COUNCIL BLUFFS - Not many coaches would be in any kind of mood to smile after losing his starting quarterback in the first quarter, turning the ball over four times and committing 12 penalties.
But there was Glenwood football coach Cory Faust after his team’s physical, tough road game at Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson Friday, smiling.
I guess it’s easy to smile when key injuries, four turnovers and 12 penalties adds up to a 38-19 Glenwood victory.
“That’s not what we were hoping for and not what we were expecting,” Faust said. “But we did face some adversity and injuries and those kinds of those things and I was proud of the way the guys battled back.
“That’s a part of football and any sport. I was happy overall with how we did it. Obviously, I wish it had been prettier. But that doesn’t always matter if you give your best shot.”
faced adversity early. After turning the ball over on their second snap of the game the Yellowjackets, aided by a Ram running-into-the-kick penalty on a fourth-and-eight, drove 40 yards in nine plays to take the early 7-0 lead on Steven Ruby’s 1 yard dive.
The Rams wouldn’t waste their second possession.
Taking advantage of good field position, the Rams marched 55 yards, all on the ground, to knot the score at 7-7 on Spencer Smith’s 26-yard scamper.
Glenwood – and Smith – were just warming up.
After forcing a T.J. three-and-out on their next possession, Glenwood turned the ball over once again but got the ball right back when the Yellowjackets fumbles on their next snap. Two plays later Smith raced in from 33 yards out to make the score 14-7 with just under five minutes to go in the opening frame.
A pair of T.J. punts sandwiched around a Glenwood punt left the score at 14-7 heading to the second quarter and Glenwood without their starting signal caller. Senior Corey Bertini bruised his shin while playing defense and did not return.
After taking over at the Yellowjacket 40 and with freshman Kolton Wilwerding under center, the Rams put together a five-play drive capped on Smith’s five-yard run.
Another Yellowjacket punt gave Glenwood good field position again and the Rams didn’t waste. Wilwerding engineered two more scoring drive before intermission, with Brogan Weddum scoring from five yards out and Smith scoring his fourth touchdown of the half, this time from 40 yards out, to put the Rams up 35-7 at the half.
Smith, who carried the ball 27 times for a career-high 281 yards rushing and four touchdowns, did most of his damage in the first half, running for 157 yards and all four of his scores.
“If the secret isn’t already out is should be now,” Faust said. “Spencer is a really good football player and a special athlete. People are going to have game plan against his to be successful against us, that’s for sure.”
In the first two quarters Glenwood’s offense chewed 297 total yards, with all but 274 coming on the ground. On defense, the Rams held T.J. to 84 first half yards, including just three first downs.
“We were really happy with out defense. Our defensive backs really covered well and our guys up front were able to shut down the run with six in the box so that was really nice.”
Glenwood’s lone second half points came on Brandon Bichel’s 47 yard field goal.
T.J. was able to punch in two late scores, a Jason Wallace to Jake Meyer touchdown pass and a Russell Easter interception return for a touchdown off a Wilwerding pass.
“I think football should always be physical but I was disappointed in how many guys had injuries,” Faust said. “It just seemed like it was kind of a weird night. But we hung through and got through it.”
G 14 21 03 00 39
TJ 07 00 00 12 19
TJ – Steven Ruby, 1 run (kick good).
G – Spencer Smith, 26 run (kick good).
G – Smith, 33 run (kick good).
G – Brogan Weddum, 5 run (kick good).
G – Smith, 8 run (kick good).
G – Smith, 40 run (kick good).
G – Brandon Bichel, 47 field goal.
TJ – Jason Wallace to Jake Meyer, 9 pass (conversion failed).
TJ – Russell Easter, 60 interception return (conversion failed).