BRUCE BRANUM/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
It was the Eagles verse the Gators in a hard fought first round AISA playoff game at Smiths Station Friday night. The Fort Dale Academy Eagles just couldn’t match the Glenwood Academy Gators physicality and ultimately lost, 35-14.
The Eagles took first possession and a defensive struggle ensued for most of the first quarter until Fort Dale mounted a long scoring drive with the aid of several penalties against the Gators. Luke Taylor would run it in from the 5-yard line for the touchdown and the lead, 7-0. The Eagles took that momentum and tried to mount another scoring drive early in the second quarter but were stopped inches short of the goal line by the Gator defense.
Glenwood answered with two scores in the second quarter, one on a 52-yard run and the other on a 3-yard run, leaving the score at the half 14-7, Gators.
In the third quarter, the Gators defense ramped up again and blocked a Fort Dale punt at 9:39 which they took in and scored from the 10-yard line. Fort Dale kept fighting though and running back Clay Mansman scored on 4-yard run with barely two minutes remaining in the quarter. With the ensuing kickoff, Glenwood would return it for 87-yards and setup their fourth touchdown of the night on a 3-yard run.
The Gators added one more touchdown midway in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run and this would seal the Eagles fate, ending their season with a 35-14 loss.
Taylor was top rusher for Fort Dale going 50-yards on 20 carries. He was sacked a total of five times and still managed to complete 6 of 14 passes for 105-yards. Mansmann had 12 carries for 38-yards and was top defensively with 10 tackles. Andrew Salter contributed to the Eagles defensive effort with an interception.