(by Don Meador, The Citizen-Times, used with permission)
A record-setting night by quarterback Chase Wilson, clutch pass receptions by Cayden Ross, Jacob Lightfoot, Andrew Bomar, and Warren Bray, and an 83-yard kickoff return Kelly Weger were among the many highlights of a thrilling 39-35 Allen County-Scottsville victory over rival Glasgow Friday night at Patriot Stadium.
“I’m really excited for these boys,” coach Brad Hood said after the heart-stopping game. “These kids have fight in them.”
The 40th meeting between the programs---with both teams coming in with unblemished records and top-10 ranking in their respective classes----was an instant classic. The thrilling contest featured seven lead changes, one-play scoring drives by both teams, and highlight package nights by quarterback Chase Wilson and Glasgow signal-caller Dalvin Smith.
Wilson passed for a school-record 373 yards---surpassing his own record set against Daviess County in the 2016 season-opener. The senior completed a record 22 passes in a game in which he passed the ball a record 40 times. Wilson distributed the ball to five receivers with Ross leading the way in receptions (seven) and yards (133).
Glasgow struck first in the see-saw game. Smith opened the game launching a pass over the AC-S defense into the open arms of Griffin Murphy. The catch and score plus the PAT gave the Scotties a 7-0 lead just 17 seconds in the game.
AC-S countered midway through the first frame. Wilson hooked up with Ross for a 41-yard score to cap a four-play, 69-yard drive. The try for two failed.
The Scotties needed just over two minutes to march 66 yards. Smith kept the ball on a fourth-down and one play from the Patriot 41. Turning outside, the speedy quarterback raced to the end zone for the Scotties second score. A successful PAT lifted Glasgow to a 14=6 lead at the 4:03 mark of period one.
AC-S counter-punched with an eight-play drive before giving the ball back to Glasgow at the Scottie 33 yard line. The Patriot defense forced a three-and-out with AC-S taking possession at their 34-yard at the 9:28 point of the second period. A short run by Carson Taylor was followed by a Wilson pass go Yancy Gardner for a 14-yard gain. Three plays later, Wilson and Ross hooked up for a 14-yard completion to the 29-yard line. A pair of short runs by Weger and a pass from Wilson to Bray moved the ball to the Glasgow 14. Wilson went back to Ross for a 14-yard pass play and score at the 6:02 mark. The try for two failed leaving Glasgow ahead 14-12.
After trading punts, the Patriots would grab their first lead of the night late in the period. Starting at their 19 yard line, Wilson turned to Bray as his primary receiver. The pair hooked up on passes of 18, 6, 9 and 21 yards---completions that helped AC-S march down field. On a third-and three at the Scottie 24, Wilson found Lightfoot open for his third touchdown toss of the night. Wilson would follow with a pass to Ross for a successful two-point conversion, giving AC-S a 20-14 lead with 54.1 seconds left in the first half.
Glasgow quickly battled back. A long kickoff run by Scottie Sielverio Rescontellio and a pair of Patriot penalties left Glasgow with a first down inside the Patriot red zone. Stout defense and a pass break-up by Ross ended the late threat as the first half ended.
“I felt good about how we had fought back to get the lead,” Hood explained. “We were getting the ball to start the second half and then we came out a little flat. Then we got behind again and how to battle.”
The Scotties appeared tired at the close of the first 24 minutes yet did not show that in the second half. After the Glasgow defense stopped AC-S on their first drive, the Scotties moved to the AC-S 41-yard line. AC-S stopped the drive and retained possession only to give the ball back to Glasgow after a Wilson pass was picked off. AC-S’s defense bailed the offense out, once again denying Glasgow from scoring after the Scotties moved to near the AC-S 11 yard line.
The next Glasgow possession would see a different result. Once again, a Wilson interception gave the Scotties a short field. Eight plays and 31 yards later, Smith scored on a two yard run on fourth down. The PAT lifted Glasgow to a 21-20 lead at the 4:30 mark of the third.
The next moments would see AC-S retake the lead in an electrifying way. Weger fielded the Glasgow kickoff at his 17-yard line, cut to his right, found blockers, and sprinted down the AC-S sideline for an 83-yard score. The special team’s gem---the second consecutive week that a kick has been returned for a score----lifted AC-S to a 26-21 lead.
“That’s two weeks in a row that special teams have made a play,” Hood explained. “Coach (Adam) Turley has done a great job putting in the plays and getting our special teams going.”
Glasgow answered on their next possession---a drive that stayed alive thanks to a mistake by the Patriots. Facing a fourth and 24 from their 13 yard line, the Scotties’ punter was ruffled. The 15-yard penalty and automatic first down keyed the ensuring Scottie drive. Three minutes later, Smith hooked up with Chris Horn for a 26-yard touchdown. The successful two-point conversion lifted Glasgow to a 29-26 lead with just under a minute to go in the third.
Wilson---zero for six in the third period---found his touch in the final frame. The senior signal caller hit Bray and Lightfoot on pass plays to spark a drive down the field. With 8:24 left in the game, Wilson and Ross hooke dup on a 20-yard touchdown play, giving the Patriots a 32-29 lead.
The Scotties answered thanks to their own big special teams play. Facing a punting situation deep in their own end of the field, Smith pulled the ball down and sprinted around the right side of his line. His 32-yard gain led to a 33-yard pass play that moved the ball into Patriot territory. Moments later, Rescontellio’s 14 yard run capped the Scotties’ seven-play, 95-yard drive…giving the visitors a 35-32 lead with 3:41 left.
“I about had a stroke when Smith ran that fake punt,” Hood noted.
The Patriots wasted little time in retaking the lead. On the first offensive play following the kickoff, Wilson dropped back and fired a strike to a sprinting Andrew Bomar down the center of the field. Bomar out ran the chasing Scottie defense for the final touchdown. The point after kick gave AC-S the four point lead.
An interception by Carson Taylor on the next Scottie possession and an interception by Ross in the final seconds sealed the win for AC-S.
“Our kids never backed down,” Hood added. “These kids are going to claw and stretch and do everything they can to win.”
Hood praised the efforts of the AC-S receivers, a receiving coup led by Ross with seven catches for 133 yards and three touchdowns. Bomar caught three passes for 85 yards while Bray finished with six catches for 70 yards. Lightfoot recorded five grabs for 71 yards with Gardner having a 14-yard reception.
“We dropped some balls early before we got in a groove,” Hood said. “They had Smith on Jacob but then Cayden got in his groove. Warren made several first down catches and Yancy came in and gave Cayden a good rest. Andrew had a big catch.”
The Patriots (4-0)---undefeated after four games for just the ninth time in their 49-year history---will travel to Columbia Friday night to face Pulaski County. The game will be played at Lindsey Wilson College and pit two solid teams.
“They have got beat by three really good teams,” Hood said. “They have been to four consecutive 5A state championships. They know how to play football. They may have been down the last two weeks but they will fight back. They are a real good football team.”
Kickoff Friday will be at 7 p.m. (CDT). Admission will be $5.