In a battle of playoff bound teams, Glenwood recovered a fumble in the final minute and a half to preserve a 21-20 win over Hooper Academy on Friday night at Sammy Howard field.
The big play was a run by the Colts' Darius Bennett on a second down play, and as he fought for extra yardage was stripped of the ball. It was recovered by the Gators' Dylan Denny. It was Hooper Academy's only fumble in the game but a costly one.
The Gators held the ball in the final minute and a half to preserve the one-point win. Denny also intercepted a pass in the game on defense.
Both teams entered the game as the No. 3 seeds from their region, with the Gators holding that in the Northern region while Hooper holds that in the South. Hooper will face Lee Scott in the first round of the playoffs in Auburn while Glenwood will travel to meet Fort Dale. Both games are Nov. 2nd.
The key for Glenwood for the win was a deliberate ground game, spearheaded by Denney. He was the top rusher in the game for the Gators with 97 yards but got plenty of help from several other backs: Isaiah Bettis, Luke Dougherty and D'Arrington Walker. Glenwood amassed 206 yards on the ground.
The game was as close as the score indicated as Glenwood took the opening kickoff and 12 plays later grabbed a 7-0 lead on Dougherty's 1-yard plunge.
The two teams exchanged touchdowns in the second half with Brandon Daley scoring on another long drive with a one-yard sneak and Jake Wilson's PAT in the third. Hooper scored on another long play as Harper returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown but Bennett's all important two-point try was stopped, setting up the final minutes when he fumbled.
Friday at Sammy Howard field
Hooper Academy 0 14 0 6--20
Glenwood 7 7 7 0--21
G-Luke Dougherty 1 run (Jake Wilson kick), 6:25
HA-Darrius Bennett 9 run (Bennett run), 11:38
HA-Thomas Harper 14 pass from Drew Owen (run failed)
G-Dylan Denny 7 run (Wilson kick), 0:56
G-Brandon Daley 1 run (Wilson kick), 3:41
HA-Harper 78 yard punt return (run failed), 6:31
Records: Hooper Academy 5-4; Glenwood 5-3. Next: Glenwood, home vs. Crenshaw, Friday, 8 p.m.