EAST WHITELAND >> The final score may undoubtedly surprise many, but for those on hand to watch Glen Mills run over and through previously undefeated Great Valley on Friday evening, there was absolutely nothing fluky about the Bulls’ dominating 42-26 triumph.
In their home opener, the Patriots never found an effective way to deal with the Glen Mills running attack and bruising 233-pound tailback Quadir Gibson. The junior rolled up a career-high 176 yards on the ground on 20 carries. He was a big part of a Bulls running attack that amassed 350 yards and four rushing touchdowns.
“I just ask Quadir if he’s ready to go. And if he says, ‘yes, coach,’ he is getting the football. He is a hell of a football player,” said Glen Mills head coach Kevin Owens.
“We got our rear ends handed to us. That is the bottom line,” added Great Valley head coach Dan Ellis.
“(Gibson) is a good football player but we just didn’t tackle him.”
It also didn’t help that the Patriots looked a bit flat at the start, and the Bulls seized command immediately with two long scoring passes. The Patriots (2-1 overall) didn’t even show a pulse until the second quarter, and the deficit was already 20-0.
“They go up 14-0 in the first five minutes — you can’t do that against anybody,” Ellis complained.
Glen Mills quarterback James Timmons accounted for all three first half scores, including a pair of quick-strike TD tosses of 50 and 62 yards, to wideouts Keon Rantin and Charles Lawson, respectively. And when Timmons capped off a 58-yard march with a 2-yard keeper, Glen Mills was ahead by 20.
“We thought (Great Valley) would roll up and try to stop Quadir, but we have a quality quarterback and some quality receivers,” Owens explained. “Rantin was second in the state in the 200 meters, and nobody is going to catch him once he gets into the open field.”
Great Valley finally got untracked with a 75-yard drive that Alex Crouse finished off with a 3-yard scoring run. The Pats defense was having all kinds of trouble getting off the field, until Glen Mills’ only turnover. With the Bulls threatening to score once again, corner Dylan Tashjian picked off Timmons in the end zone for a critical momentum swing. Great Valley then put together a 14-play, 80-yard march that ended with Mark DeRobertis finding the end zone from a yard out.
It was 20-14 at the intermission, but the third quarter ended any comeback hopes for the Patriots as Gibson and Rantin ran wild. A 37-yard run by Rantin set up a 26-yard TD by Gibson. And moments later, Gibson ripped off 38 yards to set the stage for a 31-yard scoring run by Rantin to make it 35-14.
“We’ve been talking to the kids about doing the little things, and when you don’t do those little things against a good, physical football team, it is going to hurt you,” Ellis said. “Glen Mills just whipped us.”
Rantin finished with 139 yards of total offense, including 89 on the ground on just seven carries. Timmons only completed four passes on the day and did not even attempt a pass in the second half.
“It was a game where if we could do it wrong, we did,” Ellis said. “We missed assignment after assignment.
“I always felt that football doesn’t build character, it reveals character. It tells you who you are. Our guys are going to have to look in the mirror, figure out our mistakes and get better.”
Following earlier setbacks to Springfield and Bishop Shanahan, the Bulls improve to 1-2 overall, and along the way they handed the Ches-Mont American favorite its first loss.
“It was a lot of fun, and it feels good to get a win,” said Gibson, who added that his favorite NFL players are heavyweights Jerome Bettis and Jim Brown.
“But if it wasn’t for my offensive line, I wouldn’t have been able to do anything.”
Great Valley quarterback Robert Geiss was 29 of 47 for 260 yards, but only three of his completions went for more than 25 yards. He finished with two TD passes but turned it over twice. And even though the Patriots amassed a respectable 367 yards of total offense, it wasn’t nearly enough to keep up with Gibson and company. On the day, Glen Mills averaged more than eight yards per rush attempt.
“A lot of people doubted us this week, just like they have all season,” Gibson said.
“This game demonstration of what we can be,” Owens added. “If we come out and play the kind of football our kids are trained to play, we can do some very good things.”