Oh, So Close

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Fourth-quarter touchdown pass completes comeback, lifts Harlan over Glenwood, 28-24

By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

Every football game comes down to one or two plays that decide a game.


In Glenwood’s District 8 match-up with Harlan Friday, that play was a touchdown pass to the corner of the endzone from the Cyclones’ Adam Juhl to tight end Trey Lansman.

The pass, which was well defended by 5-foot-10 Ram cornerback Scout Crow on the 6-foot-7 Lansman, appeared to be intercepted before officials ruled it a touchdown for Lansman. The score gave the Cyclones the lead for good in a back and fourth 28-24 victory that saw the lead change four times in the last quarter and a half.

“I thought Scout had good position,” said Glenwood coach Cory Faust. “I have to credit them. The kid (Lansman) is 6-7, he’s a playmaker. I think it looked like a simultaneous catch. It’s tough.”

Just 13 minutes in, the game didn’t have the makings of see-saw affair. The Cyclones forced a Glenwood punt on the game’s opening possession and then marched 81 yards in 10 plays to take the early 7-0 lead on Nate Gettys’ 38 yard touchdown scamper.

After forcing another Ram punt, the Cyclones capped another 10-play drive with a four-yard touchdown run by Eli Williams to take a 14-0 lead with 11:21 to go in the first half.

Glenwood’s first two possessions netted 17 yards,  two punts but no quit by the Rams.

Despite being down 14-0 early, Faust never saw any hanging heads on his sideline.
“It’s always a test to see how you’re going to react as a football team when you face adversity and I thought our guys did a good job of that,” Faust said.

The Rams would get a shot on their next drive but Brandon Bichel just missed grabbing a sure touchdown pass and Glenwood was forced to punt. The play, however, seemed to energize the Rams right before halftime.

After forcing a Cyclone punt on the ensuing possession the Ram offense began to click. A Spencer Smith 20-yard run opened a nine-play, 66-yard drive capped by Brogan Weddum’s 10-yard touchdown run to put Glenwood on the board with 2:59 to go in the half.

Harlan would go three-and-out on their next possession and a shanked 6-yard punt would give the ball back to Glenwood at the Cyclone 25 with just under two minutes remaining in the half. Five plays later Bichel’s 30 yard field goal cut the lead to 14-10 at intermission.

Glenwood would pick up right where they left on in the third quarter. Another Cyclone punt gave the Rams good field position at their own 43 and they didn’t waste it. After five straight running plays moved the ball to the Cyclones 20, Corey Bertini executed a perfect play-action pass that connect with Bichel for a 19-yard touchdown snag to give Glenwood its first lead of the game at 17-14.
Faust isn’t sure what turned the game’s momentum.

“It seemed like we were defending them just like we thought and we were executing well,” Faust said. “We may have been a little tentative (early), I’ll have to look at the film. But we made them execute, our coverage was good and I think we just played better.”

The teams traded punts on their next possession before the Cyclones’ wrestled the lead back on Clayton Connor 58 yard touchdown run to make it 21-17 with 2:33 to go in the third quarter.

But Glenwood would respond with a drive of its own. Bertini’s quarterback sneak capped an 11-play drive that saw the Rams convert three third downs and eat up nearly six minutes of clock.

With a little over nine minutes in the game the Cyclones started their ensuing drive deep in their own territory. With a steady dose of Getty’s running the ball Harlan moved to ball to the Rams’ 47 yard line before being stalled by a key third-and-10. But Juhl was able to scramble away from the heavy Glenwood pass rush for a 21 yard game down to the Ram’ 26. Three plays later Juhl found Lansman for the game winner.

Glenwood’s chances at a comeback drive were dashed when the Cyclone’s Dirk Johnston picked off a Bertini pass with 2:42 to go. With Glenwood out of timeouts, the Cyclones were able to run out the clock ending the Rams’ upset bid.

“We just came up short. I was proud of our efforts,” Faust said. “I thought they played really well but I would have been proud of them would have won the game or lost the game. We have the whole season in front of us. We can still make the playoffs. We just have to keep improving and controlling what we can control and get better for next week. That’s the goal.”

The Rams finished with 239 total yards. Bertini finished 7-of-17 for 87 yards with a touchdown through the air and on the ground. Bichel snared three passes for 42 yards and a score. The Cyclones finished with 366 total yards.

Glenwood (3-2) heads out on the road on Friday to play Sergeant Bluff-Luton (2-3). Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m.

Scoring Summary
G 00  10  07  07  24
H 07  07  07  07  28

Game Summary
H – Nate Gettys, 38 run (kick good).
H – Eli Williams, 4 run (kick good).
G – Brogan Weddum, 10 run (kick good).
G – Brandon Bichel, 30 field goal.
G – Corey Bertini to Bichel, 19 pass (kick good).
H – Connor Clayton 58 run (kick good).
G – Bertini, 2 run (kick good).
H – Adam Juhl to Trey Lansman, 26 pass (kick good).