By Travis Chapman
Week 9 of Friday Night Lights showcased two district 1-1A powerhouses in the Glenbrook Apaches and the State Runner-up, Homer Pelicans. These two teams have no love lost, and it was sure to be a slobber knocker of a contest. The Apaches fell in a close battle, 38-28.
Captains for the final regular season match up were seniors, Chase Sentell, Landry Powell and Garrett Brown.
Apaches took opening kickoff and started on the 44 yard line. The Apaches started in the “BIG” package as Powell gained 6 yards, but the Pelicans defense forced a 4th and short, but Cade Vining took the handoff up the middle and picked up a new set of downs! The Apaches began to march the ball the ball down the field behind great offensive line execution and great running from Powell and Sentell. The Apache offense set up 1st and 10 from the Pelican 18-yard line. The Pelicans defense stiffened up and the Apaches faced a 4th and 5 from the Pelican 11-yard line. Apaches missed the FG attempt.
On defense Brown made a huge tackle for loss. The Pelicans tried to pass the ball over the middle but Vining (who had a great night of football) was there for the tip drill and intercepted the Pelican QB. Apaches took over on the Pelican 30.
Apaches’ offense came out on fire with 2 runs by Sentell to move the sticks and make it 1st and goal. But the ensuing play the Pelican corner made a great play and punched the ball out when Sentell was about to cross the goal line and the Pelicans recovered.
Apaches’ defense came out and made great tackles, but the Pelicans picked up a first down. Swiss Army Knife Brown made another great tackle in the backfield. The Apaches’ defense made great stops, but the Pelicans picked up first downs on third down plays. The Pelicans punched it in the end zone from a quick swing pass to the blazing WR. The QB keeper for the 2-point conversion made the score 8-0, Pelicans with 1:10 left in the first.
On the kickoff, the WR Jackson Waller made a great return to the Pelican 38-yard line, but a questionable chop block penalty made it 1st and 25. Easton Sanders overlooked a wide open Powell in the flat and forced a pass downfield that was intercepted giving the Pelicans new life at the 44 yard line and quickly moving the chains. That closed the first quarter 8-0, in favor of the Pelicans.
Apache defense looked to tighten up as Powell made a great tackle to force a third and long from the 38. The Apaches held fast bringing up a fourth and short, but the Pelicans converted to bring up a new set of downs. Brown had the Pelican RB, Perkins dead to rights for a 1-yard gain but was pulled down backward from behind and propelled the Pelicans around the end for a gain of 15 that set up another Pelican TD. The Pelicans were up on the Apaches, 16-0 with 9:47 left in second.
Seth Mangrum gave the Apache offense the ball on the 48-yard line from a great kick return. The Apaches looked to gain some momentum behind Powell and great blocking. The blocking held up as The Streak, Sentell picked up another first down for the Apaches that moved the ball well into Pelican territory. Sentell continued to gash the Pelicans behind Jackson Lott and Spencer Brantley and moved the chains! Vining said, “give me the rock, boys” and picked up 6-yards bulldozing his way twice for a first down at the Pelican 15. The Apaches faced a 3rd and 5 and the quick pitch to Sentell through the 2-hole picked up an Apache first down with goal to go! Vining took the handoff down to the Pelican 2-yard line. The Apaches channeled their inner Philly Eagles and pulled off the 92 percent effective play, the “tush push” for an Apache TD! Sanders found Powell for the 2-point conversion on a quick slant that toasted the Ole Miss committed Pelican cornerback to narrow the Pelican lead, 16-8 with 3:29 left in 2nd quarter.
The Apache defense came out on fire, had the Pelicans dropped for a loss, but a missed blatant clipping call at the point of tackle and a hold on the end propelled the Pelicans for a 38-yard rushing TD and 2-point conversion. The Pelicans widened the lead 24-8 with 2:41 left in the first half.
The Apache offense came out on the 39 and needed to score before half. Sanders came out in the shotgun and rifled it to Sentell for a gain of 12 and an Apache first down. Seth Mangrum ran an outstanding route that beat the defender and Sanders connected with him from a beautifully thrown pass of 30-yards and a first down. Sanders then shuttles it to Brown for a gain of six, but the speedster, Sentell beat the defenders over the top for a seeming 40-yard TD strike from Sanders, but the officials called him down on the 1/4” line. Sentell, to prove his point, took the handoff through the 4 hole that the strong, Spencer Brantley opened up for an Apache TD with 32 seconds left in the first half! Powell took the sweep around the left side for a good 2-point conversion. Apaches tightened the Pelican lead 24-16.
The Apaches’ kick off pinned the Pelicans deep to keep them from scoring before half, and Powell secured an interception from the Pelican QB to end the half with the Pelicans in front of the Apaches, 24-16.
