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FOOTBALL: Tigers fall short in defensive slugfest

November 14, 2011
Bardstown High School

By Peter W. ZubatySports Editor

GLASGOW — Bardstown stretched No. 2 Glasgow to the limit in Friday’s Class 2A Region 2 second-round matchup, but the Tigers could only answer one of a pair of fourth-quarter Scottie touchdowns in falling 15-9.

“I’m proud of the way the defense played and proud of how the kids never gave up and fought back,” Tiger coach David Clark said. “All the way around, a really valiant effort.”

Bardstown’s season wraps up at 10-2, while Glasgow (12-0) advances to next week’s region championship, where it will host Christian Academy – Louisville (8-4), survivors of a 30-27 overtime thriller with DeSales (6-6).

“That’s two great ballclubs,” Glasgow coach Rick Wood said. “My hat goes off to those Bardstown seniors — they’ve gotten so much better” from last year, when the Scotties whipped the Tigers 34-0 at Garnis Martin Field.

Bardstown got a break right out of the gate when Glasgow fumbled the opening kickoff and it was recovered by Tiger senior Donshais Calbert on the Scotties’ 15, but couldn’t turn it into points as a fourth-down pass play from the 8 fell incomplete.

Glasgow drove to midfield on the ensuing possession, but Bardstown’s Anthony Myrks picked off a Parker Cash pass at the Tiger 21 to stall the drive.

Bardstown eventually engineered a long drive that carried over into the second quarter and took a 3-0 lead on a 25-yard field goal by Justin Hubbard. But Glasgow answered with a grinding drive of its own, tying it up at 3-3 with 1:46 left in the first half after a Kevin Baltazar 20-yard field goal.

Calbert got a long return of the ensuing kickoff and took it to the Glasgow 37, but Bardstown couldn’t parlay the good field position into points.

Clark said the Tigers missed out on some scoring chances in the first half.

“We did, but they did as well,” Clark said. “That’s what happens when two good football teams are playing one another.”

One of Glasgow’s missed opportunities came right after halftime, when a fumble by Myrks on the second-half kickoff led to good field position for the Scotties, but the Tiger defense held and Baltazar’s 35-yard field goal try was wide right.

Bardstown’s offense couldn’t get much done on the ensuing possession, but Glasgow’s Jalen Sublett started to show some signs of life, breaking off a long run late in the third quarter as well as converting a fourth-and-3 to get it inside the Bardstown 40. Still, the Tiger defense stood its ground, hitting Sublett for a loss on the next play, followed by Jack Whitfield sacking Cash to force a third-and-20.

Glasgow bounced back, though, as Cash hit Hunter Botts for 19 yards, then drew the Bardstown defense offsides on fourth-and-1 to give the Scotties a fresh set of downs inside the Tiger 15.

After a handful of running plays wound out the third quarter, the Tigers held on a Cash sneak on third-and-1 at the Bardstown 5, then appeared to hold again when Cash’s second sneak try on fourth-and-1 met a phalanx of Tiger defenders, but a generous spot by the officials gave Glasgow enough for the first down. Sublett ran right for a 4-yard touchdown to put the Scotties up 9-3 with 11:10 to play.

The stop that wasn’t turned out to be a game-changer.

“That’s football — there’s not much you can say about that,” Clark said. “We felt like there wasn’t much of a push (by the Glasgow line). We didn’t think it was a real friendly spot, but that’s the way the game goes.”

Bardstown’s offense, which had been parked on the sideline for most of the third quarter, couldn’t find the rhythm on the next possession and went three-and-out. Glasgow then took over with 8:20 remaining and went on a grinding drive, aided by a facemask penalty against Bardstown, and eventually took a seemingly commanding 15-3 lead when Sublett — who accounted for 132 of the Scotties’ 161 rushing yards — ran around left end for a 12-yard score with 4:12 remaining.

“It was one of those games that was slug after slugfest,” Clark said. “I thought the defenses were strong, but they came up with the big plays when they needed to.”

Still, the Tigers had a pulse, and Jordan Brewer started to find Myrks for several completions in the soft spots of the Scottie defense, the biggest being a 37-yard catch-and-run that got it all the way down to the Glasgow 5. Two plays later, Brewer punched it in to trim the score to 15-9 with 2:21 left.

Hubbard’s ensuing onside kick was a good one, bouncing high in the air, but the Scotties’ Connor Glass was able to recover it.

From there, Glasgow was able to burn off the rest of the clock, with the big play coming on a Cash pass on third-and-8 from midfield to University of Louisville-bound Hunter Bowles for 17 yards and a fresh set of downs. The Tigers never got the ball back.

“Both defenses were very stubborn tonight; it’s what you expect from (two top-10 teams),” Wood said. “We’re fortunate to be moving on.”

Bardstown rushed for 93 yards and Brewer completed 11-of-19 for 115 through the air. Cash was 5-of-7 for 92 yards.

Clark loses 17 seniors to graduation, and he said the returning Tigers can look up to that group and its perseverance in bouncing back from injury-plagued 2009 and 2010 season, during which the team struggled to a combined 8-15 mark.

“They’ve learned a lot from this senior class that’s been through so much and never gave up on anything we did, (and) they showed it tonight,” he said. “It’s been a privilege and honor to coach these young men.”

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