After falling behind 13-0 in the first quarter, Glenwood found itself playing catch-up all night in Friday’s Class 3A District 1 matchup with visiting Creston. The end result was a disappointing 42-27 setback for the Rams.
Creston improved to 3-3 overall with the victory and 4-4 in district play, while the Rams slipped to 2-6 overall and 1-5 in the district.
Glenwood coach Brian Albert said the Rams’ inability to establish a running game on offense and some defensive breakdowns on pass coverage turned out to be the difference in the game.
“We still have to find a way to run the ball,” Albert said. “We’re young up there (offensive line) as far as experience, but not by age. We’ve got three seniors, a junior and sophomore. We’ve got to be able to move people back. It’s very difficult to be one-dimensional. It turns into that and that causes us to have turnovers.
“Defensively, we played consistent, except for probably six plays, and on five of those plays they probably scored on the deep routes. I was disappointed in the way we covered those.”
The hero of the night for Creston was place kicker/ receiver Austin Bolinger. He scored 22 points for the Panthers on two touchdown receptions from quarterback Luke Eblen, two field goals of 32 and 41 yards, and four extra-point kicks.
The Rams trailed 21-7 at halftime. Their lone first-half touchdown was a 77-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Grant Stivers to Ian Eflin on a quick slant route over the middle of the field.
Glenwood trimmed the deficit to 21-14 when Eliot Lincoln returned the second-half kick back 99 yards for a touchdown. The Panthers answered, however, with a scoring drive that was capped by a 4-yard scoring run by Bryce McIlravy. The Panthers iced the game with another McIlravy TD run and a 69-yard scamper by Eblen.
Glenwood’s final touchdowns of the night came on 18-yard TD run by Stivers and a 59-yard pass from Stivers to Lincoln.
Glenwood finished with 350 total yards, including Stivers’ 264 yards passing on 15-of-29completions. Nathan Knight was the Rams’ leading rusher with 65 yards on five carries.
Eblen had 114 rushing yards for the night and was 11-of-18 passing for 158 yards, two TDs and no interceptions.
Glenwood will play its final game of the season Friday night against Carroll at Ram Memorial Field. Albert said despite their disappointing record this season, he expects an inspired effort from the Rams in their season finale.
“I would hope for the most part that they wouldn’t be here if they didn’t love football. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t love football,” Albert said. “I don’t ever want to see the season end, sometimes you’d like to start over again. It’s going to be the senior’s last opportunity for the majority of them to ever play football again. It’s the last time for all of us this whole year and we’ve invested quite a bit and spent a lot of time building this and we don’t want it to just disappear.”
CRESTON 13 08 07 14 – 42
GLENWOOD 00 07 07 13 – 27
CRE – Austin Bolinger, 40 pass from Luke Eblen.
CRE – Bolinger, 32 field goal.
CRE – Bolinger, 41 field goal.
GLN – Ian Eflin, 77 pass from Grant Stivers (Michael Lawler kick).
CRE – Bolinger, 13 pass from Eblen (Collins Bevins pass from Eblen).
GLN – Eliot Lincoln, 99 kickoff return (Lawler kick).
CRE - Bryce McIlravy, 4 run (Bolinger kick).
CRE - Bryce McIlravy, 6 run (Bolinger kick).
GLN – Stivers, 18 run (Lawler kick).
CRE – Eblen, 69 run (Bolinger kick).
GLN – Lincoln, 59 pass from Stivers (kick failed).