By Wil Crews
Wide receiver and cornerback A.J. Harris returned his fifth kickoff for a touchdown last weekend, leading the Glenwood Gators (7-0) and their explosive offense to a 56-13 win over at home versus Hooper Academy (4-3).
The win clinches home-field advantage for the first round of the AISA Class AAA playoffs and keeps Glenwood perfect on the season, with all but one game – an early season 24-22 thrilling win over Escambia Academy – coming as blowouts.
The game began with the Harris 80-yard kickoff return for touchdown and the Gators, like so many times this season, had jumped on their opponent early. The story of the game was the Gator offense.
Running back Kyle Robichaux added a seven-yard rushing touchdown to make it 14-0, and quarterback Jackson Griner added a 60-yard pass to Radonda Beauchamp to make it 21-0. Hooper academy managed to score on a five-yard touchdown run by running back Paul Menefee just before the half. It was 21-7 Gators at the break.
The second half was when Glenwood really clicked into gear. Beauchamp caught another bomb from Griner; Griner scrambled in for a 46-yard score; Robichaux had two more rushing touchdowns – 51 and 71-yarders – and Beauchamp closed out the Gators’ scoring with a 54-yard rushing touchdown of his own. Hooper’s Menefee was their lone standout player, and he got his second score of the night late in the game on a 70-yard run for six.
Griner finished with 133 yards passing and two touchdowns. He added 71 rushing yards and a score on the ground too. Robichaux finished with three touchdowns and a 28 yard per carry average and Beauchamp provided a spark in both the passing and rushing game with two scores of his own. It was a truly dominant performance from Glenwood who look to nearing their peak form.
The Gators look destined for a state championship appearance this season, but they must get through their last three regular season games first.
Glenwood play host to Lee-Scott Academy (2-5) next Friday, Oct. 16. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. CST at The Swamp.