Falcons put past behind in first-round rout
WALKERTON — The painful memories of last week's tough loss to Bremen quickly disappeared Friday night for the John Glenn High football team.
Josh Anderson ran the opening kickoff back 41 yards and then proceeded to ramble 40 more for the first of his four touchdowns, allowing Glenn to cruise to a 51-6 victory over Hammond Gavit in Class 3-A Sectional 17 opening round action at a frigid Falcon Field.
The 5-foot-11, 195-pound Anderson added 208 yards rushing on 16 attempts to help the Falcons (8-2) advance to next Friday's sectional semifinal contest at No. 2 Mishawaka Marian (8-2), a 49-12 winner over Calumet.
With his four scores, Anderson now has 42 touchdowns this season, breaking the previous high of 40 held by Randy Hernandez.
"You know, our kids will probably never forget what happened last week. But, at least, we showed we could put it behind us for a little bit," said Glenn coach Justin Bogunia about 35-31 loss at Bremen. "It took us a little while to get ourselves established. For the most part, I thought we played pretty well tonight. We had some missed tackles and other things, but we did what we had to do to survive and advance."
It proved to not be too bad of an opening for Glenn as it accumulated 163 total yards in building a 26-0 cushion after the opening period.
Junior Derek Hiler added scoring runs of 13 and 29 yards for the Falcons, finishing the contest with five carries for 93 yards.
By the middle of the third quarter, the margin grew to 51-0 when the two teams agreed to play the remainder of the contest with a running clock.
Fellow junior Chase Bierly chipped in 41 yards on six attempts, including a 20-yard scoring scamper as Glenn accumulated 414 yards on the ground.
"The nice thing about a game like this is you get to give your other kids a chance to say they played in a sectional game," Bogunia said. "We started out by rotating in some of our second string guys with our starters along with some guys who might get a chance to play a lot for us next year. After that, we went wholesale and then put our freshmen in after that."
Sophomore Michael Schmeltz completed the Glenn scoring with an 18-yard romp and also booted an extra-point.
While the Glenn offense was clicking on all cylinders, the defense was doing its part by forcing three fumbles and limiting the Gladiators (4-6) to 146 total yards through three quarters.
After coughing up the football inside the Glenn 5-yard line midway through the third quarter, Gavit avoided the shutout when quarterback Tashon Rogers capped off a 43-yard drive with a 5-yard run with just over five minutes remaining. The sophomore Rogers ended up with 16 carries for 142 yards.
"We're young and inexperienced," said Hammond Gavit coach Robert Robinson. "Those two things really showed tonight at times for us."
Anderson ended up with 13 tackles, including three for losses, while Austin Burnett had an interception for Glenn. Jonathan Stewart, Bierly, and Ryan Price added fumble recoveries for the Falcons.
"We're excited about getting the chance to play Marian next week," Bogunia said. "Those are the types of games we want to play and be in. We love to compete because we feel it bring out the best in us."
JOHN GLENN 51, HAMMOND GAVIT 6
Gavit 0 0 0 6-6
Glenn 26 13 12 0-51
G - Josh Anderson 40 run (Charles Dreessen kick)
G - Anderson 25 run (Dreessen kick)
G - Derek Hiler 13 run (kick blocked)
G - Hiler 29 run (pass failed)
G - Anderson 15 run (kick failed)
G - Chase Bierly 20 run (Michael Schmeltz kick)
G - Anderson 33 run (kick blocked)
G - Schmeltz 18 run (kick failed)
HG - Tashon Rogers 5 run (kick failed)
First downs 9 17
Rushing yards 150 414
Passing yards 38 28
Passing 2-11-1 1-2-0
Punting 3-25 1-30
Fumbles lost 3 3
Penalties 6-40 5-50