It isn’t often that a team decides to revert back to an entirely different offensive scheme in week eight of any season, regardless of sport. However, it essentially worked for the Glenwood Rams (4-4, 1-3) Friday night, as they kept pace with the top-ranked team in Class 3A on the road. The Rams outgained conference rival Lewis Central (8-0, 4-0) in total yardage, but ultimately could not finish off a valiant effort against the 3A juggernaut. A pair of late touchdowns allowed the Titans to escape with a 42-14 victory, but one that didn’t come as easily as the score shows.
In a game they were projected to lose by 57 (via BCMoore), the Rams found themselves down 28-14 with just over six minutes remaining. Glenwood was marching down the field to make it a one-possession game when Lewis Central linebacker Calvin Fricke picked off an errant pass from Glenwood quarterback Zach Carr with under three minutes to go.
The very next play, Titan quarterback and TCU commit Max Duggan tucked the ball on a speed option, juked a Ram defender and dashed for a 52-yard touchdown to seal the game.
Glenwood got the ball back and quickly turned it over on downs at its own 15 yard line. Two plays later, LC running back Mike Gittins found the end zone from six yards out to instantly smite any upset hopes the Rams had.
While the score didn’t seem to do Glenwood’s performance justice, Head Coach Cory Faust impressed with his team’s endeavor.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” he said. “I thought we were right there in the game late in the fourth quarter. Playing one of the more talented teams, and probably the favorite to win the state championship… we battled all night.”
Coming into this game, Glenwood’s offense sputtered virtually every week, struggling to reduce turnovers and find any kind of rhythm. The Rams reversed that narrative in a heartbeat Friday, when they decided to go back to the classic flexbone offense they had run for the past six seasons under Faust.
Glenwood had 345 total yards to Lewis Central’s 322. The Rams racked up 280 running yards as a team, led by Cooper Silvius, who totaled 105 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. Noah Carter rushed 17 times for 86 yards and a score, Carr added 45 yards on 18 carries and Dominic Robertson had 35 yards on five touches.
Spreading the workload is a signature of the flexbone, and Faust acknowledged that facet of the game.
“It was a true team effort, everyone was blocking really hard and running really hard,” he said.
Defensively, Glenwood didn’t succumb to the menacing reputation that the Titans had built over the first seven weeks of the season. Glenwood held Duggan to 233 combined rushing and passing yards, his lowest total of the season. Duggan’s favorite target, receiver Josh Simmons, hauled in six catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. The Rams kept Lewis Central’s dynamic attack out of its rhythm, as most of the Titans’ scoring came in big chunks.
“Some of the plays that we gave up in the passing game to Simmons, I thought we had him covered really well,” said Faust. “That’s just the best quarterback in the state and maybe the best receiver in the state making plays.”
With four in the loss column, Glenwood's chances to qualify for the state playoffs are slim-to-none, meaning this week will likely conclude the 2018 season. The Rams will hit the road for a battle with Creston (2-6, 1-3) in the finale.
Even though Glenwood’s dual with Creston will probably be its final straw, Faust was encouraged by his team’s showing Friday night, and looks forward to the upcoming week.
“We’re looking forward to continuing to improve, and there’s no doubt we’re going to go out swinging.”