By Wil Crews
The Glenwood Gators extended their perfect season on Friday with a 35–6 win over the Morgan Academy Senators to advance to the AISA Class 3A State Championship.
It was Friday the 13th and the Gators came at the Senators with a nightmarish three-headed attack. Quarterback Jackson Griner, running back Kye Robichaux and receiver/professional playmaker A.J Harris helped Glenwood get an early lead … and they never looked back.
The night’s onslaught began with a 20-yard Griner rushing touchdown after Glenwood forced a punt on Morgan Academy’s opening drive of the game. Next, the Senator defense probably felt like Denzel Washington in ‘Déjà vu.’ Glenwood gained one first down after the Senators turned the ball over on downs near the 40-yard line. Then, Griner got his second 20-yard rushing touchdown to extend Glenwood’s lead to 14–0.
Robixhaux would get in on the action next with a 66-yard rushing touchdown and the Gators went into the half up 21–0. The big runs from Robichaux are expected by now.
“There is nobody in AISA that is stopping that train,” said Glenwood Head Coach Jason Gibson. “We can score from anywhere, and at any time.”
Glenwood received to open the second half and wasted no time putting the game to bed. The Gators had moved the ball with ease to the 13-yard line and Griner found Harris on a slant in the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown pass.
The game moved into the fourth quarter and Morgan Academy were putting together their best drive of the night. That’s when senior Glenwood defensive back Jay Sinclair thwarted the Senators pass attack and made his second interception in as many games to give the ball back to the Gators.
The Gators then baited the Morgan Academy defense with a series of runs before Harris punished the Senator’s again. Harris got behind the defense and Griner found him for a second time of the night for a 44-yard touchdown pass with eight minutes left in the fourth. Hook, line and sinker. Glenwood led 35-0 and cruised to the victory from there. Morgan Academy got their only score of the game in garbage time with a 16-yard rushing score from running back Holy Utsey. The Glenwood defense made one final statement when they blocked the extra point. The Gator offense ran off the last two minutes of the game clock and walked off the field having clinched a championship birth for the second year in a row.
Robichaux rushed for 170 yards on just 13 carries, Griner added 98 yards on 11 carries and Harris added his two touchdown grabs. It was another dominant and impressive showing for the Glenwood defense as well.
The Gators will now face Pike Liberal Arts in the AISA Class 3A championship after the Patriots upset No. 1 seed Bessemer Academy in their semifinal matchup. The Gators and Patriots faced off earlier this season with Glenwood emerging victorious 26–7. The championship game is scheduled for Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery. Glenwood are searching for their first state championship since 1992.