Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Single-Wing Gators: Williams leads No. 5 Glenwood past Macon-East

Williams leads No. 5 Glenwood past Macon-East
Mike Szvetitz
Staff Writer
Saturday, September 15, 2007

PHENIX CITY - Branden Williams met with his head coach right before heading out onto the field. With his Glenwood team trailing by 5 late in the fourth quarter, the Gator quarterback told his coach the plan.

"He told me he was going to go out and win it," Glenwood head coach Trip Henderson said.

And he did.

Williams led the Gators on a 61-yard drive in the final three minutes, capping it with a 19-yard touchdown run to give No. 5 Glenwood (3-1) a 13-12 win over No. 7 Macon-East (3-1) on Friday night at The Swamp.

"Thank goodness we had Branden," Henderson said. "He's starting to get healthier and run a lot harder. It's what we expected from him when he came here."

Williams, the Russell County transfer who broke his ankle last season and then had knee surgery in the offseason, put the Gators on his back in the second half.

The senior quarterback finished with 166 yards on 15 carries, including 133 after the break.

After Macon-East scored the go-ahead touchdown with 3:39 left to play on a wide receiver pass that went for 80 yards, Glenwood needed to put together a drive. All game, the Gators were able to move the football, but penalties put the running team in third-and-longs, killing drives and scoring opportunities.

So after the Knights touchdown put them up 12-7, Wililams had seen enough. It was time.

Williams hit wideout Austin Allison with a 20-yard pass - his first and only completion of the night - on third-and-10 to spark the scoring drive.

On the next play, junior running back Marcus Woods took a handoff around right end for 17 yards.

Two plays later, Williams bulled into the end zone for the game-winning score with 1:53 to play. The 2-point conversion was no good, but the Gators were up 13-12.

Macon-East threw four consecutive incomplete passes to give the ball back to Glenwood with 1:13 to play. But the Knights, with a full complement of timeouts, kept the Gators from getting a first down, and forced a punt.

Glenwood punter Brian Lazzara got off one of his best kicks of the night, pinning the Knights inside their 10-yard line with 37 seconds to play.

Allison then sealed the win for the Gators when he picked off Macon-East quarterback Neal Posey's first pass.

"I'm proud of the way we battle back," Henderson said. "We've got to limit some of the penalties and get better on pass defense if we want to be a championship-caliber team. But I'm proud of 'em"

The Gators defense gave up 173 yards through the air, with 80 coming on a trick play for a touchdown.

Woods finished the night with 110 yards on 17 carries and the game's first touchdown.

Glenwood hosts Tuscaloosa Academy on Friday at 7 p.m.

mszvetitz@oanow.com 737-2513

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