By Kevin Price
For GCS Athletics
Glynn Academy head coach Rocky Hidalgo was understandably in a foul mood after Friday night’s game against Ware County at Glynn County Stadium.
Not only did the Red Terrors lose 35-13 to the rival Gators, they looked bad doing it. And the GA head coach admitted as much.
“We stunk the joint up,” he said. “We stunk it up all week long, Monday to Wednesday, and we stunk it up tonight, too.
“We still have a chance to be a good football team, but unfortunately our kids learn by getting their noses rubbed in it and we got our noses rubbed in it tonight. We can learn from it or our season can be done in Week 12 of the season.”
The loss was the second in a row for Glynn against Ware which toppled the Terrors 26-6 last season in Waycross. The Terrors had won four in a row in the series including a victory in the state semifinals back in 2015.
All of those victories came against a Ware team coached by Franklin Stephens who left the program in the offseason to take the head coaching position at McEachern. Jason Strickland is now the head coach for the Gators who improved to 3-2 with Friday’s victory which came following an open week.
“Their kids played hard, and they did a good job coaching their kids,” Hidalgo said of the Gators.
Ware led Glynn 21-0 at halftime.
The Gators paraded 86 yards on their second possession after fumbling a lateral and giving the ball to the Terrors at their own 38-yard line. Glynn did not move the ball, however, running three plays before punting.
Ware converted several third-down plays on the march and actually scored on third-and-goal from the Glynn 8 on a pass from Thomas Castellanos to James Daniels late in the first quarter.
The Gators then recoverd an onside kick and zipped 45 yards in eight snaps to go up 14-0 on a 6-yard run by Brandon Mills for a 14-0 advantage early in the second stanza.
Ware blinked the large stadium scoreboard to 21-0 before the half when Glynn lost the ball on a pitch play on fourth-and-2 from the Gator 38. Jarrod Wilkins scooped up the fumble and rumbled 55 yards for Ware’s third score.
The Gators threatened to score to start the third period, but Jaiden Miller picked off his second pass of the night in the end zone to get the ball back for the Terrors.
Glynn gave up the ball deep in Ware territory late in the third period on an interception which kept the score 21-0 going into the final 12 minutes.
The Terrors got on the scoreboard early in the fourth after forcing a punt and taking over at the Ware 43. The Terrors drove the distance in nine plays, punching home their first score on a 1-yard keeper by quarterback TJ Lewis with 8:19 to go.
Glynn would recover an onside kick to get the ball right back but couldn’t do anything with it. Ware would essentially put the game away when it drove 45 yards the next time it had the ball and scored on a 1-yard run by Castellanos who kept the drive alive with an earlier 5-yard gain to the GA 32 on fourth-and-2.
GA did answer right back with a 76-yard kick return for a touchdown by Caden
Hutchinson to make the score 35-13. The Terrors botched the snap on their extra-point kick.
Glynn attempted another onside kick after its touchdown, but Ware got on the ball at midfield and would immediately get a 44-yard touchdown run by Cartevious Norton off the right side of the line to punctuate its victory.
Ware County finished out the night with 315 yards against a Glynn defense which has given up a combined 70 points in the last two games. The Terrors outscored Wayne County 47-35 last Friday.
“We gave up too many easy points last week, same thing tonight,” Hidalgo said. “We were probably worse this week than last week.”
Glynn’s offense wasn’t as good as it was seven days earlier for certain. After clicking last week against the Jackets, the Terrors struggled against a strong Ware defense and finished with only 158 total net yards. Lewis was Glynn’s leading rusher with 48 yards. He was 6-for-17 passing for 38 yards.
Last week, both Nolan Grant and Hutchinson carried for more than 100 yards apiece, but they combined for only 68 yards on 18 carries against the Gators.
“We didn’t block correctly,” Hidalgo said. “We blocked the wrong guys over and over again. I’d be willing to bet our execution rate wasn’t 30 percent tonight.”
The GA coach knows the Terrors better turn it around quickly with an unbeaten Camden County team coming to Brunswick next week.
“It’ll be 60-7 next week if we don’t play any better,” he said.
Hidalgo added, though, that he has faith in his players and coaches.
“I believe in our kids and staff, that we can get it right and be a good football team,” he said.