Wilde Lake 19
Glenelg senior defensive tackle Matt Abbott spun past Wilde Lake's offensive lineman as he saw senior quarterback Dennis Smith dashing toward the end zone with no time left in the first half. Abbott knew it was up to him to keep his team's lead intact.
"I knew either way it was going to be a big play," he said last night following Glenelg's 22-19 victory at Wilde Lake. "But I'm happy I made it."
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Abbott caught Smith two yards short of the goal line as time expired, preventing the Wildecats from scoring despite driving nearly the length of the field.
"That was the game, right there," said Wilde Lake Coach Doug DuVall. "We went 97 yards, and if we score there, it's a completely different game."
Abbott's play was a major reason why Glenelg held on in Columbia, a win that kept the Gladiators undefeated and tied with River Hill atop the county standings.
"We stopped them when we needed to," Glenelg Coach John Davis said. "Matt made a great play to keep our lead at 7-6."
Glenelg (6-0, 6-0) fell behind, 12-7, midway through the third quarter when senior running back Jarad Flagg swept down the sideline for a 47-yard touchdown run. But Glenelg senior Trey Crayton put his team back on top, 15-12, two plays later when he took a counter and sprinted 65 yards for a touchdown with 4 minutes 3 seconds left in the third quarter. Following Billy West's run on the two-point conversion, Glenelg did not trail again.
Glenelg senior fullback Stephen Bullard added a two-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Wilde Lake (3-3, 2-3) pulled to within 22-19 when senior running back Zach Brown turned a quick slant into an 83-yard scoring play with just over three minutes remaining. But the Gladiators, who did not attempt a pass and rushed for 363 yards, gained two first downs to run out the clock.
Crayton rushed for a game-high 131 yards on 14 carries, and senior Blake Mullinix added 100 yards on 15 carries.
"Why should we throw the ball when we gain yards every time by running?" Crayton said. "We run the ball. That's what we do, and no team has stopped us yet."