The first half was played exclusively in White Plains’ territory as the Wildcats were unable to gain a first down for almost 20 minutes. By the time the Wildcats got their initial first down, they trailed 14-0.
“I was real concerned about our offensive line,” White Plains coach Heath Harmon said of the unit that included an eighth-grader and two sophomores. “We had some mix-ups there.”
Harmon said his offensive line would improve as the season progressed but drawing Glencoe, and its experienced defense, “was a bad match-up in Game 1 for us.”
The White Plains defense was solid for three of the four quarters. The Wildcats held the Yellow Jackets on downs inside the red zone twice in the first quarter, first at the 17-yard line and again at the 7.
After holding at the 7, White Plains punted short from the 11 and Glencoe took over at the White Plains 23-yard line. This time, field position was too much for the Wildcat defense to withstand.
A 16-yard pass from quarterback Rhett Norman to Sam Johnson gave Glencoe a first down at the 1. Tailback Austin Brown, Glencoe’s workhorse, scored on the next play. The first of Houston Ramer’s two extra points made it 7-0 with 8:56 left in the first half.
Less than three minutes later, Glencoe had the ball again. This time the Yellow Jackets started from the White Plains 38. Two carries by Brown gained 12 yards and a first down. After a heat timeout, the Wildcats blitzed and Brown found the right hole. Once the junior cleared the line of scrimmage, there were no white jerseys in his path and Glencoe led 14-0 with 5:16 left in the half.
After forcing Glencoe to punt, White Plains earned two first downs in its initial second half possession. The next time the Wildcats got the ball, they moved 80-yards in seven plays.
The touchdown came on a middle screen to freshman receiver Dylan Randall. As four defensive linemen poured toward him, quarterback Konnor Amis lobbed the ball to Randall who cut to the visitors sideline and raced into the end zone with 11:10 to play. The kick for the extra point never cleared the line.
“They were cheating their safety over and bringing everybody. We liked our chances there. We thought it was going to be good,” Harmon said of the screen call.
Brown was, by far, the leading rusher on the night with 134 yards on 26 carries but fumbled at the White Plains 19 with 2:35 left on his final carry. It was one of two lost fumbles the Yellow Jackets sustained inside the red zone.
“Good football teams can’t have stupid penalties and turnovers and continue to win,” Glencoe coach Lee Ozmint said.
In addition to its two stops in the first quarter, the White Plains defense forced Glencoe to punt four times in the second half.
“We know we’re going to have a stout defense. We’ve just got to work out some of the kinks offensively,” Harmon said.