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Daylon Mack Scores on Game-Winning 67-Yard Touchdown to Send Gladewater to the Third Round

Gladewater’s Daylon Mack looks to the sideline during the Bears’ 34-33 win over Altanta on Friday night, in which Mack scored the game-winning touchdown and two-point conversion. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

[By Colby Fleet, Special to ETSN.fm]

LONGVIEW — Daylon Mack was determined Atlanta would have to stop him if the Rabbits wanted revenge Friday night.

The Texas A&M-committed junior defensive tackle, who is 6-foot-2 and 310 pounds, showed he can run the ball as well. He busted through the line for 67 yards on a fourth-and-2 and for a touchdown and plowed in for the two-point conversion to give Gladewater the lead and a 34-33 victory in a Class 3A Division II Region II area matchup at Lobo Stadium.

Atlanta’s Damien Lawson tries to avoid the Gladewater defense while heading upfield. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

The Bears evened their record at 6-6, and advanced to the third round for the first time since 2001. The Bears will advance to face the winner of either Gainesville or Bonham in a regional semifinal game with a time a place to be determined.

Atlanta was able to build a 10-point fourth quarter lead on the execution of quarterback Chase Musgrove and receiver Nigel Johnson. Musgrove completed 11 of 21 passes for 183 yards and two scores, and Johnson was the recipient of seven passes for 84 yards including a 23-yard touchdown catch.

Musgrove helped build the fourth quarter lead with his third quarter execution. After two negative plays, Musgrove found Jace Flowers, who was all alone on what seemed to be busted coverage, for a 77-yard touchdown pass with 8:44 remaining in the third. Atlanta’s

Atlanta quarterback Chase Musgrove looks to pass against Gladewater on Friday night in Longview. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

defense and special teams units gave its offense great field position to work with on two outstanding plays. The first was a tackle for a 12-yard loss on the punter.

The second was on a reverse kickoff return, where Damien Lawson was lateraled the ball and reversed field for 58 yards to set his team up at the Gladewater 7. Both plays would end in field goals by Nick Bishop (27 and 29 yards). Gladewater was able to remain in the ballgame allowing only two field goals and producing a score of its own.

Gladewater used a heavy dose of Mack during an eight-play drive covering 75 yards in a little over three minutes. Mack ran three times for 17 yards and caught one pass for 36 yards that set up freshman teammate Darnell McKnight’s 13-yard burst up the middle to cut the lead to 30-20.

Mack finished the night with 18 carries for 178 yards and three touchdowns. Mack took over in the fourth quarter when his team needed him the most. He had eight carries in the quarter. Mack looked more like a running back late in the game than he did a defensive tackle, as he rumbled 38 yards to close the gap 30-26 with 9:03 left in the contest.

Atlanta answered on a Musgrove 46-yard keeper that took the ball down to the Gladewater 16. Gladewater’s defense was able to stop a Musgrove to Johnson 4-yard pass, which set up Bishop’s third field goal of the night. The field goal was good from 28 yards and Atlanta clung to a 33-26 advantage with 7:16 left.

Gladewater’s Marcello Jackson looks for open field while running the ball against Atlanta. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

Atlanta needed one stop for an opportunity to retrieve the ball, but Mack had other plans. On fourth-and-2, Mack bumped into his quarterback, but took the handoff and bounced off one defender and outran the Rabbits defense for a 67-yard touchdown and a 34-33 win after scoring the two-point conversion.

The first half both teams had their share of mishaps and jubilation. Gladewater opened the game with eight runs, five by James Reese for 27 yards, two by Mack for 24 yards, and one by Justice Centers for 5 yards. Mack capped the drive with his 2-yard touchdown push and an 8-0 led.

Atlanta’s Cullen Rich halted a Gladewater drive when he recovered a fumble for the Rabbits at the Gladewater 31. Musgrove went to work and connected with Johnson for 17-yards to move the ball to the 10 and then two plays later called his own number for the one-yard keeper. Musgrove rolled out to his left on the two-point try and found Zach Marsh to make it 8-8 early in the second quarter.

Musgrove and company continued to move the ball down the field on passes to different receivers. A wide receiver trick pass to Jace Flowers from Marsh for 30 yards moved to ball to the Gladewater 49. Back to back passes to Johnson covered 12 and 11 yards to push the ball to the 26. Jazsten Tyiska stopped the drive when he picked off an Atlanta pass on the goal-line and returned it 15 yards.

Gladewater’s Reese reeled off his longest run of the night, as he juked his way to the right sideline and picked up 62 yards. McKnight ran it in from 1 yard out for the score, but the extra point was blocked and picked up by Kenneth Houff and returned 87 yards for two points and a 14-10 lead for the Bears.

Musgrove hurried his team down the field in five plays. He ran twice for 35 yards and completed two passes both to Johnson for 31 yards, including a 23 yard touchdown toss to give his team the lead 17-14 at the half.

Gladewater 34, Atlanta 33

Class 3A Divison II Region II Area Playoff
Lobo Stadium, Longview

Gladewater      8     6     6     14 — 34
Atlanta              0   17   13      3  – 33

First Quarter
GLA–Daylon Mack 2 run (Mack run), 6:54.
Second Quarter
ATL–Chase Musgrove 2 run (Zach Marsh pass from Musgrove), 9:30.
GLA–Darnell McKnight 1 run (Kenneth Houff blocked and returned for 87-yards), 1:44.
ATL–Nigel Johnson 23 pass from Musgrove (Nick Bishop kick), :31.
Third Quarter
ATL–Jace Flowers 77 pass from Musgrove (Bishop kick), 8:44.
ATL–Bishop 27 field goal, 5:39.
GLA–McKnight 13 run (Marcello Jackson kick failed), 2:45.
ATL–Bishop 29 field goal, 1:33.
Fourth Quarter
GLA–Mack 38 run (Mack run failed), 9:03.
ATL–Bishop 28 field goal, 7:16.
GLA–Mack 67 run (Mack run), 5:59.

                                   GLA            ATL
Total Yards                 421             293
Rushes-Yards            56-370        27-80
Pass Yards                 51               213
Comp-Att-Int              4-8-0          12-22-1
Penalties-Yards          3-17            3-20
Fumbles-Lost             2-1               2-1
Punts-Avg                   3-38.7         3-35.0
First Downs                 17               11

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Gladewater: Daylon Mack 18-178 (3 TD), Darnell McKnight 12-44 (2 TD), James Reese 12-94, Marcello Jackson 6-18, Nick Canaguier 4-43, Justice Centers 2-10, Daryl Polk 1-5, Hagen Cooper 1-(-12). Atlanta: Chase Musgrove 12-54 (1 TD), Dequan Allen 14-25, Eddrick King 1-1.
PASSING–Gladewater: Nick Canaguier 4-8-0 51. Atlanta: Zach Marsh 1-1 30, Chase Musgrove 11-21-1 183 (2 TD).
RECEIVING–Gladewater: Daylon Mack 1-36, Darnell McKnight 1-5, Bailey Glenn 1-5, Daryl Polk 1-5. Atlanta: Nigel Johnson 7-84 (1 TD), Jace Flowers 2-107 (1 TD), Dwayne Washington 1-17, Dequan Allen 1-4, Zach Marsh 1-1.

Gladewater quarterback Nick Canaguier weaves through the Atlanta defense while trying to gain yardage on Friday night at Lobo Stadium in Longview. (Christopher Vinn, ETSN.fm)

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