Balance in football usually refers to the offensive side of the ball and the breakdown between the rushing and passing game, but for Gladwin balance has a different meaning. Through six games the Flying G’s have given up the fewest points in the state, 18 while also scoring more points than any other team in the state, 367. The top scoring offense balanced with the best scoring defense, no wonder Gladwin is undefeated with a 6-0 record. They are doing everything well at this point as last weeks 73-0 rout of Shepherd indicates.
Seven different players scored touchdowns again this week. Nick Wheeler got Gladwin on the board with a 57-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Aaron Kozlow’s nineteen-yard run, Kaden McDonald’s 34-yard pass from Wheeler, Jhace Massey’s 55-yard run and another run by Wheeler had the Flying G’s up 33-0 after quarter one.
Gladwin scored four more times in the second quarter. Richard Woodford caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Wheeler, Randy Pyrzewski took a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown, Wheeler scored again from the five, and McDonald took an interception back 80 yards for a touchdown. The Flying G’s went into the halftime break with a 60-0 lead.
With a running clock the game ended early the third quarter, but not before Gladwin scored two more touchdowns. Earl Esiline ran one in from the four and Massey went 23 yards for the final touchdown. The only downside to the game was four blocked extra points. Shepherd overloaded one side forcing the Flying G’s into some missed assignments. With Clare up next it will be important for Gladwin to get the issue worked out. “Clare will have seen it on film so we need to get it taken care of,” said Coach Marc Jarstfer. “Other than that, our kids showed up ready to play and had a good showing.
Wheeler had another big game. He completed nine of his ten passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 17 times for 171 yards. Massey also ran for over 100 yards in the game. He had 110 yards on nine carries. Mead had two catches for 100 yards while McDonald and Esiline each had three catches.
The defense was excellent once again. Besides scoring two touchdowns they held the Blue Jays to 97 total yards and only seven first downs. Tyler Yott-Goodwin led Gladwin with five tackles including two sacks. Esiline and Lucas Mead each had four tackles. Hunter Huguelet had two tackles for a loss.
Clare, the Flying G’s next opponent, is the defending Jack Pine Conference champions and also either won or shared the 2018, 2017 and 2016 titles so the Flying G’s know that they will be in for a battle Friday night. “There is something about Clare,” added Jarstfer. “We have had teams capable of playing with them in the past, and we did for a little bit, but they find a way to win. They have a Hall of Fame coach and experienced staff. They have an expectation of winning and a culture of winning so its going to take a full game to beat them.” The game will be played in Clare on Friday night at 7 p.m.