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Rams’ comeback comes up short

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

Glenwood’s comeback kids almost pulled off another second-half comeback Friday night, but the Rams came up three points short in a 17-14 setback to Harlan.

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Harlan recovered an onside kick attempt by the Rams in the final minute of the fourth quarter to preserve the Class 3A District 7 win and give Cyclone head coach Curt Bladt his 400th career victory. With the loss, Glenwood’s record slipped to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in district play. Harlan is also 3-1 overall, but sits atop the district standings at 2-0.
“Hats off to them (Harlan). We hope we’ll get to see them again,” Glenwood coach Cory Faust said, referencing the playoff potential of both squads. “We just dug ourselves too deep of a hole tonight.”

Glenwood’s points all came late in the game, but the Rams had some scoring opportunities in the first half they failed to cash in on. In the first quarter, Glenwood had a drive stall out at the Harlan 22. Late in the second quarter, the Rams were nearing the goal line again but had a field goal attempt blocked on the last play of the half. Harlan led 3-0 at intermssion.

“I felt we were able to move the ball,” Faust said. “I have to put our kids in a better situation when we get down there (red zone).”

The Cyclones added to their lead early in the second half on a 2-yard TD run by Nick Foss.

Leading 10-0, Harlan looked like it was on the verge of breaking the game open late in the third quarter when the Cyclones moved the ball inside the Rams’ 15 yard line. The Glenwood defense stepped up, however, and stuffed the Cyclones on fourth-and-2 at the 12.

The defensive stand provided a spark to the Glenwood offense which was taking control of the line of scrimmage. The Rams marched down the field and found paydirt on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Noah Carter with 5 minutes left in the game.

Now down 10-7, the Rams came close to converting a surprise onside kick attempt, but the Cyclones came away with the ball. It then appeared Harlan would be content to control the clock for the rest of the game, but Foss broke lose through the Glenwood defense for another touchdown with 1:46 to play.

Glenwood didn’t throw in the towel after Harlan went back up by 10 points, 17-7. Zach Carr gave the Rams new life with a 68-yard kickoff return, setting up Carter’s second 1-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to 17-14 with 58.8 seconds left. After the score, the Rams tried their second onside kick attempt of the night, but Harlan’s Alex Schechinger made the recovery to ice the game.

The hard-fought loss was disappointing for the Rams, but Foust said he feels good about his team and is confident they’ll bounce back.

“If there’s any group that knows they’ve still got anything they want to accomplish for their season goals, it’s this one,” Faust said. “This is a good group. They’ve invested too much to give up.”

Statistically, quarterback Andrew Blum was the spark plug for Glenwood’s offensive attack – completing 14-of-23 passes for 173 yards and rushing for 104 yards on 20 carries. Cody Buresh and Nate Kennedy both hauled in four pass receptions for 68 and 29 yards respectively. Josh Ruth had two receptions for 28 yards.

Defensively for the Rams, Caleb Sanders recorded nine tackles. Jake Murtfeld was in on six tackles, while Carter, Brett Mower and Dillon Wiser all chipped in four. Carter also had a fumble recovery.

Foss was the player of the game for Harlan, rushing for 141 yards on 22 carries.

Glenwood plays at Denison this Friday to complete its non-district slate for the 2017 season.

Scoring Summmary
H  00 03 07 07 - 17
G  00 00 00 14 - 14

Game Summary
H - Kyle Knudson, 41 field goad.
H - Nick Foss, 2 run (Knudson kick).
G - Noah Carter, 1 run (Alex Nusser kick).
H - Foss, 33 run (Knudson kick).
G - Carter, 1 run (Nusser kick).