It’s not often that a 21-0 halftime lead could be called a slow start, but when you score on almost every possession for four straight weeks you tend to get a little spoiled. “It felt like it took us a while, but after halftime we came out and put up quite a few points while getting stops right away,” said Coach Marc Jarstfer.
The Flying G’s scored 21 points in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth to run away with a 56-0 win over Meridian. “Overall it was a good game,” continued Jarstfer. “We had seven different people score touchdowns, we got another shutout, went eight for eight on extra points and had a lot of good kickoffs.”
The players knew that Meridian was 0-4 going into the game making it natural that they may take the game lightly, but the Gladwin coaching staff didn’t let that happen. “We have been talking to our kids a lot about complacency and not falling into a trap,” added Jarstfer. “We want to put the same effort into every opponent.”
Logan Kokotovich scored the first Gladwin touchdown on a seven-yard run. Aaron Kozlow also scored in the first from nine yards out. Ethan Breault scored the third Flying G touchdown of the half on a three-yard run. The extra points by Anna Seebeck gave Gladwin a 21-0 halftime lead.
Three touchdowns in the third quarter doubled the Gladwin lead. Earl Esiline took a pass from Nick Wheeler nine yards for a touchdown. Jhace Massey ran for 40 yards for a touchdown and Trace Corlew caught Wheelers second touchdown pass of the game, this one for 12 yards. Kokotovich and Kozlow completed the scoring in the fourth quarter with runs of 24 and 15 yards respectively.
Gladwin outgained Meridian by a wide margin. The Flying G’s totaled 441 yards while Meridian gained only 66. Wheeler was 12 of 17 passing for 170 yards. Kozlow completed his only pass for 48 yards. Kokotovich led the rushing attack with 89 yards on 12 attempts. Massey had five carries for 71 yards, Kozlow rushed 4 times for 34 yards. In all, eight Gladwin players got carries in the game. Gladwin also spread the passes around with nine players recording catches. Esiline had three; Corlew and Lucas Mead each had two.
The Flying G’s are 5-0 on the season with four shutouts and are currently ranked Number 8 in Division 5 by the Detroit Free Press. While they have only used about a quarter of the playbook they continue to practice the things that may be necessary in the future. There are several good opponents on the horizon and the playoffs are only five weeks away. “Our kids pick up things quickly and the way our offense is designed we can change formations to force teams into different alignments,” said Jarstfer. “Football is a game of numbers and angles so you try to get people aligned poorly so that you can take advantage of it.”
Jarstfer mentioned that he has a “really good” coaching staff that puts in countless hours watching film and charting plays. That allows them to have the kids prepared for most situations. “We get the concepts to the kids early in the week and rep it so that they are ready.”
Shepherd, there next opponent, may be tough to prepare for. They started the year trying to be physical and pound the ball, but last week they threw it 49 times in their game with Manistee. “We have no idea what variation we are going to get on Friday, concluded Jarstfer. “But our message will be the same. We have to focus on being the best version of ourselves. It’s about us not the opponent.”