GLENWOOD, Iowa — Its postseason dreams on life support, Glenwood looked deep inside itself during the week.
“Before the game, Coach said the most dangerous animal is a wounded tiger, because they know that it’s life or death,” Glenwood quarterback Corey Bertini said. “This was a life-or-death game. ... We had a good week of practice, and we showed it tonight.”
With seniors Bertini and Spencer Smith spearheading a 432-yard rushing attack, Glenwood kept its playoff hopes alive Friday with a 28-17 Class 3-A, District 1 win over Council Bluffs Lewis Central.
Glenwood improved to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in district play heading into next week’s regular-season finale with Atlantic. Lewis Central dropped to 3-5 and 3-2.
The quick-hitting Smith, a 5-foot-10, 161-pounder, carried 19 times for 251 yards and two touchdowns. The 6-5, 191-pound Bertini added 23 carries for 128 yards and a score.
“I was just happy that our guys played with passion,” Glenwood coach Cory Faust said. “I felt like we were just lacking passion, and that’s on me. Obviously I didn’t have them ready to play the last two weeks. I’m really happy that they came back this week and played really well. It took some guts.”
Lewis Central appeared poised to take a 14-7 lead into the intermission after Austin Simmons hit Jacob Rodgers with a 34-yard touchdown pass with 1:06 left in the second quarter.
Taking over at its 20, Glenwood’s offense shifted into high gear. Smith ran for 15 and 42 yards to the Lewis Central 16. With 8.6 seconds left, Logan McCorkle ran a counter play 16 yards for the score to tie the game entering the break.
“Momentum is key in football,” Smith said. “They had kind of punched us in the mouth, scoring at the end of the half to take the lead. I guess they kind of relaxed, let off the gas, and we took it down and got them right back.”
Smith put the Rams back in front 21-14 on a 58-yard burst on the second play of the third quarter.
Lewis Central drove 59 yards on its next possession, but fumbled on first-and-goal at the Glenwood 3. Gabriel Scarborough recovered for the hosts.
Caleb Shudak’s 23-yard field goal pulled the Titans within 21-17 with 10:22 left in the game. But Glenwood went back to work, driving 65 yards on nine plays — all rushing — capped by Bertini’s 9-yard keeper over the left side that pushed it to 28-17 with 6:05 left.
Lewis Central had the ball inside the Glenwood 10 three times in the second half, but came away with a total of three points.
When time expired, the Glenwood student section swarmed the field. Faust knows it’s likely his squad will have plenty to play for in week nine.
“I don’t know what the scenarios are,” he said, “but I just know if you control what you can control, good stuff happens.”
CB Lewis Central (3-5, 3-2) ............................ 0 14 0 3—17
Glenwood (4-4, 2-3) ............................ 0 14 7 7—28
G: Spencer Smith 1 run (Brandon Bichel kick)
LC: Austin Simmons 21 run (Caleb Shudak kick)
LC: Jacob Rodgers 34 pass from Simmons (Shudak kick)
G: Logan McCorkle 16 run (Bichel kick)
G: Smith 58 run (Bichel kick)
LC: FG Shudak 23
G: Corey Bertini 8 run (Bichel kick)
RUSHING: LC, Austin Simmons 18-169, Ryan Main 17-71, Jacob Rodgers 1-18, Ryan Scheidle 1-5, Edward Bourg 1-3, Luke Sutherland 2-9. G, Spencer Smith 19-251, Corey Bertini 23-128, Gage Shatava 5-34, Logan McCorkle 3-19.
PASSING: LC, Austin Simmons 10-22-2, 132 yards, 1 TD. G, Corey Bertini 3-8-0, 56 yards.
RECEIVING: LC, Jacob Rodgers 6-91, Mitchell Brinkman 1-15, Lincoln Rodenburg 1-12, Jonathan Carlstedt 1-8. G, Logan McCorkle 2-40, Brandon Bichel 1-16.