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Dylan Milstead John Glenn
Dylan Milstead leads a team of John Glenn defenders in making a tackle. (Joseph Hennessy/WOUB)

John Glenn Little Muskies Narrowly Fall to First-Seed Panthers

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It was a battle until the last minute of the game, with the John Glenn Little Muskies driving down the field within their 25-yard line.

With Head Coach Matt Edwards calling the plays, John Glenn’s senior quarterback Evan Williams threw the post route to Blade Barclay over the middle, but the Licking Valley defensive back came up with the ball. The second of two interceptions in the fourth quarter by the Little Muskies (9-3) sealed the win for the Panthers (12-0), 20-14.

It was a back-and-forth game with heavy run games from both sides, and all scores coming in the first three quarters.

The fourth featured three total turnovers (two John Glenn interceptions, one Licking Valley fumble lost), and the postseason drama was at its peak.

Each team’s game plan was to pound the rock and drain the clock. All of the touchdowns scored came from within the five-yard line and were rushing attempts by the running backs.

Sophomore Noah Wellmeier scored the first touchdown of the game for John Glenn in the first quarter from five-yards out with one of his 32 carries on the night.

In the second quarter with 5:41 on the clock, Licking Valley senior running back Mitchell Ford scored from the one-yard line after being denied on the play before.

Then after multiple rushing attempts with eight seconds left in the half, Wellmeier ran his way into the end zone again, this time from the three.

For the Panthers, Ford’s touchdown tear would continue from the two-yard line in the third with 6:31 left, and the eventual game-winning TD run with just 16 seconds on the clock in the third quarter as well.

Evan Williams watches the John Glenn defense from the sideline. (Joseph Hennessy/WOUB)
The John Glenn Little Muskies survey the field before a play. (Joseph Hennessy/WOUB)
Blaize Baker engages a blocker. (Joseph Hennessy/WOUB)
Owen Hively lines up in formation. (Joseph Hennessy/WOUB)
Evan Williams talks to his coach on the sideline. (Joseph Hennessy/WOUB)
Reece Perkins patrols the sideline following a catch. (Joseph Hennessy/WOUB)

Although Williams had the two late interceptions, he played well for the maroon and white. With a 74% completion percentage (14/19) and 124 yards, he helped Wellmeier get some needed rest with an effective pass game and opened the field for the Little Muskies athletes on the outside. Wellmeier carried the load with 99 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Ford was dominant for the Panthers, finishing with 129 total rushing yards on 31 attempts. Because of his ability to bring more players into the box, the slant and quick-out routes for Licking Valley were open almost every drive. Panther quarterback Logan Bragg ended with 119 passing yards on 15 passing attempts with Bodee Creech leading the way with three catches for 43 yards.

Ford was also prevalent in the passing game with three catches for 40 yards.

For the Little Muskies, Gridiron Glory Player of the Year candidate Reece Perkins was all over the field, making one-handed grabs and moving the chains all night, with five catches for 43 yards.

With the win, the Panthers continue their unbeaten streak and will play in the third round of division four region 15 against #7 Bloom Carroll (10-2) who beat the Waverly Tigers Saturday night, 49-21.

John Glenn finishes the year with nine wins and their first MVL championship since 1980.