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Glynn Academy keeps streak alive against Brunswick

Red Terrors boot field goal at the finish for 6th straight win in series

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – If the game of the year came down to the finish, it was common thought that Glynn Academy would have an advantage.

The Red Terrors' kicking game tipped the crunchtime scales in the annual City Championship between the Glynn and rival Brunswick High on Friday night. 

Indeed, it was just that, a 26-yard field goal as time expired by Glynn senior kicker Chase Gabriel that gave the Red Terrors their 24-21 triumph over the Pirates in another classic between the crosstown rivals at Glynn County Stadium.

“He’s done that like 1,000 times,” said Glynn head coach Rocky Hidalgo of Gabriel. “I had no concerns with him in that situation.”

The Region 2-AAAAAA victory was the sixth in a row for the Terrors in the series with the Pirates, which ties a record for the most consecutive wins by either side in the rivalry. Brunswick also won six in a row in the late 1990s.

Hidalgo, who took over as Glynn’s coach prior to the 2014 season, is now a perfect 6-0 against the Pirates, who won their last game in the series during the 2013 season.

The Terrors also pulled even in the all-time series which now stands at 37-37-2. 

Glynn (3-4 overall, 1-1 region) stopped its three-game losing streak with the win Friday and now has the inside track on the No. 2 seed from the region for the state playoffs if it can win its final two region games.

The loss left the Pirates (4-5, 1-2) likely needing a win next week in their season finale against Bradwell Institute at home to qualify for the playoffs as a No. 3 seed.

With the score tied 21-all with 4 minutes and 25 seconds left, the Red Terrors got the ball at their own 25-yard line and proceeded to go to the Brunswick 9. Quarterback TJ Lewis'  2-yard run on their last play set the ball in the middle of the field for the game-winning field-goal try. 

Glynn called for a timeout with 3 seconds to play, and after a Brunswick timeout to hopefully ice the kicker, Gabriel split the uprights with his kick to lift the Red Terrors to the thrilling victory as time expired.

“I love that kid. He’s great. He’s clutch,” said Glynn senior Nolan Grant of Gabriel.

Grant also came through for the Terrors on their final drive. He carried four straight times for 17 yards, and then on a third-and-8 play from the Brunswick 49, he caught a short pass from Lewis along the Glynn sideline and turned it into a 26-yard gain to the 23 for a new set of downs. 

Three plays later, Lewis converted a third-and-10 from the 23 just inside the final minute as he ripped off a 12-yard run. His next carry put the ball in the middle of the field for Gabriel’s game-winning kick. 

“They made one more play than we did,” said BHS coach Sean Pender. “Bottom line, they had the ball last, got in field-goal position, and they have a clutch kicker. He made the play.”

Glynn finished with 358 rushing yards, with freshman Jayden Drayton, a receiver, leading the team with 141 yards on just five carries. His 81-yard run late in the third quarter finished off a 99-yard drive and made the score 14-14 going into the fourth quarter.

Grant finished with 96 yards on 20 carries and scored on a 6-yard run with just over eight minutes left to give Glynn its first lead at 21-14. Grant was named the Glynn County Sports Hall of Fame Player of the Game.

The Pirates answered the Grant score with a 10-play, 80-yard march to tie the game on a 2-yard run by Ree Simmons with 4:38 to go.

Brunswick actually scored first in the game when it went 99 yards following a Glynn fumble at the goal line midway through the first quarter. Chuckobe Hill capped the impressive 13-play series with his 8-yard scoring run. 

Glynn tied the score 7-7 early in the second quarter on a 1-yard run by Lewis to finish off a 74-yard drive. 

Brunswick answered with an 80-yard march to the end zone as it scored on fourth-and-4 from the 12 on a pass from Anthony Mountain to Simmons with 4:45 to go in the first half, and the Pirates would hold that 14-7 lead at intermission.

Brunswick had the chance to go up two scores with just over four minutes left in the third stanza, but Mountain was stopped on a sneak on fourth-and-goal from the 1. 

That’s when Glynn drove the length of the field, getting the touchdown jaunt by Drayton down the Brunswick sideline to tie the score at 14-all. 

Glynn had the chance to go in front before the end of the third after a Brunswick fumble at its own 30, but again the Red Terrors lost the ball on a fumble with the ball at the goal line and a golden opportunity to punch it home. 

The Pirates finished with 397 total yards. Mountain was 18-of-29 passing for 260 yards and a TD.

Glynn plays at Effingham next week before finishing out the regular season the following week at home against Bradwell.