It was a tale of two halves Friday night for the Glenwood football team.
After spitting and sputtering for most of the first half, the Rams’ offense came to life in the third quarter to fuel a 31-14 homecoming victory over Perry.
“We felt we kind of beat ourselves in the first half,” Glenwood head coach Cory Faust said. “I credit our coaches for making adjustments for the second half and the players coming out and executing.”
Glenwood had some success moving the football on the Perry defense in the first half, but penalties and a turnover on multiple drives into Bluejay territory thwarted the Rams’ scoring opportunities before halftime. Brandon Bichel provided the only points of the first half when he drilled a 37-yard field goal with 5:26 to play in the second quarter.
Perry’s lone lead in the game came early in the third quarter. On their opening drive of the quarter the Bluejays marched down field for their first touchdown – a 19-yard scamper by quarterback Will Whiton.
Glenwood responded to the Bluejay score with a touchdown drive of its own. Quarterback Corey Bertini teamed up with Spencer Smith on a 21-yard pass completion before throwing a 15-yard scoring strike to Logan McCorkle as the Rams reclaimed the lead 10-7 midway through the third quarter.
The Glenwood defense stepped up on Perry’s ensuing possession when Smith intercepted a pass and returned it 45 yards to the Bluejay 4 yard line. One play later, Smith was carrying the ball into the end zone as the Rams went up 17-7.
The Rams’ defense came up big again late in the third quarter when Bichel scooped up a Bluejay fumble and returned it to the Perry 11 yard line. The Rams punched the ball in from there with Bertini going the final yard on a quarterback sneak.
Trailing 24-7 midway through the fourth quarter, the Bluejays scored their final touchdown on a 1-yard plunge by Cavan Finn.
Bertini iced the game for the Rams when he broke loose for a 46-yard touchdown run with less than 4 minutes left in the contest.
“I’m really happy with the way our kids played,” Faust said. “Our coaches made some tweaks at halftime and the kids executed.
“Their quarterback (Whiton) is as good of a football player as you’re going to see in the state of Iowa.”
Statistically, the Rams finished the night with 262 yards rushing and 72 yards in the air. Smith tallied 93 yards on 16 carries to anchor the Glenwood ground game. Bertini completed 8-of-15 pass attempts with Bichel, Smith and Gage Shatava all having multiple receptions.
Defensively, Gavin Kruse recorded a team-high 11 tackles. Carter Von Essen had nine tackles, while Smith and Dane Kruse both finished the night with eight stops.
Whiton did most of the offensive damage for Perry, rushing for 120 yards on 22 carries and passing for an additional 40 yards.
Glenwood, now 3-1 on the season and 1-1 in district play, is at home again this week when the Rams host Harlan. The Cyclones come to Glenwood after dropping a 14-7 decision to Carroll last week.
Perry 00 00 07 07-14
Glenwood 00 03 14 14-31
GLN – Brandon Bichel, 37 field goal.
PER - Will Whiton, 19 run (Cameron Martinez kick).
GLN – Logan McCorkle, 15 pass from Brian Bertini (Bichel kick).
GLN – Spencer Smith, 4 run (Bichel kick).
GLN – Bertini, 1 run (Bichel kick).
PER – Cavan Finn, 1 run (Martinez kick).
GLN – Bertini, 46 run (Bichel kick).