touchdown run produced the winning margin.

Glenelg scored its second touchdown with 6:37 to play on a 22-yard slant pass to Randy Gardner from Phelps. Glenelg trailed 14-12 after failing to convert on a run.

Long Reach (3-3, 2-3) had a chance to win it after Glenelg's third touchdown, but a perfectly thrown fourth-down pass that would have been a first down was dropped at Glenelg's 14-yard line with 1:14 to play.

The Lightning scored its touchdowns on a 34-yard run by Davon Gilmore and Terrell Blackwell's recovery of a teammate's fumble in the end zone.

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