Glynn Academy’s state playoff run came to an end at the hands of Northside, which built upon a 21-point lead at halftime and four Glynn Academy turnovers for a 42-20 win in the GHSA Class 6A playoffs Friday.
Glynn Academy (11-2) lost the game despite outgaining Northside (12-2) 407 yards to 294, but Glynn Academy turned over three times in the first half and didn’t have the time to recover.
“We just didn’t play very well in the first half, and it is what it is,” Red Terrors head coach Rocky Hidalgo said. “We came out a little tight for some reason. ... It’s disappointing. Our kids played really hard, and we were just discombobulated in the first half.”
Glynn Academy forced Northside to punt on its opening drive, but when the Red Terrors failed to score the Eagles wasted no time in taking the lead. Northside quarterback Tobias Oliver ran 66 yards for Northside’s first touchdown.
Glynn Academy’s first turnover came two plays later on a fumble at around the Glynn Academy 35-yard line. Northside was able to convert that into a touchdown on a short run from running back Daniel Neal.
Glynn Academy closed the gap in the second quarter. Senior quarterback Deejay Dallas took a shotgun snap from his own 12 and outran the Northside defense 88 yards to cut the Eagles’ lead to 14-7. It was the longest play of the night and accounted for most of Dallas’ 168 yards rushing, a team high. Glynn Academy was denied its typical consistency in the running game by a defense Hidalgo said was one of the speediest his team faced this season.
“We knew that going in the were the best defense we’d played all year long,” Hidalgo said. “They were big, physical — they’re the best team we played all year long. I felt like we had a good shot to win the game. We couldn’t make mistakes and mistakes killed us.”
The mistakes began to pile up at the seven-minute mark in the second quarter. Dallas dropped back to pass on third down and fumbled when he was hit from behind. The fumbled ball was returned inside the Glynn Academy 5, and running back Marcus Jolly ran in to give Northside a 21-7 lead. On the following drive, Dallas looked deep to his left on second-and-long and William McCall stepped in front of the pass and intercepted it. Four plays later, Glynn was down 29-7 before the first half had ended.
Hidalgo said those turnovers were the nail in Glynn Academy’s playoff coffin.
“There’s no doubt,” he said.
The Red Terrors scored on the opening drive of the second half on a 16-yard run in which Kendall Cross bounced off multiple defenders.
Glynn Academy’s defense allowed just one touchdown in the second half, but the Red Terrors’ offense was consistently staring at long fields once it took over. Glynn Academy started second-half drives once from the nine, twice from the 12 and once from the 17.
Following a touchdown run by Oliver, Glynn Academy scored one final time when Dallas connected with Quandre Mosley, who broke multiple tackles to score from 66 yards out. Glynn Academy, however, was unable to execute the ensuing onside kick, which Northside returned 52 yards and took a 42-20 lead.
Oliver led Northside’s rushing attack with 101 yards, and he was also 10-of-11 passing for 107 yards. Dallas’ 168 yards rushing accompanied his 135 yards passing. Randon Jernigan chipped in 46 yards rushing and 26 yards receiving while Cross added 40 yards rushing. Mosley’s four receptions for 92 yards led Red Terror receivers.
Hidalgo isn’t interested in waiting for next year, and he said after the game the Red Terrors are getting ready to get back into the weight room Monday.
So much for the offseason.
“Monday we go back to work,” Hidalgo said. “I thanked the seniors for everything they did, but were going back in on Monday and building a championship. ... We’ve done this three times in a row. Anyone who thinks we’re going to drift off with the solar winds, they’re crazy.”