Lightning got in the way of Friday’s season opener between GMC Prep and Glascock County, but not before the game reached an official result.
The host Bulldogs carried a 21-0 lead into the half, and never had to return to the field to defend it. Lightning lit up the sky and thunder rumbled before the rains came, forcing fans to leave Davenport Field while coaches decided the best course of action. The two sides gave the weather system about an hour to clear out, but to no avail. GHSA rules stipulate that a non-region game played up to halftime like the one between GMC and Glascock may be deemed an official result. That ultimately was the decision reached as the contest was called at about 9:50 p.m.
The victory marks the first in GMC Prep head coach Lee Coleman’s coaching career, and although it didn’t come in football’s traditional four quarters, he’s not picky.
“I’ll take it,” Coleman told The Union-Recorder just after the decision was made to call the game. “We started off fast and we played defense well enough to hold them off. I loved it.”
When the new Bulldog head coach said his team started off fast he really meant it — and in more ways than one. Glascock won the coin toss and elected to defer, meaning the opening kickoff would go to GMC Prep. Senior stud athlete Armanius “Money” White received the kick around his own 20 and zipped up the visitors’ sideline all the way to the end zone, electrifying the home crowd and giving the Bulldogs an early 7-0 advantage.
“I told the guys that special teams was going to be big for us, and we took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown,” Coleman said. “Momentum shifted, which was great for us.”
After forcing the Panthers into a quick three-and-out, the GMC offense took its turn. In the first drive of his first regular season start at quarterback, junior Jackson Miller hooked up with speedy sophomore receiver Chaze Goddard who easily outran the Glascock defense on his way to a 57-yard touchdown reception, putting the ‘Dogs up 14-0 in barely three minutes of game time.
Another short Glasock possession ended with a less-than-stellar punt, which set the home team up with fantastic field position at the Panther 31. Coach Coleman’s team took advantage once again, but this time it was freshman running back Caleb Bush who provided the highlight. He broke through several would-be tacklers for a 21-yard scoring scamper that after another successful Walker McDade extra point put GMC Prep up 21-0 with time still left in the first quarter.
“The offense looked good, but I want to clean some stuff up,” said Coleman. “We got a lot of holding calls that we didn’t need, which put us behind the chains. I didn’t like that.”
Most of those holding penalties were thrown in the second quarter when the Bulldogs were held scoreless. The good news was that the team’s defense — made up of mostly two-way players — continued to stand strong. Senior defensive lineman Josiah Cleveland ended Glascock’s final drive before the half with a tackle for loss.
“I thought the defense played well,” said Coleman. “We really swarmed to the football tonight, so I was impressed with that. We actually finished tackles this week.”
GMC Prep (1-0) will continue its season-opening non-region slate next week at Oglethorpe County.