Tuesday, December 2, 2008

DeSoto Thunderbirds Win State

Apaches fall one game short
Written by Gregg Parks
Monday, 01 December 2008
Glenbrook loses to DeSoto in MPSA title game

PELAHATCHIE, MISS. — The Glenbrook Apaches quest for back-to-back MPSA State Championships in football fell one game short, as they lost the title game to the DeSoto Thunderbirds, 30-20, Saturday afternoon.

Glenbrook led for most of the game, but DeSoto put up 22 fourth quarter points to pull out the win.

“You have to give it to DeSoto,” Glenbrook head coach Jerry Almond said. “They played a great game. I’m proud of our guys, they played hard. We just came up short.”

Glenbrook led 20-8 going into the fourth quarter, but the Apaches had no answer for DeSoto quarterback Will Coleman. Coleman, a Tim Tebow clone, led DeSoto on three scoring drives in the fourth quarter. For the game, Coleman rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown and passed for 164 yards and another score.

Things started off well for Glenbrook, as they took the opening kick-off and drove 53 yards for the games first touchdown.

Will Samuel fielded the kick-off and returned it to the Apaches’ 47-yard line. On first down, Apache quarterback Hunter Leppert hit Samuel in the middle for a 16-yard gain. Running back Jack Jiles took the second play hand off around the left end for a 24-yard gain to the DeSoto 13-yard line. David Thompson then bulled up the middle for a 12-yard gain to the one-yard line. Two plays later, Preston Wise carried it over for the score.

On the extra point try, Glenbrook lined up as if they were going to kick the extra point. But on the snap, the holder (Leppert) pitched the ball forward to tackle Luke Ritchie who was pulling from the left side. Ritchie caught the ball and rambled in for the two-point conversion.

The quick Glenbrook touchdown didn’t faze DeSoto, as they quickly struck back to tie the game. After the Thunderbirds returned the kick-off to the 46-yard line, Coleman kept up the middle for 24 yards. On second down, Coleman handed the ball to Dylan Cruz, and Cruz ran through the middle of the Apache defense for a 30-yard touchdown. The two-point conversion tied the score at 8-8.

The Apaches answered right back. Taking over on their 42-yard line after the kick-off, the Apaches lost three yards on first down. But on second down, Leppert handed the ball to Jiles who headed into the left side of the Glenbrook offensive line. Jiles was met by a defender and was stacked up in the backfield, but Jiles reset himself, broke through a couple of tackles and busted into the DeSoto secondary. Jiles then cut towards the Glenbrook sideline as he hit the DeSoto 45-yard line, and then sprinted the rest of the way for the 62-yard touchdown. The Apaches’ two-point try failed, but they led 14-8.

The Thunderbird offense, a combination of the Florida spread and the old school single wing formation, confused Glenbrook early. But the Apaches stepped up and forced DeSoto to punt on their next four possessions of the first half. But unfortunately, the Glenbrook offense also punted on their next three possessions of the first half.

Glenbrook led 14-8 going into the third quarter, and neither team did anything with their first possessions of the second half.

DeSoto took over on their own 20-yard line and began to move the ball. Running plays by Cruz, Coleman and Cody Manning moved the ball out to the 40-yard line. Then Coleman kept the ball on a run around left end, and as he attempted to break a tackle, Apache linebacker Jack Marchand hit him and stripped the ball loose. Samuel then fell on the ball on the 50-yard line for Glenbrook.

Glenbrook then went for the big play. Leppert took the shotgun snap and faked a screen pass to the right. After he pumped the ball, Leppert turned and looked deep for Jiles who was running a fly route. Leppert heaved the ball downfield where Jiles caught it and ran into the end zone for the score. The two-point try was no good, but Glenbrook led 20-8 with 6:32 left in the third quarter.

Neither team scored again until the first drive of the fourth quarter, when DeSoto cut the lead to 20-15 when Coleman hit Cruz on a 37-yard touchdown pass.

DeSoto forced Glenbrook to punt on the next possession, and then took over on their own 37-yard line. On first down, Coleman hit a receiver on a crossing route across the middle that he took down to the Glenbrook seven-yard line. Two plays later, Coleman carried it in from nine yards out to give DeSoto their first lead of the game at 23-20.

Glenbrook started their next possession on their 27-yard line with 9:32 left in the game. On first down, Jiles looked to run off tackle but the hole wasn’t there and he was dropped for a five-yard loss. On second and 15, Leppert hit Wise for a 13-yard gain. Jiles was held for no gain on third down, forcing the Apaches to go for it on fourth down. Leppert dropped back and faced some pressure as he threw downfield. Leppert’s pass fell just beyond the reach of a diving Peter Wise and Glenbrook turned the ball over to DeSoto.

DeSoto then ran the next six-plus minutes off the clock as they drove down to score the touchdown that put the game away. Cruz scored on a two-yard run to make it 30-20.

Glenbrook would get one more possession with under a minute to play, but couldn’t do anything with it, and the game ended with the 30-20 score.

Jiles led the Apaches with 97 yards on 17 carries and Preston Wise carried three times for 22 yards. Thompson added 12 yards as Glenbrook rushed for a total of 120 yards in the game.

Leppert finished seven of 15 for 99 yards and a score. Jiles caught two balls for 54 yards and a score, Samuel had two for 22 and Preston Wise had two for 10. Peter Wise caught one pass for 14-yards.

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