Quarterback Lammot Brown had attempted just three passes all night for Glasgow High in its opener against Smyrna on Friday. But he trusted coach Shannon Riley when he said to try a pass on fourth-and-goal facing a three-point deficit.
The trust paid off as Brown rolled right and hit Jay C. Whalen for a 5-yard touchdown pass with less than a minute remaining. He followed up by running in the two-point conversion to give the Dragons a 20-15 victory.
“On the previous play, they didn’t guard one of our guys so we said, let’s try a pass,” Riley said. “We know Lammot is a great athlete, so I told him if it’s not there, then you have to be you. Be a playmaker and make a play.”
Brown, who had spent most of the night carrying the ball for Glasgow (1-0), wasn’t fazed by the trust his coach had placed in him.
“I loved it,” Brown said. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this. I saw [Whalen] wide open, and I just threw it up over a lineman. I got hit, but I did it.”
The completed pass erased Smyrna’s 15-12 halftime lead. The Eagles took the opening kickoff of the night 90 yards, scoring when Craig Watson recovered a Smyrna fumble in the end zone and Dylan Keller tacked on the extra point for a 7-0 lead less than a minute into the game.
Glasgow recovered quickly, with Brown scoring on 16-yard and 19-yard runs to give the Dragons a 12-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Smryna’s Avery McMullen connected with Maurice McFolling-Nichols on a 33-yard touchdown pass with less than five minutes to play in the first half to give the Silver Eagles a 13-12 lead. A two-point conversion run by Dante Ritchie made it 15-12 Smyrna.
Riley, however, knew the Dragons weren’t out of it.
“We told them don’t panic because we had the looks that we wanted,” Riley said of his halftime talk. “We just tell them we’re a veteran team with a lot of juniors and seniors. Keep that leadership. Execute on offense and get stops on defense, and we’ll be OK.”
The defensive stops proved crucial in the fourth, including a fumble recovery by Loyal Ricks to end one Smyrna threat and three straight tackles for a loss to force a punt from the end zone with less than six minutes remaining to set up the winning drive.
On Smyrna’s last drive, the Dragon defense again held. Loyal and William Ricks combined for a sack. Two incomplete passes and a fumble on fourth down turned the ball over to Glasgow for the last time with about 30 seconds to go.
Riley sees a bright future for Glasgow.
“I told our guys we have a lot of heart and a lot of talent,” he said. “We just got to believe we can do it.”