Tyler Overstreet will definitely hold on to the football from Friday night, but he might burn the game tape.
“As much as I want to burn it, I don’t think we can,” the first-year Glendale football coach said. “We need to watch it and learn from our mistakes. Anyone that was here tonight saw we made too many mistakes.”
Overstreet earned his first career victory as the Falcons outlasted Ozark Conference foe West Plains 14-6 at Glendale.
“It feels really good,” he said. “And we really needed to win this one. We needed to get on track and starting making strides forward.”
Glendale improved to 1-2 overall and 1-2 in the OC. West Plains fell to 0-3 and 0-3.
It was also the first game at the new Price Cutter Field at Lowe Stadium, part of the Springfield school district’s field turf renovations. The celebratory night was dampened by the weather and nearly by the Falcons themselves in the first half.
The Falcons turned the ball over four times in the first two quarters, but found themselves in position to overcome the miscues after West Plains had one of their own. Glendale’s Scott Harned blocked a punt in Zizzers’ territory, setting up the Falcons at the West Plains’ 17-yard line.
Five plays later, Glendale’s Will Rogers scored on a quarterback sneak with 28 seconds left in the half to provide a much-needed energy boost going into the locker room.
“We lost our top two backs — DaShawn Cooper in the first half and Justin Starks in the second half,” Overstreet said. “Our third back didn’t have very many reps this week. We knew Will was going to have to carry the load and he’s the guy you want to have it when it matters.”
The game was long on miscues and on drama.
The teams combined to fumble eight times and threw four interceptions. But the Zizzers had chances in the second half to pull off the comeback.
An interception by Yance Kramer on the opening drive of the second half gave Glendale prime field position and the Falcons took advantage of it. Starks busted off a 30-yard run to give Glendale a 14-6 edge with 8:47 left in the third quarter.
West Plains was resilient and continued to move the ball. Its first drive of the fourth quarter — keyed by the running of Trey Turner — pushed the ball down inside the Glendale 1. But on the next play, the Zizzers fumbled, according to the officials, just before breaking the plane of the goal line.
Glendale’s Jared Hood recovered in the end zone, preserving the lead for the moment.
“The one thing I’m proud of is we talked all week about overcoming adversity,” Overstreet said. “On third down down by the goal line, we took timeout to try and rally the troops a little bit. That fumble really changed the game for us.”
West Plains would have one more chance. Glendale ran off the clock to 1:32, but a bad exchange on a snap punt gave the Zizzers the ball inside the Falcons’ 35-yard line. But four incomplete passes allowed Glendale to hold on.