By Brad Sam
© 2020 Tri-County Pub., Inc.
GLEASON (September 18) — Gleason High School hosted West Carroll Friday for a region football contest. The teams swapped touchdowns in the first quarter and again early in the second before the War Eagles pulled away before the half and cruised to a 54-13 victory.
For the host Bulldogs, it was Homecoming and Senior Night. Prior to kickoff, the Homecoming court was presented and the queen crowned. Also, three senior Bulldogs were recognized and joined on the field by family members.
Crowned Homecoming Queen was Haley Clark, daughter of Shawn Clark and Cassie Henry. Other members of the court were Senior Maid Lexia Snider, daughter of David and Anna Stout; Junior Maid Gracie Long, daughter of Ed and Jennifer Long; Sophomore Maid Tinsley Parkins, daughter of Butch and Alisha Parkins; and Freshman Maid Brooklyn McDowell, daughter of Jonathan McDowell and Lindsay McDowell. The flower girl was Alice Green, five-year-old daughter of Kegan and Ericka Green. The trophy bearer was Blaize Burnine, seven-year-old son of Stephen and Dusty Burnine.
Senior Bulldogs recognized were Elijah Young, escorted by parents Roger and Becky Sawyers; Cayden Hughes, escorted by parents Brittany and Steven Mitchell and Lanny Hughes; and Lance Montgomery, escorted by mother A.J. Vaughn and sister Chesney Vaughn.
Gleason received the opening kick and earned one first down before quarterback Kolton Crochet had a pass intercepted by War Eagle Dylan Cox.
Taking over near midfield, War Eagle Malik Lee ran for a first down at the Bulldog 29, then repeated for eight. Quarterback Xander Moon kept for six and another first, then Tyler Shaddon took it to the end zone. A holding penalty negated the score and made it first down at the 16. Shaddon, Lee and Cox chained three carries to earn a first-and-goal at the 5. Moon kept twice for a net loss of one, then threw to Jack Barrow for a six-yard touchdown. Jose Martinez kicked the PAT, and West Carroll led 7-0 with 6:46 to play in the first frame.
The Bulldogs started the ensuing drive at their own 35. Crochet scrambled for eight yards, then Carson Tidwell gained a yard. On third-and-one, Crochet threw to Elijah Young for a 57-yard touchdown. Tidwell kicked the point-after, and the contest was tied at 7-7 with 5:15 remaining in the opening quarter.
Gleason’s defense forced a West Carroll three-and-out, then the War Eagle D returned the favor.
The next West Carroll possession extended into the second quarter. The seven-play, 67-yard drive culminated in a nine-yard touchdown run by Shaddon. Moon threw to Cox for the two-points conversion, and the War Eagles had a 15-7 lead with 10:35 to play in the first half.
Bulldog Garrett Pinkston made a good kickoff return to the Gleason 44. Crochet kept for four, then threw to Young for 49 yards and a first-and-goal at the 3. The same play netted two yards, then Crochet punched it in with a one-yard keeper. The two-point conversion attempt failed, and West Carroll led 15-13 with nine minutes until intermission.
The War Eagles answered on two plays after a return by Lee to the Bulldog 42. Lee started the drive with a 13-yard carry, then Moon ended it with a 29-yard keeper. Shaddon ran for two points, and West Carroll upped the lead to 23-13, taking less than a minute off the clock.
Gleason started their next drive at the far 32 and quickly faced fourth down. Crochet scrambled to earn a fresh set of downs, but, two plays later, his pass was intercepted by War Eagle Seth Edwards and returned to the Bulldog 45.
Back-to-back penalties set West Carroll back, but Moon kept twice for a first down at the 29. Shaddon gained nine, then a Gleason penalty moved the chains. Moon kept for a loss, then repeated for a 15-yard touchdown. His two-point pass fell incomplete, and the lead was 29-13 with 3:29 remaining in the half.
The Bulldogs started at the 37 with a short loss by Brady Witherspoon. Crochet then threw to Young three times in a row, all for first downs. From the 23, Crochet gained six, but the next play resulted in a fumble recovered by Cox at the 12. Cox was headed for paydirt, but Bulldog Isaac Denton saved a touchdown with a stop at the 12.
Lee ran for eleven, then punched it in from the 1. Martinez kicked the PAT, and the War Eagles led 36-13 with under a minute on the clock.
Gleason went three-and-out, punting as time expired.
West Carroll received the second-half kick, but a strange bounce allowed Crochet to fall on it and give Gleason possession at the War Eagle 15.
Crochet threw incomplete, then Tidwell gained eight. West Carroll jumped offside to give Gleason a first-and-goal at the 4, but the defense made four big stops for a turnover on downs at the 8.
Moon kept for 15, then for nine. On second-and-one, Jay Long went up the gut to move the chains. Lee ran for seven, then Moon kept and scored from 58 yards out. Martinez missed the point-after, but the War Eagle lead was 42-13 halfway through the third quarter.
Gleason threatened again, advancing on nine plays to the West Carroll 9 before Cox made another interception and returned it to the War Eagle 44.
West Carroll crossed midfield on two plays before the quarter ended. Shaddon started the final frame with three carries to the 32. Next, Lee went 29 for a first-and-goal, then capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown. Another missed PAT left the score 48-13 with ten minutes to play in the contest.
Now with a running clock, the Bulldogs soon faced fourth down near midfield. A scramble by new quarterback Kyzer Crochet came up just short, and the War Eagles took over at the Gleason 43.
With Jaxon Mims taking over at QB, West Carroll soon faced fourth down, but Long took it 38 yards for the final touchdown of the night. Mims threw incomplete on the two-point try, and the score was 54-13 with two minutes remaining.
The Bulldogs managed three plays, including a first down pass by Kyzer C., before time expired.
Both teams are on the road this week. West Carroll travels to Gibson County and Gleason to Hollow Rock-Bruceton. Both games start at 7 p.m.
By Brad Sam