Long Reach romps, makes short work of Glenelg, 33-7


High Schools


Moments after Long Reach's game at Glenelg last night, Lightning coach Pete Hughes turned away from the team huddle, pumped his fist and slapped the hands of a couple bystanders.

No wonder Hughes was excited. Long Reach had just finished playing what he called a "pretty close to perfect" game.

The Lightning dominated the previously undefeated Gladiators, totaling more than 300 yards of offense and stopping the vaunted Glenelg rushing attack in a 33-7 victory.

The win improves Long Reach to 6-1 and keeps the Lightning in the mix for the Class 3A playoffs. Glenelg fell to 6-1.

"This is huge," said Long Reach quarterback Ray Gilbert, who threw two touchdown passes.

Gilbert got the Long Reach offense going early, completing a 26-yard pass to receiver Charles Elmer that set up a Josh Brown touchdown run on the game's opening drive. In the second quarter, Gilbert hit receiver Darryl Webb for a 15-yard touchdown on third-and-goal. But Gilbert's next pass to Webb was the play of the game.

After Long Reach had moved from its 6 to the Glenelg 37, Gilbert threw to his left toward a double-covered Webb. The pass was tipped, but Webb grabbed it at the 17, leaving the stunned defenders behind him as he scored, capping a 12-play, 94-yard drive.

Gilbert's extra point kick gave Long Reach a 19-0 halftime lead.

Gilbert finished with 95 yards passing on four completions. That opened up the Lightning running game, Hughes said, which Long Reach needed.

Glenelg tailback Stephen Bullard ran 45 yards for a score early in the third, making it 19-7.

But Long Reach responded by pounding the ball. The Lightning ran seven consecutive times for 38 yards on the ensuing drive, scoring on a 1-yard run by Brown. On its next possession, Long Reach ran on nine straight plays, moving 78 yards to ice the game on a Keith Richardson touchdown run.

Glenelg's usually potent offense struggled, garnering just 133 yards and four first downs before a meaningless drive late.

"From start to finish we had a lot of enthusiasm and hustle," Hughes said. "To hold this caliber team to seven points is just an incredible effort."

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