Posted: 4:52 pm Saturday, August 28th, 2010
By Jeff Greer
The first of two area-related games is over here at Municipal Stadium in Daytona Beach and Palm Beach County is 1-0.
Glades Central (1-0) beat Dallas-Skyline, 6-0, in an ugly contest full of penalties and missed opportunities. Both offenses struggled against very good defenses. Anyway, here are five thoughts and news updates that I took away from the contest.
1. Don’t worry about Jamarious Rowley. The new Glades Central quarterback struggled, and he knows it. But the Raiders faced one of the toughest defenses they’ll see all year. On seemingly every snap, Rowley had a Skyline player in his face almost instantly.
Under center, he had about two steps to get rid of the ball. In the shotgun, he literally caught the ball, looked up and then had two options — throw to his first option or scramble. He had to scramble a lot.
But Rowley said he was glad this was the game he struggled. Better now than in the playoffs, he explained. He already knew that he scrambled too quickly to avoid pressure instead of stepping into pocket pressure and throwing.
If there’s one thing I know about Rowley, it’s that he’s confident. He did enough to help his team beat one of the best defenses in the nation, so I think he’ll be OK.
2. Davonte Allen will be OK. One of Allen’s hip flexors has been bothering him for a few weeks and it limited him on Saturday. The explosive receiver could play a major role for Glades Central later this year once Kelvin Benjamin’s eligibility runs out, but he didn’t do much today.
Against Skyline, Allen was mostly a decoy. Coach Jessie Hester said Allen will benefit from Glades Central’s bye week coming up and should be healthy for the Raiders’ game against Denison (Texas) in Desoto, Texas on Sept. 11.
If there’s one thing I know about hip flexors, it’s that they are extremely annoying. You can never stretch them enough and if they flare up, it can really hamper your ability to move. And agility is one of Allen’s best attributes.
3. There’s trouble brewing for Jeffery Philibert. The Glades Central offensive and defensive lineman wrestled his way on top of a Skyline player and started throwing haymakers with about 3:14 left in the first half. Like rapid-fire punches. You know those hit combos you get in Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat? Yeah, it was a flurry like that.
Anyway, the big fella — he’s listed at 6-0, 245 — was immediately ejected and Glades Central got a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Hester was more shocked than anything after the game, but Philibert will hear from his coach.
“It was a boneheaded mistake,” Hester said. “Honestly, you already have the better of the guy, you pancaked the kid, then you go compound the deal by throwing punches and that’s just totally outrageous. It was very disappointing because he knows that’s not something we teach or allow. We’re going to address that and deal with it accordingly.”
I asked Hester if he’d ever seen a right-left rain of punches like Philibert’s in a high school game.
“No, not like that,” he said. “I’ve had situations where kids have thrown a punch, of course, but nothing like that.”
4. Glades Central’s defense can fly. Dominique Gibson (this is my fourth thought and I haven’t mentioned Gibson yet?) had a huge game. Not only did he rock 82 rushing yards, but the linebacker also played sideline-to-sideline on defense. He was the rock of a lightning-fast defense that created three turnovers and zipped up Skyline’s running game.
Before the game, Hester was worried about Skyline’s size. He (and his team) feared that Skyline’s big offensive linemen would easily create space for running backs to roam. It didn’t quite work out like that. Skyline finished with a whopping 72 rushing yards to go with 134 yards of total offense.
Robert Way, Delbert Clarke, Jatavis Brown and a cast of others buttoned down Skyline and limited big plays. Off the top of my head, I can only think of two or three times when a Skyline running back got to the second level of Glades Central’s defense. If you could see Skyline’s players, you’d realize how impressive that is.
5. Skyline probably played some of the best defense Glades Central will see. I was more impressed with junior LB Peter Jinkens and senior DE Marquel Bryant than I was with all-everything LB Anthony Wallace. But what do I know?
Well, actually, what I do know is that Skyline has a fast, smart, strong defense that bottled up Glades Central in the first half and got all kinds of penetration into the Raiders’ backfield.
But one sustained drive was all Glades Central needed to score. A second drive late in the fourth quarter, twice saved by brilliant play calls on third and short, helped the Raiders keep the ball long enough to ride out the win.
On Skyline’s side of the field, with the clock winding down and Glades Central staring down third-and-short, Hester called a quick drag route for Kelvin Benjamin, who was wide open. Easy catch, easy yards after the reception. And we all know Benjamin is hard to tackle. He tussled with Skyline’s defensive backs to get a few extra yards.
A few plays later, facing a similar situation, Rowley found Jaqavein Oliver on a slant. Oliver’s catch and run sealed the win for Glades Central by getting a first down.
You probably want some stats, huh? OK, Rowley was 9 for 23 for 127 yards, two picks, no TDs. Rowley also ran for 23 yards. Gibson had 82 rushing yards on 11 carries. Tyrone Page got 11 totes for 42 yards. Neville Brown added 23 yards on four carries.
Kelvin Benjamin had 47 yards receiving off four catches. Jamie Wilson led all receivers with 64 yards. He also had four receptions.
Crevon Leblanc had an interception. Robert Way had a sack. Gibson had six tackles. Brown had seven. Way had five.
That was fun, let’s do it again. Glades Day and Twiggs County are playing here at Municipal Stadium as I type this. So, time to enjoy that game.
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