Nick Uphoff passed for three touchdowns and the Glenwood defense forced five turnovers and allowed just 146 total yards in a 40-7 Class 3A, District 8 victory over Atlantic on Friday.
For the game, Glenwood gained 317 yards to Trojans’ 146 and ground out 263 rushing.
Glenwood coach Brian Albert called his team’s play Friday “pretty close” to the best his 4-3 team has played this season. Uphoff, who had thrown just one touchdown through the Rams' first six games, led the balanced Glenwood attack, completing eight-of-11 passes for 108 yards and running for another 116 yards on just seven carries.
“He threw it really well and took care of the ball for us. It helped that we played better defense. That allowed us to get the ball back and he didn't have to get worn down playing as many plays on defense,” said Albert of Uphoff, who in addition to quarterbacking the Rams also entered the game with a team-best 54 tackles.
The Rams wasted little time getting started after holding the Trojans’ to a three-and-out on their first possession. On the ensuing drive, Glenwood marched 66 yards in eight plays for a 7-0. Running back Dylan Blankenship carried five times on the drive and capped it with a 14-yard scamper.
Glenwood held the Trojans’ on their next possession, but a bobbled punt gave Atlantic the ball back at the Rams’ eight yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Parker Hoye sprinted into the end zone to knot the score at 7-7.
The score would remain tied until just before halftime when Glenwood took the ball at their own 22-yard line and Uphoff went. The 5-foot-9, 160-pounder found Trent Jameson for a 17-yard gain and Blankenship for 18 yards before connecting with Jameson again for a 37-yard touchdown strike with just under a minute to go in the half. Glenwood would miss the extra point but lead 13-7 at the half.
Albert thought that final drive of the half was big for his team.
“I think getting the lead back might have put them out a little bit,” he said. “We used audibles we’ve been working on in the no huddle there and it worked for us.”
After an attempted Trojan on-side kick sailed out of bounds to open the second half, Glenwood took advantage of the good field position. Five plays later Blankenship's one-yard plunge gave Glenwood the 20-7 lead.
On their first possession of the half, the Trojans fumbled on their first snap from scrimmage which was recovered by the Rams' Cory Simms at the 37 yard line. Glenwood needed 10 plays to get it done but Uphoff found fullback Levi Henderson on out route for three-yard scoring toss and the 27-7 lead.
On the ensuing kick off the Trojans fumbled once more allowing Glenwood to take over at the Atlantic 35. And once again the Rams took advantage of the turnover and the field position, marching 35 yards in six plays, capped by Uphoff's 14 yard swing pass to Blankenship for the 24-7 lead. Blankenship ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns and added 31 yards receiving and a touchdown.
In the third quarter Glenwood snapped the ball 21 times for 123 yards and 21 points compared to the Trojans' six snaps, 17 yards and zero points.
Ram lineman Simms (six tackles), Joe Morgan (six tackles) and Colin White (nine tackles) and middle linebacker Cole Darrow (12 tackles, sack) keyed a strong defensive performance, controlling the line of scrimmage and holding the Trojans to 63 yards on 29 carries. In all the Glenwood defense picked off three passes and forced two fumbles.