SMITHS STATION — Glenwood clinched home-field advantage for the first round of the AISA Class AAA playoffs Thursday night, as they handed Hooper Academy a 56-13 thrashing in Region One play at Sammy Howard Field.
Glenwood is now 7-0 overall and 4-0 in region play with a road contest in Troy versus Pike Liberal Arts on Oct. 23 that will determine first place in the region and home field for every playoff game up next.
“We needed to take care of things first tonight and we did,” Glenwood coach Jason Gibson said. “I know I keep saying this, but I am speechless.”
The Gators scored 56 points but those came on only 24 offensive plays. Once again, AJ Harris got them going with a kick return for a touchdown on the first play of the game. Harris has now recorded five kick-return touchdowns this season.
After Harris’ opening touchdown, Kye Robichaux scored three touchdowns and averaged 28 yards per carry in the contest. He would have had four touchdowns, but his 60-yard score on a screen pass was called back due to a penalty.
“Now that part of the game was ugly,” Gibson said. “We are going to need to clean that up for the next game, because that is for first place.”
After scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter, Glenwood scored two more before halftime.
The visiting Colts’ one bright spot was the running of Paul Menefee, who recorded 24 carries for 184 yards and a touchdown in the first half before scoring a 70-yard touchdown run on Glenwood’s reserves in the fourth quarter.
But the Colts had no answer for Robichaux or Ron Beauchamp, who had three touchdowns — two on long pass plays and another on a 54-yard run.
Quarterback Jackson Griner also got into the act. Despite having the long touchdown pass to Robichaux called back, he still threw for 133 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran twice for 71 yards, including a 46-yard run for a touchdown.
“I thought Jackson threw the ball really well,” Gibson said. “You add to that the way our whole offensive line played plus the blocking downfield by our receivers to get our guys free, that’s something special. And our tight end, Hunter Walton caught only one ball but it was a first down catch that kept things moving so we have another weapon.
“It was very much a team win.”
Glenwood 56, Hooper 13
Glenwood – 21 14 21 0 – 56
Hooper – 0 7 0 6 – 13
G — AJ Harris 81 yard kickoff return (Garrett Hall kick), 11:41
G — Kye Robichaux 7 run (Hall kick), 4:32
G — Ron Beauchamp 60 pass from Jackson Griner (Hall kick), 2:39
G — Griner 46 run (Hall kick), 9:55
H — Paul Menefee 5 run (Henry Chun kick), 1:31
G — Beauchamp 40 pass from Griner (Hall kick), 1:05
G — Robichaux 51 run (Hall kick), 9:18
G — Robichaux 71 run (Hall kick), 4:53
G — Beauchamp 54 run (Hall kick), 0:37
H — Paul Menefee 70 run (kick failed), 8:00