Waco Midway’s offense ran rampant, and their defense yielded little. The combination of Sam Glaesmann’s arm and Eric Clayburn’s legs propelled the Panthers to a 41-20 win over Garland in Class 6A Division II bi-district action at Panther Stadium.
“Great players are expected to play well and play great,” Midway head coach Terry Gambill said. “That’s what we expect and then some.”
Midway (8-3) now faces Highland Park, a 38-12 winner over Irving Nimitz, in the area round. The game will be played at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, November 21, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Glaesmann’s pinpoint passing bedeviled the Owls (6-5) in the first half. Midway’s signal caller connected on 18-of-22 attempts for 222 yards and three touchdowns. Glaesmann finished the night with 330 yards, hitting 26 completions in 37 attempts.
Clayburn got better and better as the game progressed. The Abilene Christian commit gained 202 yards on 27 carries and scored the final touchdown on a 25-yard burst up-the-middle, putting the game out of reach. Clayburn also scored Midway’s first touchdown on a 12-yard reception with just under five minutes left in the first quarter.
“We just take care of business,” Clayburn said. “That’s what we do.”
Garland took a brief 13-10 lead early in the second quarter when Jacoby Williams hit Coree Compton on for an 89-yard touchdown pass. But the Panthers scored 17 unanswered points as Glaesmann went into high gear.
The Panthers responded to the quick strike with an eight-play, 67-yard drive that culminated with Bryce Johnigan’s 18-yard scoring catch. Garland followed with a three-and-out, and Glaesmann then led Midway on a march that stalled at the Owl 5. Jackson Smith, who opened the Panther scoring with a 29-yard field goal, booted a 22-yarder to put Midway up by a touchdown 20-13.
Another three-and-out for the Owls set up Midway at its own 28 with 2:00 remaining before halftime. Glaesmann moved the Panthers crisply downfield, hitting 5-of-5 attempts and connecting with Joseph Ward for a 7-yard touchdown to cap the drive. Ward caught 12 passes for 146 yards in the game.
But Glaesmann and his offensive cohorts would not have accumulated such outstanding numbers without the play of Midway’s defenders. The Panther defensive 11 limited Garland to 11 first downs and forced the Owls into six three-and-out series. Williams paced Garland’s offense with 161 yards passing in an 11-for-35 performance.
“When we’re out there on defense, our expectations are three-and-outs,” Gambill said. “That’s what we did tonight. I couldn’t be more proud of them for executing the game plan.”
Turnovers provided the only blemish on Midway’s stellar effort against the Owls. The Panthers muffed two punts, which Garland recovered, and Glaesmann threw three interceptions. On the last one, Josh Thompson jumped the route on Johnigan and took the pick 76 yards to the end zone for Garland’s only score in the second half.
“You’ve got to get that stuff corrected and be smart,” Gambill said. “But it’s a victory through a lot of adversity. We won tonight, and that’s the bottom line.”
Garland – 3-10-7-0 — 20
Midway – 10-17-7-7 — 41
Mid – Jackson Smith 29 field goal, 9:33 1Q
Gar – Hunter Merriman 24 field goal, 5:11 1Q
Mid – Eric Clayburn 12 pass from Sam Glaesmann (Smith kick), 4:51 1Q
Gar – Merriman 30 field goal, 9:24 2Q
Gar – Coree Compton 89 pass from Jacoby Williams (Merriman kick), 8:40 2Q
Mid – Bryce Johnigan 18 pass from Glaesmann (Smith kick), 7:11 2Q
Mid – Smith 22 field goal, 3:17 2Q
Mid – Joseph Ward 7 pass from Glaesmann (Smith kick), 0:42 2Q
Gar – Josh Thompson 76 interception return (Merriman kick), 4:15 3Q
Mid – Korey Chatman 6 run (Smith kick), 1:46 3Q
Mid – Clayburn 25 run (Smith kick), 4:06 4Q