The Pelicans received the kick and started on the 45 yard line. They fired a shot and scored on the first play of scrimmage, widening the Pelican lead 30-16, quickly.
Sentell received the kick had a great return capped with what should have been a 15-yard face mask, but the officials only marked off 5-yards on the penalty. Nonetheless, the Apaches picked up a first down from a hard FB dive by Vining. Sentell followed it up with a blazing 20-yard run that put the Apaches in the red zone again. On 3rd and 5, Powell took it around the left side and bull dozed his way right over the Ole Miss commit, for 18-yards and an Apache TD. The Apaches tightened the Pelican lead yet again, 30-22 with 8:12 left in the third quarter.
The Apaches’ defense looked to stop the Pelicans who started on their 39-yard line. The Apaches’ defense held strong, and the Pelicans were finally called for a block in the back that brought up a 1st and cab ride! The ensuing play, big Jonathon Bryant recovered a fumble that gave the Apaches new life on the Pelican side of the field.
The Apaches quickly faced a big third down and short after gaining momentum to start the drive, from the Pelican 37-yard line. The Apaches pushed Sanders across the line by 5 yards and gave the Apaches a new set of downs in the Pelicans’ red zone from the 16-yard line. The handoff was given to the big senior, Powell as he made two men miss and ran over the Ole Miss committed defender, again as he entered the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown run. The score moved the Apaches within 2 but couldn’t convert on the 2-point try. The Pelicans still led 30-28.
Apaches’ defense came out and played hard and made good tackles, but the Pelicans continued to spread the Apache defense out and their play makers continued to move the chains. But good execution and down-field blocking led to another Pelican TD from their stellar RB, Perkins with 1:45 left in 3rd, 38-28 in favor of the Pelicans.
Sentell continued to make great returns and put the Apaches in great field position on the 40-yard line. Sentell picked up a huge gain of 20, was tackled by his face mask in front of the official, but the whistle somehow made its way deep into the belly of the side judge for the remainder of the contest. The Apaches faced a 3rd and 8 and needed to pick up it up as the white hat blew the whistle to start the 4th quarter. Sentell picked up 5 yards and the Apaches faced a critical 4th and medium to keep the game within reach and move the chains. A perfectly executed misdirection had Powell blasting up the left side for a gain of 13, and a new set of downs! The Pelicans got a steady helping of the powerful Powell as he moved the chains again for a gain of 14, down to the Pelican 11-yard line. The Pelican defense stiffened up and the Apaches faced its second 4th down of the drive and needed to pick up 6. Powell again was tackled by his face mask for another time, as the whistle has not made it up from deep in the belly of the side judge. The Pelicans took over on downs at their own 10-yard line.
The defense needed to hold strong and force a turnover to keep the chances alive. At the 6-minute water break of the 4th, the Apaches trailed 38-28. The Apaches forced a 3rd and 6 for the Pelicans, but the Pelicans converted with 4:49 left in the contest. The back judge finally found his yellow laundry tucked deep in his sock and called a holding against the Pelicans. The Apaches had the Pelicans behind the chains. But the outstanding Pelican RB, Pickens, shortened the line to gain and picked up 14-yards. Mangrum laid Pickens out on the ensuing play. The Pelicans continued to gash the Apaches running the clock down. The Apaches’ Johnathon Bryant made a huge tackle for loss on the lightning-fast Pickens that brought up a 4th down and 7 with 44 sec left in the contest. The Apaches’ defense finally stopped the Pelicans and gave the Apaches’ offense one last chance from the 43-yard line with 41 seconds left. Sanders found Waller for a gain of 45-yards with 14 seconds left. The next play, Brown took the shovel pass and was stopped inside the 1-yard line with the goal line at his eyes, as the clock hit zeros.
The difference in the game was the 3 early turnovers, and the late turnover in the red zone. The Pelicans’ RB, Pickens had an outstanding game and will likely go play college ball somewhere. But the most memorable plays of the night were when the massive and mean Powell made burnt toast of the Ole Miss committed cornerback, for a massive gain and also walked his cleats up his chest for 2 TDs.
The Apaches moved to 7-2 and closed on a stellar regular season with a bye week for week 10. The Apaches will look to heal injured players as we missed Big D and I don’t mean Dallas, Daivari Jackson, that could not play last night. The Apaches will no doubt, come out swinging for the first week of the play-offs that are just two short weeks away! This Apache Tribe shows a lot of fight, guts, and heart and will look to make a run at the dome in the select division of 1A. Stay tuned for play-off seeding and the who and where the Apaches look to rain war upon in a few short weeks!
IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE AN APACHE!!!