By Tegan Swope and Chase Campbell
The Glenelg Gladiators football team finished their regular season with a record of 6-3. After many challenging games, the team is confident that they are well prepared for the start of the playoffs. Like all teams, their primary goal is to make it to the state championship. All coaches, players, and fans have high hopes for the teams success.
Coming off of a winning streak, Glenelg, placed as second seed, faced Century High School, seventh seed, in the first round of the division 2A playoffs. Century’s record is also 6-3, but placed as the seventh seed because of their lack of overall points from playing smaller schools.
Key players for the Century Knights include their physical running back, Landon Bruce, and overly-aggressive middle linebacker, Drew Dekowski.
Although Century has some good players, Glenelg is confident they will take home this week's win. Junior Robbie Tolbert says, “Our difficult schedule has been preparing us for the harsh realities of playoffs.” He further explains, “we have lost a few players who were important to our teams fundamentals, such as Adrian Russell and Kevin Pak. Without them, the season has been rough, but we still managed to do our job and come out on top.”
Junior, Adrian Russell, tore his ACL in the first quarter of the Glenelg game against Urbana, during the third week of the season. The running back and linebacker was a crucial part of the teams success. Russell says, “It’s frustrating watching my teammates play the sport I love, and the recovery is sometimes discouraging.” Russell continues that he is confident in his teammates abilities to compete for states.
After a week full of watching game film, planning, and patience, game day finally arrived. During the first quarter, Glenelg started off strong when Senior, Cooper Sancomb, got a pick and rushed it to the 3 yard line. Soon after, Kyle Dry scored the first touchdown of the game for Glenelg. Before half-time, the Gladiators rack up 2 more touchdowns both by Junior Trisden Bovello. Kicker, Chris Retzbach made all extra point field goals. With two minutes left in the first half, the Century Knights drove 90 yards which resulted in a touchdown to finish the half 21-7.
Early in the second half, Glenelg scored again bringing it to a 21 point game. As Tim Cullen, head coach, starts playing third and fourth string players, the Gladiators give up a 50 yard touchdown bringing the game to 28-14. To finish the game, Retzbach scores another field goal to make the final score of the game, Glenelg 31, Century 14.
After a hard fought game by both teams, the Glenelg Gladiators came out on top, advancing to the second round of playoffs.