WALKERTON — An opportunity to end over two decades of frustration was there for the taking Friday for the John Glenn High football team.
Unfortunately, Brody Olson stepped in to add to the Falcons’ misery.
Olson’s grab of a tipped pass good for 30 yards midway through the fourth quarter, helped Jimtown on its way to the winning touchdown and a thrilling 14-13 victory over Glenn in Northern State Conference action at Falcon Field.
Trailing 13-7 and faced with a third down and 10 yards to go at the Jimtown 30, junior quarterback Shawn Garriott managed to find the 6-foot, 185-pound junior Olson, who kept his eyes on the ball long enough to come down with it at the Glenn 40.
Two plays later, junior Devan Emerson rambled 16 yards to tie the game. Trey Zufan followed with the extra-point to put the Jimmies (1-1, 1-0 NSC) on top with 5:21 remaining.
“Third and long. We’ve got our backs up against the wall,” recalled Jimtown coach Mike Campbell. “If we don’t convert that play, we punt the ball back to them and then the game is most likely over. Give credit to Brody Olson, though, for making an unbelievable circus catch.”
The Falcons (1-1, 0-1 NSC) still had an opportunity to answer back. However, the drive ended at the Glenn 26 when Charles Dreessen’s apparent first down catch of a pass from Tom Knape for 15 yards was ruled incomplete by the officials with 2:53 left.
Jimtown managed to get a first down inside the 5-yard line and then ran out the clock to earn their 23rd straight win over Glenn dating back to 1990.
“I honestly didn’t see if he (Dreessen) caught the ball or not on the play,” said Glenn coach Justin Bogunia. “That one play didn’t determine the outcome of the game, though. We had too many opportunities throughout the game we missed out on. Our kids played hard and put us in a position to win tonight. We just didn’t capitalize on some of the chances we had.”
The loss spoiled an outstanding outing from Glenn senior back Josh Anderson, who carried the ball 34 times for 185 yards, including a 1-yard run to put the Falcons on top, 13-7, midway through the final quarter.
Anderson, who stands 5-11 and weighs 195 pounds, also had three catches for 52 yards, 23 coming on a strike from Knape to even the game at 7-7 late in the third quarter.
“What a phenomenal player No. 23 (Anderson) is,” Campbell said. “We definitely had our hands full trying to hold him down. Give credit to Glenn. They’re a great team that’s well-coached. Luckily, we made a couple more plays than they did tonight.”
After stopping Glenn twice deep in Jimtown territory, the Jimmies finally got on the board late in the first half.
Emerson capped off the six-play, 69-yard march with a 20-yard romp into the end zone. The 5-11, 170-pound junior finished with 17 carries for 137 yards. Fellow junior Tanner Adams added 81 yards on 19 attempts.
“After what happened to us last week (a 28-2 loss to NorthWood), I didn’t know what to expect from this group,” Campbell said. “Our kids grew up tonight and made great strides. I have no doubt now we’re going to be okay.”
Did the decision to go for two-points after scoring the go-ahead touchdown come back to haunt the Falcons as Anderson was stopped short of the goal line.
“We planned on kicking the PAT, but I gave Josh the option to go for it if the opportunity was there,” Bogunia said. “They (Jimtown) only had only one guy back there, so he decided to go for it. Unfortunately, he came up a little short. I can’t fault him for wanting to make the play. Our seniors really wanted this one, but just couldn’t finish the job.”
Ryan Williams had a fumble recovery for the Falcons.
• JIMTOWN 14,
Jimtown 0 7 0 7-14
Glenn 0 0 7 6-13
J - Devan Emerson 20 run (Trey Zufan kick)
G - Josh Anderson 23 pass from Tom Knape (Charles Dreessen kick)
G - Anderson 1 run (run failed)
J - Emerson 16 run (Zufan kick)
First downs 16 13
Rushing yards 215 199
Passing yards 34 52
Passing 2-5-0 3-9-0
Punting 4-29 2-36
Fumbles lost 1 0
Penalty yards 2-25 2-15