Canton GlenOak 16 - Hoover 7
October 25, 2013
GlenOak tops Hoover to snap four-game losing streak
Trying to avoid a five-game losing streak for the first time since 1998 — and give head coach Scott Garcia his 50th career win — Garcia had a simple message for his team: “We just have to keep playing.”
His team heeded his message as they used special teams and defense to make up for a lackluster offensive performance to beat the visiting Hoover Vikings 16-7.
GlenOak came out strong in the first half and jumped out to a 10-0 halftime thanks to a first-quarter 27-yard field goal and a 39-yard line punt return for a touchdown by J’Mon Wells.
“We have been struggling offensively and we knew we had to shorten the game by running the ball, and the execution on special teams was huge,” said Garcia, whose team gained less than 200 yards of total offense for the game.
The Hoover offense, after struggling to move the ball in the first half, came alive in the last minute of the half.
Hoover quarterback Luke Grandjean found receiver Alex Binnie on a beautiful diving catch along the sideline for 16-yard gain that pushed the Vikings into Golden Eagle territory. The next play Grandjean found Binnie again; this time on a wheel route and Binnie was knocked out of bounds at the 1-yard line.
Binnie had nine receptions for 113 yards in the game.
However, the Vikings could not capitalize. GlenOak stopped a Hoover running play on the final play of the half and maintained its 10-0 lead.
“The last play of the first half was a big momentum switch,” Hoover head coach Don Hertler Jr. said. “But our guys came out and battled in the third quarter.”
Grandjean kept the Vikings in the game, as the senior passed for 137 yards and rushed for another 100. He scored Hoover’s lone touchdown midway through the third on a 20-yard quarterback draw.
The next Hoover drive it was Grandjean again leading the Vikings deep into GlenOak territory. But a 37-yard field goal attempt missed wide right and the score remained 10-7 with eight minutes left in the game.
After Hoover’s defense again forced GlenOak to punt, the Vikings fumbled on the return and GlenOak’s Justin Robinson recovered it at the Hoover 28.
All GlenOak had to do was accumulate two first downs to run out the clock, but two straight false start penalties didn’t help the cause. When the Vikings made a huge stop on fourth-and-1, they got the ball back at their own 20 with 2:30 remaining.
GlenOak’s defense, though, sealed the win. Wells picked off a screen pass and ran it back 40 yards for his second touchdown and a 16-7 Eagles lead.
“Our defense really kept us in it late, and did a great job getting our offense the ball back, but they just made a few more plays than we did,” Hertler said.
GlenOak improved to 4-5, and 2-3 in the Federal League, while the Vikings dropped to 3-6, 2-3 in the league.