Gluhm leads Tigers to 51-20 win over Southeast
The Tiger football team opened the 2019 football season Friday night in front of a packed crowd at Tiger Stadium. The team left Tiger fans with much to cheer about as they came away with an exciting 51-20 win over the Southeast Knights.
The Tiger ground attack served as the source of the majority of the offense, rushing 41 times for 259 yards on the night. Senior quarterback Brandon Gluhm led the rushing attack with 17 carries for 119 yards and four touchdowns, including a long run of 45 yards. Senior Ethan Cole added 44 yards on four carries to help lead the Tiger offense.
Head Football Coach Mark Faubion showed a little different side by having his offense attempt nine passes after only attempting 14 all of last season. Gluhm completed four out of nine passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns on the night.
The Tigers won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. The offense looked strong from the beginning, driving down to the Knights’ 28-yard line where Southeast defense stalled the drive on a fourth and three attempt by the Tigers. On the first play of scrimmage for the Knights, Excelsior Springs sophomore Lukas Shelton intercept-ed Knights’ quarterback Tavion Karim’s pass and returned 31 yards to the Knights’ 8-yard line. Four plays later, Gluhm punched the ball in on a keeper to put the Tigers on the board. He would add the extra point and the Tigers led 7-0 with 5:00 remaining in the first quarter.
The Tiger defense stepped up once again and stopped the Knights after a big sack by senior Ryan Nedblake, on fourth and eight. Three plays later, Gluhm completed a 16-yard pass to Cole for the second score of the game. Gluhm added the extra point and the Tigers held a 14-0 lead with 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
After the kickoff and another defensive stop and a one-yard punt by the Knights, the Tigers started their next scoring drive on the Knights’ 25-yard line.
Unfortunately, the Tigers could not muster any movement forward. After losing two yards, Faubion elected to line up in field goal formation. With the snap from senior long snapper Breyden Haight and hold by senior Caleb Mayfield, Gluhm booted a 45-yard field to give the Tigers a 17-0 lead with 7:48 remaining in the first half.
The Tiger defense continued to stifle the Knight offense led by senior Rocky Mullin’s 8.5 tackles and one sack. Mayfield chipped in with 3.5 tackles, and Gluhm added three tackles and an interception to his night. The defense stayed disciplined throughout the night and kept the speedy Knight’s offense under control for most of the night.
The Tiger offense continued to produce on the field when they scored on a two-play, 30-yard drive. Gluhm scampered 17 yards on one play and then got in on a 13 yard run for put the Tigers ahead 24-0 after his successful extra point with 4:45 remaining in the 1st half. The following Southeast drive showed promise for the Knights as they traveled 79 yards on seven plays to score on a two-yard run by Brandon Brown. The two-point con-version failed and the Tigers led 24-6 with 3:31 remaining in the half and that is where it stood going into the locker rooms.
The Tiger special teams came up with a big play to start the second half as senior Jacob Leonhard recovered a Roosevelt Thompson fumble on the kickoff and the Tigers took con-trols on the Southeast 26 yard line. Six plays later Gluhm plunged into the end zone on a keeper from one yard out. His extra point gave the Tigers a 31-6 lead at the 8:54 mark of the third quarter. The Knight’s return team took advantage of a hole in the Tiger kickoff team as Dremel Jackson returned the kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown and bring the score to 31-12 when the two-point conversion rush failed.
The Tiger offense bounced right back estab-lishing control right away when Gluhm con-nected Cole down the middle of the field for a 46-yard touchdown pass with 6:35 remaining in the third quarter. Southeast tried to answer the Tigers with a drive starting at their own 26 and moving across midfield, but Gluhm would end that drive with an interception and 24-yard return to put the Tigers in prime position to start at the Southeast 44 yard line. Once again, it did not take the Tigers long to cross the goal line as Gluhm found a gaping hole in the line and scampered 45 yards to the end zone to put the Tigers up 45-12 after the Gluhm extra point.
The Tigers were able to add to the score-board one more time in the fourth quarter when senior Jackson Love took a handoff 10 yards for a score to put the Tigers ahead 51-12 with 10:17 remaining in the game. Southeast went on their longest drive in yards of the evening following the kickoff, going 59 yards in four yards when backup quarterback DeQuanta Tenner pushed across the goal line from one yard out following a 50-yard pass. The two-point conversion was taken in by Darell Jones, but that was as close as the Knights would get as the final score would end at 51-20.
Faubion said he wanted to praise Gluhm’s game.
“His overall game was as good as I’ve seen,” Faubion said. “His first game as being the guy was spectacular. I’m glad for him.”
Faubion praised the entire team and staff for making adjustments earlier on.
“It took a couple of series for us to be able to do what we wanted, but our coaching staff made the adjustments and the kids executed really well.”
As for Gluhm, he said he wanted to give credit to his team.
“The front line did an amazing job and I can’t praise them more,” Gluhm said. “I have to step up and be a leader and I tried to do that tonight and I was able to do that tonight.”