Glades Central uses defense to smother Dallas-Skyline 6-0
Saturday, August 28, 2010
by Jeff Greer
Glades Central has as many offensive stars as any team in the state of Florida. In the Florida vs. the USA Gridiron Challenge here on Saturday, it was the defense that shined.
The Raiders used their speed to neutralize Dallas-Skyline's intimidating rushing attack, and Dominique Gibson scored on a 9-yard run with 8:49 left in the game to lift Glades Central to a 6-0 win at Municipal Stadium.
"Our kids did a fabulous job of keeping (Skyline) in front of them and preventing too many big plays," Glades Central coach Jesse Hester said. "We had to hustle."
Defensive end Robert Way and Gibson, who doubles as a linebacker, made their presence felt against a bigger, stronger Dallas-Skyline offense. The duo combined for 2½ tackles for loss. Way also had a sack.
As a group, the Raiders (1-0) held Skyline to 134 total yards of offense, including a meager 72 rushing yards. The Raiders forced three turnovers, including a Delbert Clarke interception on Glades Central's 11-yard line that erased Skyline's best chance to score .
"We were animals," said Gibson, who also led Glades Central with 82 rushing yards. "This was one of the best weeks of practice we've ever had. We knew we could play like we did."
Yet the win didn't come without some suffering.
Hester's bunch committed 15 penalties, coughing up 148 yards in the process. And the infractions seemed to increase each time Glades Central moved the ball into Skyline's side of the field, interrupting the Raiders' momentum on every series but their scoring drive.
New quarterback Jamarious Rowley struggled in his debut. To be fair, the senior was staring down one of the fastest, stoutest defenses in America.
Skyline regularly found its way into the Glades Central backfield, hurrying the 5-foot-9 Rowley into rushed decisions. Rowley threw two first-half interceptions and committed a pair of intentional-grounding penalties.
When he got into the locker room, he knew he wasn't playing like he normally does.
"I had to calm myself down," Rowley said. "I was so hyped that I was forcing things. I was trying to throw on the run. But hey, this is learning for me."
Rowley finished 9-of-23 for 127 yards. Most, if not all, of his attempts were made outside of the pocket with Skyline's linemen chasing him.
"The whole city knows that this was my first start and that I was going to be nervous," Rowley said. "But all in all, I don't care what my stats were, a win is a win."