Pride was on the line as two programs in a down year met on the gridiron Friday night. Glendale’s offense scored enough to sustain a late aerial attack by Rolla in a 28-26 decision.
Falcons starting running back Justin Starks (113 yards on 17 carries) had a rough firstquarter, ending two drives with fumbles well inside Bulldogs territory.
After his defense shut down Rolla to begin the second quarter, Falcons coach Tyler Overstreet opted to spell Starks with senior halfback Deshawn Cooper (98 yards on 9 carries with one TD), whose bruising runs marched the Falcons down field and set up a Will Rogers to Jared Hood 10-yard touchdown pass.
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“I got faith in both of our tailbacks,” Overstreet said of splitting carries between Starks and Cooper. “And we decided that we needed switch things up and it worked out for us.”
Rolla would answer with a five-minute, 65-yard scoring drive capped off with a 2-yard dive by senior rusher Michael Pickrell to close out the quarter. That would ultimately be the closest the Bulldogs would come to the Falcons, ending the half down 7-6.
Glendale would score twice in the third quarter with Will Rogers snaking his way through the middle of the Rolla defense for an 8-yard touchdown, and then pulling off a trick 23-yard wide receiver pass from Tyler Marion to Jared Hood (6 catches for 2 TDs and 72 yards) to go up 21-6.
Rolla would not go down quietly in the final 12 minutes, with quarterback Michael Steelman (6-for-16 90 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT passing, 58 yards rushing) connecting with tight end Alex McCormack for two touchdowns on two consecutive drives to threaten the Falcons’ lead, but a huge 70-yard run by Cooper ensured the GHS victory.
“We started out passing in the spread but they defended it pretty well, so we went to our regular offense,” said Rolla head coach Willie Howard when asked about the lack of success through the air in the first half. “When you’re dealing with young kids, sometimes it takes a while for things to click.”
Glendale (2-5) will travel to Waynesville next Friday while Rolla (0-7) will host 6-1 Hillcrest.
5:28 2Q: Rogers to Hood 10 yard pass, Derek Roberts extra point 7-0 (10 plays 63 yards)
:10 2Q: Pickerell 2 yard rush, two point conversion failed. 7-6 (14 plays 65 yards)
5:30 3Q: Rogers 8 yard rush, Roberts extra point no good 13-6 (12 plays 69 yards)
3:22 3Q: Rogers to Marion to Hood 23 yard pass, Cooper 2 point conversion good 21-6 (1 play 23 yards)
5:28 4Q: Pickerell 1 yard. Manyard extra point no good. 21-12 (13 plays 52 yards) 21-12
3:38 4Q: Steelman to McCormack 37 yard sideline catch and run, Landon Manyard extra point no good Manyard extra point good. 21-19 (5 plays 51 yards)
2:08 4Q: Cooper 70 yard run. Robers extra point. 28-19 (3 play 77 yards)
1:03 4Q: Steelman to McCormack 6 yard pass. Manyard extra point good. 28-26