By ERIC FORTUNE
For the Star Beacon
Just as they did last week, the Grand Valley Mustangs did nearly want they wanted in the first quarter against the Gilmour Academy Lancers.
They controlled the tempo as Jake Vormelker was involved in moving the sticks on 15 of their first 17 plays from scrimmage.
The Lancers, meanwhile, punted on their opening series and after stopping the Mustangs 12 yards from paydirt, the Mustangs continue to dictate the early stages of the game as Matt Botek’s pass was intercepted by Jason Hart, who ran nearly untouched 34 yards to the end zone to give Grand Valley an early 6-0 lead with 42 seconds left in the quarter.
From there, the Lancers picked up their tempo getting seven different players involved to run off 34 unanswered points as everything started to finally click en route to 34-6 victory.
“I thought we started off slow,” Gilmour Academy coach Shawn Dodd said. “Credit to them, they came out ready to play. We had a little adversity when we lost our back (Rodell Golphin). We started to settle in.”
For Grand Valley coach John Glavickas, he’s seen this story play out many times before this season.
“They didn’t run anything we didn’t think they would,” he said. “They just executed it better. I think that has been a common theme for us.”
Though on the other side of the ball, that injury to starting tailback Golphin changed what Dodd thought was a concern for his team as well — being one-dimensional.
So, Jonathan Abrams, just a freshman mind you, came off the bench and caused the Mustangs fits all nights as he rolled off 127 yards rushing on 11 carries.
While Abrams was running wild, Botek (228 yards passing) was quite impressive as well with four touchdowns passes — three to Ishmael Hargrove on passes of 15, 30, and 35 to compliment Abrams’ 53-yard reception from Botek at the 11:40 mark in the second quarter to wake the Lancers up and cause frustration for the Mustangs the rest of the night.
“We came in this week wanting to spread it around,” Dodd said. “We thought we were a little one-dimensional. We figured this was a good week for us to spread it around. It just worked our where that was the game plan when we lost Rodell Golphin.”
Vormelker, who has been instrumental in getting the Mustangs offense rolling, was limited with 17 yards passing and just 12 yards rushing in the second half after controlling the line of scrimmage with 70 in the opening half.
“They had some trouble upfront with the pressure,” Dodd said. “We have some talented kids. I can call anything it feels like at times.”
Fortune is a freelance writer from McDonald.