Titans’ big second half ruins Ram upset plans

The Glenwood defense wraps up Council Bluffs Lewis Central running back Johnathan Humpal for a short loss in the Rams’ loss to the Titans Friday.

COUNCIL BLUFFS - For a half of football, it was hard to tell which team was the defending state champs and which was the underdog.

Then the second half happened.

Glenwood jumped out to an early 19-7 lead, took a 22-20 margin into halftime against Class 4A, No. 1 ranked Council Bluffs Lewis Central and appeared poised for a potential upset. But the

Titans came out after halftime fired up and scored on six straight possessions while pitching a shutout on defense to win going away, 58-22 in Council Bluffs Friday.

Glenwood coach Cory Faust said after the game he was proud of the way his team competed against a team he considers one of the best in the state this season.

“Our guys played hard. We were executing some things on the offensive side of the ball the first half and things were going well but we had some breakdowns in special teams that hurt us, and some guys got dinged up and the affected how we continued to execute.”

The Rams execution was sharp from the opening drive. After an offsides penalty on the Titans helped extend Glenwood’s opening drive, quarterback Kayden Anderson connected with Cody Krause on a 70-yard touchdown toss for the early 6-0 lead. The Rams would miss the extra point.

The Titans answered with a quick touchdown drive of their own on the ensuing possession – and hit the point-after – to go up 7-6. After the two teams traded empty possessions, the Rams put together a six-play, 80-yard drive. Tate Mayberry’s 25-yard scamper up the middle from 25 yards out capped the drive. Glenwood would hit this PAT to go up 13-7.

The Rams would come up with another stop on defense when the Titans attempted a fake punk from their own 38-yard line. Taking over at the 43, the Rams’ C.J. Carter scored on a 2-yard plunge five plays later to make the score 19-7.

With the double-digit lead, the Rams appeared to have all the momentum until the ensuing kickoff. The Titans’ Johnathan Humpal fielded the kick at his own 5-yard line and raced down the sideline for the 95-yard kickoff return TD. After the extra-point, the Rams’ lead stood at 19-14.

Neither team had much luck moving the ball until late in the half when the Rams’ Conner King booted a 44-yard field goal with 1:40 to go. But the Titans answered right back with a six play, 60-yard drive, capped by Braylon Kammrad’s three-yard TD pass to Owen Thomas with :10 left in the half.

Lewis Central would carry that momentum right through halftime.

A big kickoff return and an interception on defense gave the Titans the ball inside the Rams’ 40-yard line on their opening two possession of the second half. After converting both into Humpal touchdowns scampers, the Titans led 34-22 with 5:46 to go in the quarter.

Two special teams plays, the turnover and the resulting short fields to open second half all but ended the Rams’ upset bid.

“Credit them, they did a really nice job,” Faust said of the Titans’ efforts. “We had some guys get dinged up a little bit and had to leave the game. We had changed our defense a little bit this week to combat all the things Lewis Central does and losing the guys we did didn’t allow us to play at the same level. We just had some guys come in with maybe not as much experience and we got off a little bit.”

Cody Krause, who caught five passes for 128 yards and a touchdown, was one of those players that left the game with an apparent concussion late in the first half and did not return.

Lewis Central scored on all six of their second half possessions. They picked off Anderson three times and held the Rams to 101 total yards after halftime.

For the game, the Titans held a to 386 to 335 advantage in total yards. Humpal ran for 151 yards and scored four total touchdowns.

“Our guys showed they can play we anybody in state,” he said. “We have to show we can do it for a whole game. We have to keep hanging together and we have to get better for sure for these next two weeks.”

The Rams are back in Council Bluffs next Friday for a district game at Thomas Jefferson. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Opinion-Tribune

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