Confident Gators one win away from AISA title

PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WTVM) - The Glenwood Gators stand just one win away from climbing to the top of the AISA football mountain. What makes this even sweeter for the Gators is the fact they were 1-9 just two years ago.

Head coach Jason Allen came in and turned things around in record time.

"We stress to the guys that when things look bad, you've got to play through it," Allen said. "You've got to keep your head up and you've got to believe in what we're doing and our guys did."

Senior defensive end Kyle Langston was a believer going into the season.

"I knew we were going to be good," said Langston, "because freshman year we were undefeated, sixth grade year we were undefeated, so all of our senior class has been athletes."

Making the playoffs was a close-run thing. It came down to a one-game season in the 8th week, win or go home versus Pike. They won, 35-12, and that earned them a playoff berth.

"The Pike game was a big turning point," senior guard Eric Lynn said. "We knew if we lost the Pike game we were out, but if we won then we made the playoffs. So, everybody just stepped up in that game and we did what we had to do to win."

When playoff time came, the Gators stepped up again and won a pair of road games. Now comes the biggest challenge of all, taking on No. 2 Bessemer Academy for the championship. Senior safety Will Allison said it will come down to basics.

"We've just got to play really good defense," Allison said. "Our offense is pretty good, so as long as we play good defense, we should be able to handle things."

He got no argument from Coach Allen. "We feel good. We feel like if we play our game, we've got a really good shot. We really do."

Glenwood and Bessemer play in the second game of the AISA championship tripleheader at Troy University's Veterans Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 4:30 pm ET on Friday.